Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Slide Show: Antique Airplane Association 2007

AAA/APM Annual Reunion In Pictures ©

Grab a chair, open a beer and someone get the lights...hey, no shadow puppets, Sparky, this is serious stuff...okay, who threw that?

That's it, Brent, I've lost control. Just run the slides...
And, you, Ryan, in the back row, no necking with your girlfriend!
Huh? What, they're married now?

Oh...Never mind.

Enjoy the show:

There will be a quiz afterwards.
© all rights reserved

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Gwinn: Book Excerpt "Airways & Airwaves"

Chapter 3: Airways & Airwaves ©

by David Gwinn

On most airline jet aircraft, the forward cargo compartment is heated. That, therefore, is where we can carry live animals. If the heater fails, the Minimum Equipment List stipulates that no live animals may be loaded.

We were the last flight that night from St. Louis to Houston. I’d noted that we have no forward cargo bin heater and the rules precluded carrying live animals that night in that compartment.

The ramp agent arrived in the cockpit to tell me about a dog in a kennel. “Well, I’m sorry”, I commented, “but, as you know, we can’t load him.” The baggage handler felt compassion for the pup, and asked if I’d come down and look at the kennel and situation.

On that dark ramp, I was seeing about one-third of that kennel. It looked small to me. I said: “Oh, heck. Bring it up to the boarding door and let’s see what we can negotiate with the flight attendants.”

It contained a full-grown Spaniel, about 65 pounds. The flight attendants immediately stated: “No way! You can’t put him in the galley. We have no room anywhere for that kennel. No way!” I asked the agent to see if the kennel would even fit in the cockpit, on the floor, behind the pilots. It wouldn’t even fit through the door.

While we examined the possibilities, a bespeckled, gentle looking man, with evident sadness in his eyes came up front and asked: “Am I going to have to stay in St. Louis? That’s my dog.”

I said: “Well, I hope not. We’re trying to figure something out.”
He added: “We were booked on Northwest and they cancelled the flight. They rebooked us on TWA. I’m just coming from my father’s funeral. That was his dog. I’m trying to take Babe home to Texas.”

I asked: “How old is that dog?”
“About nine years old.”
“Is he gentle?”
“Very. The sweetest pup on the planet.”
“OK. I want all of you flight attendants to form a wall so the passengers don’t observe this. Take him out of the kennel, put him in the cockpit and latch him to that cargo strap. No one is to come up here or open that door en route. I want every passenger off the airplane before I bring Babe out of here.”

Ol’ Babe lay down and slept the whole way. Occasionally I reached back to scratch his ears and he licked my hand. He was truly “the sweetest pup on the planet.”

In Houston, I took off my belt, looped it around Babe’s collar and led him up the jetway. The Station Manager was astounded: “You can’t do that! That is illegal?”

“What’s illegal?” I asked.

“Carrying a dog in the cockpit!”

“No, now wait a minute”, I replied. “I looked in the Flight Operations Policy manual and it says you cannot, under any circumstances, carry a dog in the cabin in other than a kennel. It says nothing about the cockpit. Besides, that dog was twice as smart as my copilot and I needed his help.”

Babe’s new Pappy was delighted. I was too. It’s nice to be nice to nice people.

In the crew van, the copilot said: “That was really nice of you. You better hope he doesn’t write a letter of commendation.”

Oh-ma’Gawd! I never thought of that. And he did write one.

I was informed of his letter by an inter-company complimentary letter from the Chief Pilot. The owner’s letter appeared in the Reservation Agent’s monthly publication: “Capt Gwinn gave my dog genuine first class service. We are forever
grateful.” It was reprinted twice elsewhere.

I had a Junior Captain certificate made up for Babe and also sent a set of the plastic Captain’s wings.
One day I asked the Chief Pilot if he wanted to hear ‘the whole story’ on the transportation of the dog. “I’m sure I don’t want to know,” he replied.


© David Gwinn, all rights reserved. Used here with the author's permission. To order Airways & Airwaves © or any of Gwinn's books, go to:
Retired TWA Captain David Gwinn with 15,000 hours, 15 pilot certificates and 5 instructor certificates, is internationally recognized as a consummate aviation educator.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Garrison: Greatness Can't Be Grounded

Reflections On Fossett
by Kevin Garrison

Aviation is an endeavor unlike many others. There is still some adventure left in the old gal and sometimes our adventurer's and heroes get lost in the most unlikely circumstances.You almost never hear about world records being set in Podiatry or Accounting, but in Aviation there are still people who will hang it out, ride a rocket, or hang beneath a balloon just to set a record or have an adventure. Steve is one of those people. I am not. I have been content to fly my various heavy turbo-jets around the United States and occasionally Europe during the past thirty years. It has never occurred to me to ride a balloon around the world, fly a rocket, or aviate non-stop and un-refueled around the globe. A nice, three-hour, smooth flight followed by a happy hour in SFO and a nice bed with a late wake-up call was all I asked out of aviation.

Thank goodness there are people like Fossett to keep us couch-potato pilots at least mentally on our toes. I hope they find Steve alive and I hope he has yet another great adventure to tell us about. Personally, I'm hoping that he just had to make an off airport landing because of an oil leak and he has been so busy building a little "Swiss Family Robinson" camp that he hasn't had the time or the desire to send out an ELT signal. The truth though may be of a grimmer nature. He may be dead. Most pilots will agree with me that dying a hero in a crash in the high desert and mountains is a far better way to go than waiting around another few years waiting to see what part of you fails next and what kind of cancer will finally claim you.
If Steve Fossett died, he died with his flying boots on.
-- Kevin Garrison


Kevin Garrison is a retired airline captain who writes for several magazines. He can be reached at: http://www.kevincreates.com
Kevin is a member of the Transportation Speakers Association (TSA). To have Kevin Garrison speak at your next event call: 515-961-0654

Garrison's Left Seat Cheeky Wisdom

How to Kill a 727
(That's not a question...)
by Kevin Garrison

I remember at my airline they weren't allowed to give us multiple abnormals (now called "non-normals" by the geniuses at Boeing). It's too bad, because when I worked at the steep-turn academy I cooked up this really cool two-engine-out scenario for the 727. Okay, I'll tell you about it. I did it in the sim to some students and they just loved it...
You dispatch the 727 with the number three generator inop. Perfectly legal. Then anywhere in the flight -- I usually did it during an instrument missed approach -- I'd fail the number one engine by making it explode

Boom! Blades from the number one engine take out and kill the number two engine. Both are not turning at all -- no residual rpms for my guys. Number one A system hydraulic pump is attached to engine #1. Number two is attached to engine #2. B system hydraulics are totally AC electrical. There is now now AC available on the airplane with number one and two engine dead and number three on MCO. Standby hydraulics? gotta have DC power for that, but not a single one of the TRs are working except essential DC but it isn't connected to anything that will help. There is a way funky technique to fire up the APU, which is never used in flight on the 727 and won't start in the air (it's in the wheel well area -- you tend to get a fire in there if it is running with the wheel well doors shut) but none of my students knew it (you pull the ground shift CB) and there was not enough ticks available on the clock anyway -- time to die!

Anyhoo... The students have no choice and no options. They need the power from number three to keep from hitting the mountains (I didn't mention that I always ran this problem in Reno) and they have no way to control the yaw because both the upper and lower rudder are totally hydraulic and manual reversion on the ailerons wasn't enough because you couldn't get any flight spoilers. I would watch the fun and listen to the curses as our world slowly tumbled and we crashed. I heard later that eventually nobody on the 727 fleet at my airline would accept an aircraft with the number three generator inop. My one achievement in 27 years of airline flying.

In the real world I never had a single abnormal. There was always some other stuff going one. My in-flight fires always happened in bad weather (I only had three) and, of course, when you got smoke, you got passengers bitching about being sick, etc and the company and the flight attendants bugging you on the intercom and radios.
Kevin Garrison is a retired airline captain who now travels the world in First Class writing for several magazines and speaking to any group able to cough up the modest fee and provide a clean hotel room with free minibar. To have Kevin Garrison speak at your next event, call the Transportation Speakers Association (TSA) at 515-961-0654.