25 January 2011

I'm Still Alive

I've just been feeling very lazy and rather uninspired to write anything. Life has been quite dull (what else is new?). My friends are heading off to university and college, and I'm parking off at home, trying to study 4 hours a day (right now I'm managing about 2.5hrs).

Murphy has been up to his tricks as usual, and despite the wonderful (yet hot) weather, I've been unable to fly as the plane is undergoing some maintanance (again, what else is new?). So now I sit around the house or at the airfiled, and study occasionally. I'm writing Flight Planning and ATG next month. Hold thumbs for me!

Throughout the month there have been times when I've had good ideas for a blog post, but in typical Me-fashion, I didn't write them down and now I've forgotten what they were. I'm so clever!

On Saturday I played some airsoft. It's the second time I've played, and - like the first time - it made me realise how horribly unfit I am. But it was still fun. Hmmm, new laptop, or airsoft gear? Decisions, decisions.

There have been quite a few fires in the Cape, but I have yet to see my beloved Huey's in action, which is extremely disappointing. At the airfield, we keep missing each other. It's annoying. Now have I seen the Dromader's in action. I've never actually seen one putting out fires or spraying crops. That's pathetic.

So yes, there you have it. Aren't you lucky.

07 January 2011

Sunsets. . .

... are quite something. Sitting outside, listening to near silence while watching the sun sink below the horizon is a truly amazing experience.

Watching them from the air is almost as good as watching from the ground. I say ‘almost’ because one can’t generally watch the entire sunset unless they are night rated, or flying with someone who is night rated. And the drone of the engine eliminates that near silence, effectively removing some of the awesomeness.

Yesterday (Thursday) evening I had the opportunity to witness a sunset from the cockpit of a Jabiru, on an – almost – perfectly still evening. Cruising overhead vineyards, we had the beautiful green mountains on the one side, and the calm blue sea on the other, the sun slowly making its way below the horizon. It was one of those “Why didn’t I bring my camera with?!” moments. (Flying the Jab was almost as nice as watching the sunset.)

But whether you watch sunsets from the ground or from the air, they are always beautiful. They’re just another one of those things that happen every day (or evening if you want to be more specific), yet every time I take the time out to witness this amazing event, a small smile appears on my face and I think “Wow, that was absolutely stunning! I’m glad that I could witness it.”

03 January 2011

Radio Calls and New Year's Resolutions

It was the last day of 2010, so I figured "Hey, the weather isn't too bad, I should go fly." Great. After visiting Fisantekraal for a circuit and a go-around, I decided that the wind wasn't doing anything for me, so I made my way to Paarl. After that I thought a cruise around Franschhoek Valley would be nice.

It was nice, but it was also slow. Leaving the Valley was great though because I had one heck of a tailwind. I felt like I was in a jet. Okay, not quite, but the Cubby hasn't flown that fast for a while.

Anyway, when I got back to Stellenbosch the real fun started, and it was in the form of some idiot that is incapable of talking on the radio. I was doing circuits and minding my own business when this dolt came overhead, not bothering to tell me what he was going to do; "I'm overhead the runway," doesn't really help me.

But he finally decided on what he was going to do and slotted into the circuit behind me. Cool. We were out of each other's way and I had a rough idea of what he would be doing. But then he did the unexpected.

While I was on short final for runway 01, this oke (who had landed, taxi'd halfway to the clubhouse, turned around and taxi'd back to the runway) decided to enter the runway in front of me. BIG no-no! And this was right after I made my radio call stating that I was on final. Needless to say that ruined my day.

The purpose of radio calls is simple and easy to understand... You need to tell people "Who, What, Where, Intentions". Four little things, but it seems that even that was beyond this oke. Incidents like this make me wonder about the standard of training.

Apart from that, it was okay. Now for New Years.

I think I made a New Year's Resolution once, many many years ago. And because I forgot my resolution about 20 seconds after I made it, I decided that there wasn't much point in me making any resolutions. But then again, ever since then, I've said I'll make a resolution, and every year I've made the resolution to make a resolution. So I suppose that I have been sticking to my resolutions.

Yeah ok, studying is killing my brain. Which reminds me, I better get back to it.