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Thread: "It's DejaVu All Over Again" (*)

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    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    "It's DejaVu All Over Again" (*)

    (*) Title credit to that Great Baseball Legend Yogi Berra.


    Prologue

    You know that feeling you get ....the one when you’re standing in your driveway, leaning against the back end of your car, clasped hands resting atop a long handled rake as you take a break from the yardwork and talk about tomorrow’s big game with your neighbor for a couple of minutes. You’re talking about the record setting running back and could he possibly.....

    Tires screeching a couple of houses down at the end of the block interrupts the conversation as you both turn to see that arrogant hot head kid from up the street gun his engine and fish-tail away from the turn.. Just as he passes you his hopped up old GTO belches a good backfire and.....all of a sudden as your neighbor turns and opens his mouth to speak you INSTANTLY feel like you are watching a movie you’ve seen at least once before, or get that weird feeling that this conversation is “vaguely familiar”. And as your neighbor begins to speak you know EXACTLY what words he will utter and he is about to be interrupted (again) by the screech of tires as the cars brakes are locked and the horn blares as some small child chases a ball out in front of the still accelerating car. And it all happens in a FLASH of recognition..Weird, isn’t it?

    It’s called DejaVu or dreaming about the future. And from what I’ve learned about it, MOST of us do it. Some rarely and some more often.

    I had a recurring dream as a child that started as early as about five or six, if I remember right. I had it at irregular intervals every couple of years after that. Same dream. Each and every time. Didn’t vary one IOTA.

    I was in a small plane apparently. Of what type, I had no idea. I don’t even think I had actually been IN a small plane by that age other than in my play time fantasies; my bedroom already being littered with die-cast model airplanes of every vintage, both civilian and military.

    Oh, I had been in PLENTY of cockpits, even in flight. I had taken my first trip on an airliner at the age of three months and had been flying many times a year as a “non-rev” as both parents worked for major carriers and if one airline “didn’t go there”....the other DID. It was the GLORY DAYS of aviation in the 50's when the Captain would put on his coat and tie open the cockpit door and stroll through the cabin as a GOD.

    The attractive women passengers would blush and clench their thighs a little tighter under the appreciative glance of the uniformed man, and yeah, even grown and powerful traveling male executives would often adopt a deferential posture in the presence of these Masters of the Skies....... (Sigh)....OH! For the GOOD Ol’ Days.
    And then, approaching our row, HE would stop and lean up against the aisle seat in front of Mama CloudDancer enjoying the sight of my little face pressed up against the plexiglass inner window as I absorbed the passing of the earth so far below. And on VERY rare occasions came those most coveted of all invitations. “Hey there young fella’ ” I would hear. Whipping my face away I turned to see....the PILOT!! And he was addressing ME! “Would you like to go up and see the cockpit?” NIRVANA!! This...THIS GOD had not only deigned to SPEAK to me, but was offering ME the opportunity to follow him back up the carpeted aisleway for a glimpse of Olympus!

    I’ll refrain here, from quoting any lines about “men’s saunas Timmy”; and I wish you would to, although I must admit after watching Peter Graves on “Mission Impossible” for years, he WAS hysterical in the role. “Get me a Vector Victor”. But I digress.

    I only told you about all THAT, so I can tell you THIS!

    You know how when you are having a dream that ends in..............BLACKNESS (i.e. DEATH)!!

    The bear is chasing you. He is closing in. The sounds of his paws and your feet crashing down on the fallen leaves and twigs in the forest crescendo in your ear as he closes the distance between you. PANICKED, you steal a quick glance over your shoulder to see he has closed the distance to a mere dozen yards or less!! He’ll be on you in MOMENTS as you WILL yourself to run with superhuman speed. He’s right behind you now and you can hear the SNORTING and huffing as a great WEIGHT crashes down on you from behind and........BLACKNESS!!

    Unless you have been mauled by a bear, and lived to remember it, the dream HAS to END.

    Unless you HAVE died and come back (as a few apparently have) you have NO KNOWLEDGE of DEATH. Ergo, you can’t DREAM about IT! You can dream about feeling the pain leading up to it. You’ve EXPERIENCED pain. But you cannot, it is said by those who study these things, DREAM about that which you have no personal experience (of SOME sort) with.

    In MY recurring dream I was in a small single engine private plane of some sort in flight. I was in a spin. And there was this intersection of a two lane blacktop highway or road, and a dirt road. In three of the four quadrants formed by the intersection there were tilled farm fields with row after row of something green. The fourth field was tilled dark rich earth with no growth, only row after empty row of tilled soil.

    The spinning airplane was not directly over the center of the intersection of the roads, so as the spin continued and tightened, I had to follow the intersection of the roads as it swam crazily in a larger and larger circle around the windshield as the noise of the slipstream increased, the flat farm field growing ever larger in the windo.........BLACKNESS!! And I bolt upright in my bed, frantically looking around. I calm myself as I see the six inch long “doorsill” of light from the hallway light extending into the bedroom darkness, and hear Mom and Dad laughing at something on the Jack Parr show through the closed bedroom door. With a BIG sigh of relief I flop backward onto the bed in a prone position again and drift off once more.

    I had gotten my private license primarily in a 1959 straight-tailed, no rear window Cessna 150. It had LOTS of airframe time and VERY faded green paint on dull aluminum. It cost me about $600 total, a very GENEROUS 3 bucks/hr. of which went to my WONDERFUL instructor.

    I decided to move up in the world a little for my commercial. A larger school across the field had new and prettier slant tails with the rear window, and they were only charging a couple of buck an hour more. Although that WAS a 20% increase over the $10/hr. I had been paying, I mean, after ALL. You gotta’ be LOOKIN’ good out there in your RIDE when you’re taxying up to the terminal to pick up your date for a little “Go flying with me and let’s look at the lights from the sky babe” time. I was 17 and drove a rattletrap Ford Falcon to my high school. Image is EVERYthing at THAT point in your life.

    But if I could “snow” the girls parents, which generally involved presenting not ONLY my license but my LOGBOOK as well; and if the evening air was smooth; there was a GOOD chance CloudDancer's ol’ Falcon might get the windows steamed up on a humid Texas night.

    It was a muggy Saturday afternoon in June of 1971, as my old beater came wheezing and rattling into the flight school parking lot, scraping the bottom of it’s decrepit rusted out and useless muffler across the seam in the concrete where the sloping driveway met the ramp. (I REALLY need to get that fixed.) Down(grIND)shifting into first, two or three choice curse words, and pumping on the brake pedal to get what’s left of the brake pad rivets to (SQUEAL) press harder against the wheel rims ( I really need to get THOSE fixed) alMOST brings the car to a complete stop before I gently nudge the courrogated Texas sun-faded yellow aluminum siding on the wall of the office at no more than two or three miles an hour and “rebound” a foot and a half or so before the end of the squealing indicates that the car has been brought to a complete and final stop.

    Noting that two pairs of instructors and students (Hey! One’s a GIRL!) Are preflighting their 150's in the flightline twenty yards or so directly behind the car; hoping against hope, I shift into neutral and reach for the dashboard mounted ignition key and rotate it counter clockwise in the (once again) vain effort to end the clouds of blue smoke emitting from the many holes in the aforementioned non-functional muffler.

    Some number of the four or five WORKING cylinders under the dented hood (I’m not sure how many), as USUAL, can’t seem to compreHEND that I wish for them to QUIT WORKING NOW! Now, I NORmally would allow the ol’ girl a good thirty seconds or so of hiccuping, muffeled internal explosions, belching blue smoke in hopes that at some point during that period ONE of the elements of combustion would come up MISSING ( like maybe the GAS!!) and THEN she would finally give one last powerful fart-like release of compression, the shaking would quickly subside, the smoke would clear and I could safely set the parking brake and walk away dreaming of never again returning to this mechanical bag of ****!!

  2. #2
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Prologue Continued -


    But sensing my complete and utter hatred of it through either my (then) skinny buttcheeks pressing on the towel covered and otherwise partially bared spring coils of the bench seat, which was still loosely attached to the vehicle’s frame; or possibly the repeated tapping of my fist lightly on the broken horn button ( I really need to get that fixed) as I repeatedly and fervently muttered quietly “die you P.O.S.!” the car kept merrily “deiseling” and jerking around like a fresh off the hook catfish flopping around in the bottom of an aluminum bass boat.

    Gleefully aware of the depth of my embarrassment, she throws in a couple of prominent rapid backfires that I note in my review mirror send one timid student diving for cover. Not the cute girl though. Much to my added chagrin SHE has interrupted her preflight to gain ful enjoyment of my obvious discomfiture and is barely controlling her laughter with a polite and slender hand raised to cover her mouth.

    Concerned that the poor girl may lose her composure and fail to retain her dignity, after no more than ten seconds I jam my left foot down on the clutch pedal forcing it to the floor and SLAM the gearshift back into first. Wedging my right foot against the brake and locking my right knee for full effect I now “pop” the clutch intending to put an end to the three ring circus performing under the hood of this beast.

    Unfortunately for me the remains of the brake pad rivets against the wheel rim are no match for all the residual “power” remaining stored in the mechanical merry-go-round of pistons and cylinders as, with one final co-ordinated blended harmony, the car lurches forward into the wall of the building again (this time with SLIGHTly more force) the metallic crunching sound of impact much like a set of cymbals in a marching band accompanying the tuba, trombone, and piccolo sections as they race to a explosive climax!!

    With one last hiccup, the car, now resting a little FURTHER from the wall, gives up the ghost with the customary final drawn out whistling fart issuing from the exhaust manifold accompanied by the traditional final death shiver. (I REALLY gotta get THAT fixed.)

    With what few shreds of dignity I can muster I open (CREAKSQUEALGRIND) the door, emerging slowly with my back to the flightline; this to allow the “witnesses” of this performance to somewhat regain their dignity and return to a close examination of their respective aircraft. After all we can all preTEND I didn’t really see them in the rear-view mirror.

    After adjusting my Ray-Bans I slowly turn to find the GIRL still watching the last cloud of blue exhaust dissipate slowly into the afternoon air. Then with a last look at the scene, still smiling, she starts to turn away as I slam the car door shut....the FIRST time...which doesn’t take DAMMIT!! You see, it’s a little out of alignment (sort of like the WHOLE car) with the frame and so requires a positive UP lift as you slam it shut. Caught staring at this girl’s OWN prominently displayed pair of Ray Bans had somewhat momentarily flustered me and now I again slammed the car door with MUCH frustration motivated upward force.

    The damn thing FINALLY closed on the FOURTH try. The girl was actually holding her sides, they hurt so bad from laughing....(sigh).

    I gave the car a good, well-deserved swift kick in the door and turned to walk away from the beast and into the flight school.

    The owner’s wife greeted me with a cheery “Hiya CloudDancer.....FIGured it was you the FIRST time you hit the wall. What’s with hitting it TWICE??” And I started to explain...oh nevermind. I AM lucky that she and her husband agreed that, as long as I ONLY parked in that ONE spot, and TRIED not to keep hitting the wall, they would have the wall repaired when I completed my commercial rating and just add the cost of the patch job to my flying bill.

    That was ONE good thing about the flightschool on the OTHER end of the airport. At their place there was a gate, which was just some chains hung between two BIG steel pole sunk deep in SOLID concrete, on EACH side of the driveway. Steel bumper....imbedded steel pole....NO problem. Steel poles always survived my arrivals unscathed.

    I went in to brief with my instructor. I was due to practice my accelerated stalls this day.


    Prologue to be continued....gee...this is ALmost a story all by itself. I should find a REAL writer and find out if there are length limits on a “prologue”. Anybody out there know??

    CloudDancer

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    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    More tomorrow CloudDancer Aficiandos - It is hot. It is muggy.

    My low alcohol warning light is flickering.

    I go now.

    CD

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    RCharles's Avatar
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    all over again

    CloudDancer , You must be retired or something or just be bored ! What ever the motive for your writings , please continue ....Good stuff. Got some real good visual images from your words and lots of chuckles.Thanks .....you should write a book ........RC

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    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya RC -

    Jeez. I AM writing a book...I THINK!

    You guys are just getting to read the chapters one by one.

    And I most definately am NOT REtired, just TIRED!! My airline doesn't BELIEVE in retirement any more apparently. It's better to shove it off on the TAXPAYERS via the PBGC so that what money MAY be left laying around from the PILE OF CASH amassed through employee PAY and BENIFIT cuts is available for MANAGEMENT BONUSES for the HORSES PATOOTS who got us INto this %$#@ING MESS in the FIRST PLACE!!

    Ergo - I write here, to try and regain/retain what little sane and pleasant thoughts I can remember from the times before both real and imaginary threats and bogeymen (not to MENtion the flaaping TSA!!) turned what had been an enjoyable career with a promising future into just another job that you have to hope will last for a couple of years.

    There is no longer (unless my Powerball ticket ever pays off) the idyllic plan of flying at the wind's whim, hither and yon, happily through retirement in my own Supercub. So I write. To escape. To remember a time when so much was simpler, even if made so by a lack of brains or experience on my part often.

    So I come here to share with you, the readers, the true stories of my misspent youth. Hoping to provoke those chuckles. A few good belly laughs, and release from our cares and tensions of life, if only temporarily.

    My Supercub.org loyal fans shall not only be the first to know of the forth-coming semi-autobiographical CloudDancer memoirs; but shall (with few SPECIAL exceptions for close friends, family,.....OK.....and girls with really NICE....um......RAY Bans) be entitled to purchase personally autographed copies at....oh......what the hell.....twenty-FIVE per cent off standard retail.

    Those wishing to beat the stampede send in your check or money order NOW!

    That's "Pay to the Order of" CloudDancer....CEE....EL.....OH......YOU!!

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    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Prologue Continued -

    During a thorough briefing from my instructor, we reviewed not only accelerated stall entry and recovery procedures, but also table flew numerous pylon eights as he had been somewhat disappointed in the previous day’s “phase check” performance of that maneuver and he wished me to practice a good half dozen of those as well.

    I thought they were pretty good myself and he seemed to be demanding perfection. He WAS. And it wouldn’t be too many years in the future before I would be very grateful that he wasn’t just a “get ‘em to minimum passing standards guy”. He was a professional life-long instructor who taught the ART of flying. If the student was only interested in “learning how to fly, maybe” THIS was NOT your instructor. He’d dump YOU in a heartbeat. He hadn’t had a student fail an F.A.A. administered private, commercial, or instrument flight check in over ten years.

    Scurrying out of the briefing room, with my instructor’s verbal critique still smarting in my ears I went into the lobby and behind the counter to grab the black faux-leather attache case containing my a/c’s logbooks , local charts, and the a/c key. But MY FAVORITE machine had already been taken!! “Oh well, I remember thinking...a 150 is a 150 ...is a 150.”



    ***********************deleted*************

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    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Prologue - Final part


    Crawl up two hundred feet to an even 4500 MSL....two clearing turns....BOY.....SOMEthing about THIS PLANE definitely feels.....WEIRD....but for the LIFE of me I CAN’t figure it OUT!!

    I quickly roll left into a forty-five degree bank while simultaneously pulling the black plastic yoke toward my gut and feed in what seems to be a bit more left rudder than I NORmally use to center the ball. Keep pulling....pulling....the altimeter is crawling up through 4600 feet now...
    Jeez.....MORE??! left rudder??.......pulling...bank angle steady....steady....the tail’s starting to rattle......here comes the horn......man I NEVER used THIS mu........as I feel the left rudder pedal hit the....BREAK!!!....STOP!! WHAMMO!!

    ************************deleted******************* *

    I never had “the dream” again after that day. Well....I never had THAT dream again. But there were occasionally OTHER dreams that became “self-fulfilling prophecies” or...DejaVU...if you will. Some were about airplanes other were not.

    This is the story of one (obviously) that IS about flying. Enjoy!!

  8. #8
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter One - How to Get a Pilot Job


    The tinny clanging sound of the “Big Ben” wind up alarm clock on the night stand between the two beds launches me upright from under the single faded and worn sheet covering my frame like a jack in the box. The last clear vision I can remember is of a 207 windshield full of tall trees ahead and only a few hundred feet below me and getting closer. I am panting like I just finished the 100 yard dash in high school. :P

    As I look to my left across the narrow pathway between my bed and Bounce’s bed, where the sheets and pillows were jumbled this way and that indicating his earlier departure I suppose.

    Now before you get any WEIRD IDEAS out there about me and Bounce...we’re just roommates. WE’RE not too enamored of the shared bedroom concept EITHER...but....it’s early summer of 1977 and rental housing in Kotzebue is NOT, believe ME, a RENTERS market. The first of what will be at least three new apartment “complexes” (actually, like the others, a single building with multiple apartments on multiple floors accessed from a single door on either end of the building) which will be called “the Forty-One Unit” for the number of apartments within, has yet to break ground.

    After a stint working first for Dan Gunderson, followed by a couple of years working for the Gunderson’s arch rival next door Leroy, I have now returned to the loving embrace of the Gunderson family fold again; this time working for a new company now owned by Rod Gunderson. Unfortunately, to pretty much no one’s surprise (other than mine and my creditors, of course) Dan had lost his company through fiscal mis-“management”.

    Dan told me we were done and there was no money to pay me. CRAP! I checked my pockets and came up with a little over a hundred bucks. Fortunately Dan said I could stay in my apartment (his building) for a couple of weeks ‘til I found work. DAMN! $100 wouldn’t even get me to Anchorage for crying out loud, and with only six months experience under my belt at the time....I didn’t know if I was “hire”able in the “big time” Anchorage market yet.

    But I DID have enough for a good steak dinner and some cocktails at the Drift Inn. I’ll worry about tomorrow....toMORrow!!

    I heard first the scream of the JT8D-15's, and then saw the Weinie-bird taxying out of the February mid-afternoon darkness to the terminal as I entered the Drift Inn directly across from the terminal. Little did I know. Providence had arrived, as well.

    By the time I finished my apple pie and coffee and strolled the twenty odd feet next door to the small third floor bar; Leroy, arch nemesis and fierce competitor of the Gunderson multi-decade flying family dynasty, was already on his third screwdriver, well his third screwdriver at the hotel bar. With a somewhat surprised look upon sighting me, and unable to remember my name he hollered ‘Hey KID!! Ja’ still here AND ALIVE , eh? Wa’al I’ll be DAMNED! C’mon over an’ lemme’ buy you a DRINK!!”

    Sidebar - Leroy would many years later confess to me that he and the REST of the half dozen professional pilots living in Kotzebue actually had a $100 per person BET on how long I’d LAST after my arrival, the only other previous outside hire having left hastily after just the first few days. (See- “If You EVER Do That AGAIN...”) I asked who won? And he said “Nobody Kid. The LONGest bet was five months and you outLASTED us ALL!!” To which I responded”....so
    I should get the MONEY....Right??!!” Don’t think I’d EVER seen Leroy laugh THAT hard before or since.

    Turns out Leroy had actually started on the screwdrivers about twelve hours earlier in his condo in Waikiki, where he and his bride of twenty something years, a former vivacious Alaska Airlines stewardess by the name of Velma spend between three and five months every year.
    Leaving right before Thanksgiving annually, Leroy and Velma would return to Kotzebue together (or not sometimes) between February 1st and Easter largely depending on how well Leroy’s gambling luck had held up over the ensuing weeks in Hawaii.

    Apparently the bones at the neighborhood bar dice game had been relatively unkind this year as here it was only the second week of February, cold, snowing and a bitter wind blowing outside and Leroy was BACK. Cash was running low.

    After our second drink together I apologized to Leroy and allowed as how I would be unable to reciprocate his kindness this evening and much to Leroy’s intense gloating pleasure brought him “up to the minute” on the now non-existant Gunderson operation. Which of course led him to inquire as to MY plans. I told him the truth that I REALLY had no IDEA?? Would HE consider giving me a job? “So. Leroy. How ‘bout I come drive for you.”

    Leroy consults his watch and notes that it is now 9 PM and he’s been drinking vodka for twelve straight hours. He further notes he STILL has his aloha shirt and shorts on.. It’s cold as hell outside. He hasn’t seen his AIRplanes in twelve weeks (they’re BURIED practically up to the windows) and he has a 10 Gah-DAYUM A.M. dePARture with the RCA guy in the morning to take him to Shungnak!! AND...his WIFE is mad and is staying in HAWAII for another WEEK!!

    I offer that it must be truly tough to have to deal with these burdens and fall hopefully silent as he turns sideways on his stool, cocks his head to the side, squints at me and say ‘So didja’ get some time in the 207 over there at Dan’s? How MUCH....an’ DON’ LIE to me BOY ‘cause I’ll be able to TELL!!”

    I truthfully respond that I have (PROUDLY) logged over a HUNDRED and FIFTY hours in the “heavy” machine. Leroy stares at my face impassively and sits there silent as a stone looking at me. Must be a minute goes by. I WILL him to respond. Almost immediately my wish is granted as his broad bloated belly visibly spasms beneath his Aloha shirt seemingly bringing the hula girls imprinted thereupon to life, and cuts loose with a vodka fume laden belch that, if ignited, might well have provided heat for a small house.

    As I crawl back up on my bar stool he turns to face the bar and I hear him muttering...”I jes’ KNOW I’m gonna’ regret this....Okay kid” he sez as he again turns toward me and I discreetly slide my stool back a couple of inches. He fishes in his pocket and comes up with a key ring with a couple of dozen keys on it and slides it across the counter to me.

    ‘The office key ‘n the GAS key n’ the AIRplane keys are all on there SOMEwhere. CALL me from the office when you are READY to fly and that better be by 9:30A.M. CALL me on the radio on point EIGHT when you get airborne and CALL me as SOON as you are in radio range coming BACK.

    Do not....I repeat do NOT scare this customer. Tell him I want him to call me when you get back too.

    If you don’t foul it up, I will pay you CASH for tomorrow and you can move your stuff into one of the guest rooms downstairs tomorrow when we’re DONE! I am NOT in the mood to deal with THIS crap in the morning so HERE’S your CHANCE to show me boy.”

    So. Leroy got out of a lot of unpleasant early morning work.....and simultaneously gave a tweek of the nose to the Gundersons........while also assuring that the young CloudDancer’s arctic aviation education would carry on.

    Unfortunately, by the time Velma, Leroy’s wife, and I could no longer continue to get along a couple of years had gone by. After one last good blow up with Velma, I walked across the gravel lot to the building I USED to work in for DAN Gunderson, now owned and operated by his brother Rod under a new name with a few of the old fleet and a few different.

    Now, Rod’s business HAD been growing....well so had EVERYbody’s. And I don’t know if he really NEEDED me that day or NOT. But with my now almost THREE years of Arctic experience AND a chance to stick it to ol’ Leroy and leave him SHORT at the same time , it was too much for Rod to resist. In three minutes we had agreed upon an hourly rate and which airplanes I would fly and shook hands. Only the Gunderson apartment building was long gone and sold to a corporation which had renovated it and turned it into office space. It was now the end of the era when “room and board provided” was a STANDARD part of ANY flying deal in the bush. But at least they bumped the hourly pay rates to reflect it.

    Six months later Bounce came knocking at my apartment door at the Drift Inn apartments. Yes, the SAME Drift Inn. The hotel had remodeled after the Nu-Luk-Vik hotel, restaurant and Bar opened. Joining every two adjacent rooms with a connecting interior doorway made them into one bedroom furnished (key to ME as I owned NOTHING) apartments.

    This resulted in a couple of unusual features, such as a two room two BATHroom apartment. Kinda’ nice I guess. And the ability to enter and exit the “bedroom” via a hallway door as opposed to going through the “front” (living) room; an added feature which proved it’s worth to be priceless MANY times. (CloudDancer FIRMLY believes ALL living abodes should have...er...esCAPE routes!!)

    Seems Bounce’s downstairs frolicking with local young lovelies was getting on Velma’s nerves as Bounce’s room was DIRECTLY below Velma’s so she just threw HIM out, but at least gave him a $5/hr. raise to cover it. Hence, Bounce and I were now.....ROOMMATES!

  9. #9
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Well folks - Once again it time for me to saddle up and ride.....


    talk about DejaVu all OVER again!!

    But at least this time I will spend most of my time west of the Rockies.

    Monday morning the 10th AND the 17th come to think of it will be spent having breakfast at Gwennies followed by walking it OFF (hopefully) wandering around Lake Hood looking to see who has new floats.

    So if you got your airsheen parked around the Lake...stick a "Hey CloudDancer" sign in the window. I'll leave you a note!!

    DejaVu All OVER Again will continue with Chapter two most likely on the 12th, but MAYbe on the 11th. Just depends on how much sleep i get.

    Bye Friends!!

    Cee you next Week!!

    CD

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    Chapter Two - Save Water. Shower With a Friend

    I emerge from the one room BED room portion somewhat bleary-eyed; staggering into the BRIGHT early morning daylight streaming through the two large picture windows that absolutely DOMinate the entire east wall of the one room combination living-dining room with a small kitchen built into the corner.

    As I stumble into the room I am simultaneously trying to scratch a very itchy spot around my navel with one had while at the same time endevouring to extract my BVDs which creeped into the full wedgie position. While not requiring as MUCH dexterity and co-ordination as say, patting your head up and down with one hand while at the same time rubbing circles on your belly with the other hand; as hung-over as I was, it was close. As if the throbbing pain behind my eyeballs didn’t present enough of a handicap to the process; all the nicely meshed internal gears, conveyor belts, lifts, pulleys and dis-assembly lines behind my itchy naval; which had been moving along smoothly albeit slowly, making mulch of last night’s three cheese ‘n steak hogie sandwiches and five or six (lunch pail sized) bags of Frito-lay spicy barbebue chips; now apparently decide to hydro-lock to an instantaneous an jarring stop!!

    The brilliantly sunlit illuminated sight of a pair of sexy long bobby sox clad brown legs rising from the floor to a cute pink panty encased heart shaped posterior coming into view,

    *****************deleted******************

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    Chapter Three - The Best Laid Plans....

    One thing about the “on demand’ charter business that is consistent is...well....NOTHING really. Every day is a little or a lot different than the day before, even though 98 % of your flight time is racked up going to the same villages in “your” region.

    For the boys (and girls these days) flying out of Barrow that’s not much more than half a dozen “garden spots” from Kaktovik to Point Hope. The villages are FAR flung north of the Brooks Range. But the Bethel pilots have DOZENS somewhere around forty to FIFTY villages in their stomping grounds.

    As for us OTZ flyers it was always the same dozen villages bounded by Pt. Hope to the northwest, Kobuk on the eastern end, and Buckland and Deering to the south. Oh, occasionally we’d get a trip to Shish, but it wasn’t too often.

    So I had been looking forward for the last couple of days to fly a ‘long haul” down to Galena and see the Yukon for a change.

    With nary a second to spare given the extra distractions of getting to work this morning, I was lucky I ran into the office to get some sick sacks before departing or I might have missed the note that changed my schedule. And had I not DONE so would’ve most likely arrived at Galena in my sled to find Rod landing about the same time in our one remaining SkyHawk. That would’ve been VERY bad.

    Seems a fresh trip had come up this morning necessitating a six passenger plane, and there was only one guy and some tools to be picked up in Galena. Rod, knowing how much I would rather fly the bigger machine, not to mention enjoying getting out of the Kobuk Valley himself had left over a half an hour earlier for Galena to make an on time pick-up down there.

    His note further informed me that I was now to be in Amber by noon to take two or three loads of people from Ambler to Selawik for a funeral. Hmmmf. Oh well. At least I still get to fly the big machine.

    The full tanks that would have been an asset and carried me round-trip to Galena with a healthy reserve, (avgas is a good thirty or forty cents more expensive in Galena) have now become somewhat of a handicap for the new venture. Had I not already full tanked the previous evening I would have left with only half tanks and refueled each time I landed in Selawik from our stash there. There is NO doubt the first takeoff from Ambler fully loaded will be interesting to say the least. Hell, I’m climbing out of Kotzebue which is probably a GOOD twenty degrees cooler than Amber will be; I’m EMPTY except for full tanks and I’m BARELY getting 700 FPM on the rate of climb.

    Oh well. At least the second and third loads will get less...er...WORRIesome to lift I think ahead.

  12. #12
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter Four - Great Balls Afire!!

    I coast with a motionless propellor to a complete stop amongst the laughing crowd of all ages and note that a couple of my favorite Ambler girls are among them. (I tell ya’. There has GOT to be something in that Upper Kobuk water man. Back in the 70's at least Ambler and Shungnak had some of the FINEST looking women....) I begin trying to plot how I could POSSIBLY stay in Ambler overnight already. But for now....

    I open the door to disorganized chorus of “Hiya CloudDancer”(s) and smiling faces and outstretched hands wanting to shake mine. Then it starts. EVERYBODY wants to go. Now. First. It’s pandemonium, but no acrimony. Very friendly.

    I say....”You guys figure it out. I will go get my seats set up.” as I had taken down all but the front two in anticipation of the Galena trip. I walk around the front of the airplane reaching out with my right hand as I pass it to flip open the forward baggage compartment while simultaneously ducking to avoid the right strut. I am trailed by three dirty faced little urchins bare footed, one topless and all dressed in dirty jeans. All three scream repeatedly ‘Hipilot hipilot hipilot” being unable to remember my name I guess. As I reach for the door handle I note looking aft at the horizontal stab a shapely pair of legs and look up into the face of one of the girls I had seen earlier.

    As I clamber into the plane and start sliding seats and locking pins into the rails she leans against the open double doorway and talks over the noise of the screaming kids, asking if I am going to make more than one trip to Selawik. I reply that I plan to keep going back and forth as many times as need be, which it appears is going to be quite a few times more than I thought.

    She replied that she would probably be going over herself...eventually....maybe today....maybe tomorrow....dePENDing. After all, the deceased WAS her uncle. Oh. No surprise I guess. I mean I knew they had the same last name and all. It was then that Kara told me that the deceased man was actually FROM Ambler but had married a Selawik girl and had moved there to be close to HER family. Now all of a sudden, I understood the large gathering right offa’ the bat. I resolved to find Rod or Dan or SOMEbody from our company on the radio as SOON as I got airborne. I was going to need some help over here today, and I asked Kara to spread the word that I would get another plane over here soon to help out (this to try and preclude anyone from using the town’s one radiophone or HF clinic radio to call for another airplane.)

    Kara promised to do so and asked me if I wanted her to cook me a “late lunch” for when I returned for the second load. I tried to pull off the ‘Aw, shucks..ma’am...ya’ don’t really HAFta’ do THAT....” schtick...quite unconvincingly...apparently.... for she just laughed and said “Come over to school (where she worked as a teachers aide) and pick it up when you get back ‘cause I won’t get off ‘til three. I’ll make you a couple of good hot moosesteak and cheese sandwiches ” she sang out as she turned to walk away. “See you!!”

    “Okay. See You!!” I hollered back and watched as she stopped, then dropped to one knee to tie the shoelace of her left sneaker. This position only exaggerated her glorious curves and as she arose looking back quickly she laughed having caught me all but VISIBLY drooling over her. :P Mustering the most innocent and angelic look possible I said “WHAT??!!”

    Smiling, she turned and walked away as I clambered out of the plane to install the last rear seat.

    Just then, some of the more elderly women (which to me at THAT time was anything past oh, say...forty-five) came around the front of the plane calling my name while dragging behind them their assorted....STUFF!!

    Apparently it had been decided to send the women and the food first so they could begin preparing the multitude of food it would take to feed the assembled throngs in Selawik tonight.

  13. #13
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Well Ol' CloudDancer is jest about plumb tuckered out dear readers.

    I though I was a'gonna' get to the CLImax of this Chronicle today (Trust me. It's not TOO far away).

    But mah eyeballs are achin', 'n all FOUR of mah typin' fingers iz wore to tha' BONE.

    Irregardless...I....your hero and gramatically challenged part-time story teller doth vow to return tomorrow to take you at least to the few "moments of stark terror" that MUST lie ahead to interrupt the hours and hour or repeateadly mundane flying...not to mention the NEVER ending exhausting sexual demands placed on our erstwhile hero practically every time he alights on the earth.....(not to mention a few times in FLIGHT, as well....but THOSE stories are for some OTHER webboard!!)


    So...until tomorrow then I bid thee good night and pleasant dreams.

    CloudDancer

  14. #14
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    Chapter Four - Cont'd

    Acceleration is “normally slow” as we work against the pull of gravity trying to gain speed going uphill and initially I am little concerned. As I have done hundreds of times before when blasting out of Ambler with a big load I give the tach frequent glances to verify that we are getting max revolutions out of our three-blades forward. Unconsciously or otherwise all of us find ourselves pushing the black round throttle knob inward one or twice more (at LEAST) with the heel of our right palm to absoLUTEly make sure that it is ALL the way in and has not a bit more to give.


    Sidebar - Used to be, when you did this, you would feel the knob go inward “just a smidge” and then as soon as you eased the pressure you would feel it come back out that same “smidge”. Never did any good....never got another 10 RPM outta’ anything, but it gave you the satisfaction of knowing you had gotten every bit of full throttle there is to be had. We’ll take more about that “smidge” a little later, but for now, let’s return to our takeoff already in progress.

    I crest the top (mid-point) of the runway with the same sixty-five miles an hour on the ASI that I landed with and now have a great view of what’s ahead . Not a whole lotta’ runway, another 800 to 950 feet followed instantly by a vast expanse of fir tree tops. The one real positive is although the tress don’t fall away as rapidly as on the other end, they don’t get any higher for the first mile and a half or so.

    I’m hoping for a good solid 100 MPH or BETTER (would be nice) by the time I have to horse this overloaded pig into the air, and as we start the downhill portion of the roll it soon becomes apparent that I might get NEAR a hundred, but I doubt any better.

    I had selected the first ten degrees of flaps as we crested the hill and now, halfway down the downhill side, point of no return LONG since passed, I give one final VERY hard twist to the throttle friction lock and move my right hand to the grey plastic airfoil shaped flap knob and rest it just touching the top side. Airspeed is past eighty-five now, maybe up to eighty-seven or so with about a football field’s worth of runway left. That distance is HALVED in a matter of three or four more seconds and with a last glance at the ASI showing a hair short of ninety-five I mash the flap lever downward to start the Fowler flaps aftward and down their tracks to their “Full” (30 degree) position.

    Somewhere in the last seventy five feet of runway, I start pulling FIRMLY aft on the SkyWagon’s heavy control yoke. No point in doing it any other way. This stuffed bird is either gonna FLY or it AIN’T and I placed my bet already.

    ************************

    Another check of all the gauges quickly shows all still in order as my practiced right hand opens the box, plucks out an individual match and then slides it closed again. Un-needed for striking the box then is returned to the right vest pocket, one match lighter, which I now raise up in front of my face.

    Focusing on the white phosphorous tip surrounded by the red, I have ALWAYS been fascinated at the INSTANT of ignition as the hardened chemical coating of the wooden stick burns brightly HOT for an instant before subsiding into a mere regular orange flame.

    So I was comPLETEly focused on the match head as I scraped a jagged portion of my right thumb nail acrost the white portion inciting the chemical reaction. The first little recognizable change was almost a miniature TNT explosion which SPREAD SO FAST THA.....HUH!!!

    Now normally I could never HEAR the match ignite so clearly as I now am. This apparently because the engine has QUIT!!

    No, I DON’T mean it is running ROUGH! It....has.....QUIT!! I mean the SILENCE is DEAFENING!!

    I glace in abject HORROR to the airspeed indicator and had the briefest thought that it MUST have broken and the needle is just going back to zero.....I mean there’s NO way airspeed can disappear THAT quick is there?

    *************deleted****************

  15. #15
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Well - There ya' have it. Three minutes or less of stark terror branded into your memory banks indelibly, eternally.

    Took me fifty times three minutes to WRITE about the three minutes.....much less the rest of the story.

    And - I STILL haven't gotten to the end. CloudDancer still has to get his stranded crew "off the island"" (shades of Gilligan) LOL

    It's gonna' take one more Chapter to do that, and then I believe there shall be an interesting epilogue to kinda' tie things up all nice and neat.

    BUT - Yer' jes' gonna' have ta' come BACK - NEXT WEEK!! I have got to start washing and packing and attending to the mundane chores of regular life, so that I may mount my turbofan airsheen and go move some more low fare fun seekers about America.

    And o' course. I DO have to go up to the Big Village on the Cook Inlet and survey the Lake Hood float operations on Monday before returning to America sometime on Tuesday.

    Ergo. I'd look for the conclusion of this little dream-story on about Thursday the 20th.

    Hope you good folks have a WONDERFUL weekend and get to spend some quality time with some quality people.

    Bye now!!

    CloudDancer

  16. #16
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Oh-kay. I PROmised ......OOH-KAY....I'm WRITING ........OOOHH-KAAAAY!!

    Come BACK in TWO HOURS!!.......(SHEEEEESh!!)



  17. #17
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    But....there always a FEW numbskulls in the bunch. Teachers AND PREACHERS.....which makes you wonder about the old Bible story about the money changers on the steps of the temple.

    Seems SOME of these folks didn’t underSTAND the concept of “sharing expenses” under F.A.R. Part 91......particularly one MOE-ron school teacher I remember from Selawik!!

    This idiot....who did NOT possess an instrument rating bought hisself a brand spankin’ new Grumman American four place somethin’ or other in which to fly him and his equally prissy wife back and forth to Kotzebue.

    Quickly discovering that it cost real MONEY to operate an airplane (if you call that an AIRplane) in the bush he became frantic to ease the financial pain.

    He quickly hit upon a plan to fly high school students back and forth to Buckland, which shared high school with Selawik. A dozen or so Buckland high-schoolers “commuted” to Selawik for school flying home on Friday afternoons and OVER on Monday mornings.

    For months we had been shuttling them using the Kotzebue “on-demand” air taxi operators at regular charter rates, which the families had to pay for.

    Well THIS yo-yo decides that he will offer to take them back and forth for 75% of what the families HAD been paying. “Just doing a little Part 91 flying and SHARING EXPENSES dontcha’ know?” he would say when confronted by one of us. So aside from stealing our customers and MONEY he was MORE than covering his full ownership costs and making a tidy profit too!

    Repeated attempts to “persuade” this HOSER that he should look for some OTHER form of supplemental income were RUDEly rebuffed. The F.A.A. over in Fairbanks didn’t want to get involved “too hard to prove” they said.

    Meanwhile a couple of the kids, who don’t forget, had been flying with real PROFESSIONAL pilots in small aircraft for years were telling us this BOZO was all too frequently scaring the beJEEzuz out of them to boot! It was obvious from the kid’s reports and what we saw of him flying into and out of Kotzebue that this ZERO was going to get caught HARD on the gauges one day and SOMEbody(s) were gonna’ die. We’d ALL seen it before.

    SOMEbody had to get the message across to this guy!! It didn’t take long.

    As I hear tell of it....I mean I wasn’t THERE ya’ know ....ol’ numbnuts throws three kids in the airplane on a Friday after school all set to take ‘em to Buckland. Snapping on the master switch he is immediately perplexed to note that BOTH fuel gauges register zero. Well!! Something must be wrong with a fuse somewhere but I know there’s gas in the plane he told the boys and he fires up the engine which promptly dies. About the time the battery gives it’s last, birdbrain birdman decides to dig out his flashlight and check the gas tanks visually only to be unable to SEE any motion lotion sloshing around in the tanks...but ....wait.......what are those dark STAINS.....?

    I hear the “profits” from his short lived Catch-Me-If-You-Can air-taxi venture fell a WEEEEEEE bit short of covering the cost of installing two new fuel tanks and repairs to the undersides of the wings to repair the forty-something screw driver or ice pick holes he found.

    That pretty well put the ki-bosh on that and other “cost-sharing Part 91 flying for a long, LONG time to come.

    But I digress..’cause that has Nothing to do with Dameon....He did it fair ‘n square from the start so nobody had any heartburn with him.

  18. #18

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    answer

    USE MORE FLAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wish you were coming to Johnson Creek Cloudy, You could finish this up around a campfire.

    Dave

  19. #19
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    DAVE -

    CLEARLY you've been paying attention in class my boy.

    I would GLADY give up this weeks pay to finish this story sitting around a campfire at Johnson's Creek.... :P or most any campfire around ANY creek for that matter.

    Unfortunately howsumever, after MULTIPLE consecutive weeks of sitting across the table from some of the most FIENDISH and INCONSIDERATE Blackjack dealers I have ever MET..... I find myself in a mild cash-flow crisis.

    Mild HELL! Who am I kidding!! This is a crisis of imMENSE proportions. I may have to raise the initial price of "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles just to avoid having to sell a pint of blood every three days or SWITCH to drinking (shudder) "well" rum.

    Ergo....THANX for the generous thought....but....I'd best go strap on my IAE turbojets instead. I KNOW that's what Visa and MasterCard would WANT me to do!!

    Cloud(if the game was twenty-TWO I'D get twenty-THREE!) Dancer

  20. #20
    Crash's Avatar
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    delete

  21. #21
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    O.K. - Very FUNNY!! VEEEEERY FUNNY!!

    JUST because I TEASEingly :P alluded to you guys and gals being of DUBIOUS CHARACTER........ well....I am amazed at how you CAN'T take a JOKE!!

    Either that or your prayers to the lottery gods were either INSINCERE
    or deemed to be unWORTHy.

    I finally get home at 3 A.M. this morning after two nights of back-side-of-the-clock flying and race to the computer to check my lottery tickets anticipating calling in "well" for the rest of my life!!

    ONLY to find that I got ONLY a lousy FOUR outta' six numbers.....on the
    STATE lottery for cryin' out loud!!

    Powerball people...I said the POWERBALL!! I get a lousy 40 bucks.

    just IMAGINE what will happen to the quality of my WRITING skills not to mention the ADDITIONAL time needed to reCOVER to the point of being able to coherently string together words....if I am reduced to drinking WELL rum!!

    And WHAT's WITh "Crash"....(see previous post this thread)

    A one word post that says "delete". Does that mean Crash started to say something and then thought better of it or changed his/her mind. Does Crash wish to "delete" CloudDancer?? Is it personal??

    All readers please be advised. I have not ever....do NOT and WILL NOT ever delete...remove...or edit anything you post on this forum (within Steve's good standards, OF COURSE) unLESS you make any unkind references to Mama CloudDancer.

    I just wanted to make THAT clear for those readers of "Crash's" one-word ("delete") post.

    I have a pretty thick skin ....you should hear what my first officer's call me.

    Anyway. People. Let's try to get this prayer to the Lottery god's thing right, will ya'.

    Powerball rolled over again. 51 Mil. on Wednesday night. So let's give it another try hey?

    Tell you WHAT. if I win....along with the alREADY generous 25% discount I have promised you, my faithful readers, on my first book of "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles", I will throw in for FREE, yes...ABSOLUTEly FREE an autographed 8 x 10 black & white glossy of your favorite scribe in FULL CloudDancer Superhero garb (*).

    I shall return....SOMEtime later today (08/21) to finally get to the end of "DejaVu". I MUST conclude today...as tamale morning I go to the dentist which will involve MUCH in the way of PAINkillers. PLUS I'm sure the DENTIST is gonna' want to give me some sort of drugs as well.

    Your Somewhat Fiesty Wordsmith -

    CloudDancer




    (*)Brand spankin' new brown paper sack on head...

  22. #22
    Crash's Avatar
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    Sorry Clouddancer. I was making a couple of additional suggestions one might do in a similar situation but thought better of it later ...so "delete".

    It's your story, tell it.

    Take care!
    Crash

  23. #23
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    Hjya Crash -

    CERtainly no need to apologize for offering suggestions, assuming of course that they are not anatomically impossible!! LOL

    I'm just relieved to know you wuzn't MAD at me or somethin'!!.

    As you will see shortly ( I am currently pounding out the "Grand Finale" on the keyboard) there might well have been better options.

    Once I came to a point in my career where I had learned of and experienced both good and BAD "cockpit resource management" as a first officer serving a variety of Captains for ten years I vowed to make best use of My resources someday when I became a Captain.

    Hence, ever since the day when I first uttered the words "brakes released, cleared to push" to the tug driver over the intercom, my first preflight briefing of the pairing to the F/O ALWAYS concludes with....

    "...and since you and I BOTH get to the 'Point of IMPACT' at preCISEly the same moment.....I would appreciate very much if you disPENSE with subtleties, respect for elders or deferring to 'Captain's Authority' as the case may be if necessary to get my attention.

    My ego is made of cast iron and nothing you can say will damage it....therefore it is MUCH easier for us both if I don't have to GUESS what you are thinking....." or something like that anyway.

    Guess what I'm saying Crash is, I know somewhere around ten to twelve thousand hours (a long time ago) I discovered, for the (about) third and FINAL time in my flying career that one (IF one is SMART) realizes that there will ALWAYS be SOMEbody out there who is a better pilot, or is SMARTER, or has a better way of doing something and it might WELL be the guy or gal sitting to my right....irregardless of their total time or how they accumulated it.

    So ALL CloudDancer reader's should feel free to critique my stories. If you want to wave th BULLS**T flag ...so be it.

    The stories, as I've oft stated are completely true and occured either to me (as did "DejaVu") or to Bounce or one of my closest friends. Only the names of Characters (most still living, some not) are fictionalized....and sometimes the names of VILLAGES if I REALLY want to protect SOMEone's identity in the story.

    I STILL, with no more than twelve to 1500 hours under my belt in a 185, have NO doubt that there are many more good 185 techniques I've yet to learn; and given the unstable state of my "big time airline job" may well need to 'brush up" on my 185 stuff any week now.

    Ergo, I concede. As much as it PAINS me to admit, that for ALL my skills at the controls, for all my "creativity" at the keyboard, CloudDancer has just flat been shot in the ASS with GOOD LUCK more times than you can imagine as opposed to being "God's Gift to Aviation and Pilot's Everywhere".

    However....when it comes to WOMEN though.....now this is NO S***!!

    Besides...I can't hear if you're LAUGHUNG or NOT....so some feedback from the readers is at least a DECENT sized part of what I DO this for!!

    Thanks for the follow-up from God's Country Crash. Chugiak is one of the very few placesIi never plopped down on even once, but I KNOW it is beautiful and I hope you're enjoying what's left of summer before the 'termination dust" arrives.

    Now....I'd better get back to finishing DejaVu (about another hour's worth) before I TOTALLY lose my friends..........

    C-YA CD

  24. #24
    T.J.'s Avatar
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    delete

  25. #25
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    My thoughts turn to Kara. Friday night. I make two important mental notes. One to ask Rod if I can have at least MOST of Saturday if not ALL Satuday off. Maybe at LEAST ‘til 2 P.M.? And TWO and MOST important of ALL I MUST advise Bounce that if he has the opportunity to SLEEP SOMEWHERE ELSE Friday night...I would sure appreciate it. Hey. We have to make occasional sacrifices for each other from time to time. We have EACH spent nights sleeping in the combination Quonset Hut / Office at the airport. Advance “private Bedroom” arrangements ARE permissable, and in the occasional cases where we both just happen to get ‘lucky” on the same night; a ‘Do Not Disturb” sign (filched from the Anchorage Hilton) is hung on the doorknob to the bedroom by the first to arrive home and claim it.

    Therefore, the gamesite selection for the second team wishing to play “Hide the Salami” is most often governed by the female’s internal struggle between SOME desire for discretion and what degree of urgency there may be to ‘meet the need’ so to speak.

    Amazingly and much to MY surprise, MANY of the “came in second” girls opt to go no farther than the fold out couch in the living or front room of our two room “Den of Iniquities”. Of course, what often seems no big deal at four A.M. in the ‘heat of the night’ so to speak has OFTEN resulted in anything from mild discomfort to all out knock down drag out cat fights depending on whether or not the girls may be related....fighting over some PREVIOUS boyfriend....one of us....someone else.......sisters (and you’ve alREADY ‘been with” the other sister.....).....oh yes...it can be a mess.

    But generally since the ONLY other option is to go to the “Quonset Hut / Office” and give vent to your passions on a folding double wide cot with some sponge foam pad covering and dirty blankets among the smell of cases of motor oil and windshield polish....well the fold out sofa usually wins out.

    Nonetheless...Kara seems very special at this point....possibly even good LONG short-term potential and I wish to make Friday night a bit memorable and romantic. I’m sure Bounce will ‘take one for the team” if I ask him nice...given the circumstances.

    I am slipping every closer to true slumber...drifting....dreaming....holding Kara in my arms......

    Goodnite all.....CloudDancer......your humbly grateful for your time...scribe.

  26. #26
    BES's Avatar
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    You know, Cloud Dancer, you're every bit as good at setting the scene as our Hans Christian Andersen was... you make it all come alive.
    Only, your fairy tales are true. Thank you so much for sharing these stories with us.

    Spellbound, and waiting for more......

    Bent,
    Denmark

  27. #27
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    Bent - Hiya My New Friend

    I don't know WHERE Esbjerg is.....BUT.....after those OVERWHELMINGly kind words I intend to look it up.

    I have had the priveledge of visiting your wonderful country even though my visit WAS limited to Copenhagen. Very VERY Beautiful.

    Funny, but with the exception maybe of Alpin areas of Europe....the thought of SuperCubs soaring over some of the OLDEST civilizations on the face of the earth had, 'til now, eluded me.

    THANK YOU so MUCH for your kind words and I am genuinely elated to know that the CloudDancers Chronicles are even SLIGHTY known outside the U.S. Aviation community.

    Happy Flying Bent!!

    CloudDancer

  28. #28
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    T.J...You ol' STICK IN THE MUD!!

    (who SAYS I can't take constructive criticism...Huh?....WHO DAMMIT!!)

    T.J....T.J...T.J.....


    In my advanced years the only things I get to TAKE any liberties with are the English language (when writing) and women who can grow a better moustache than I can.

    Gimme a BREAK will ya'. I mean SHEEESH!! How do you think my future editor is gonna' hafta' earn his or her pay.

    At least we have our level of schoolwork proficiency in common.
    (Picture Jethro Bodine, of the Beverly Hills Clampett's doing his "gaZINta's"...you know three gazinta SIX...um TWICET....and a FIVE gazinta FORTY....um...lemme' see....uh....I'll get BACk to ya' on THAT one!!)

    Thanks for the note T.J.

    I'll TRY to behave better grammatically......I PROmise.....NOT!!

    CD

  29. #29
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    [quote="T.J."]{OK, CD, you asked for a critique, you got it.
    Irregardless is not a word. Regardless works just fine. }

    Breasticle is not a word and nobody objected to that.

  30. #30
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    DISCLAIMER - Remember dear readers....I am NOT NOW nor have I EVER been a licensed mechanic. This post is a 30 Y.O. "memory" and I yield AUTOMATICALLY to correction from current A&Ps, A.I.s, or current Cessna 207 operators. If FACT....IF this post is in error I hope someone will provide the correct info.


    EPILOGUE - This was either the fourth or fifth IDENTICAL incident (so I'm told) brought to the attention of the Feds, and the engine and A/C maker.

    As I recall it, the last few feet (foot and a HALF maybe?) of the throttle cable are actually mounted after a "bend" in a vertical manner paralleling the firewall with the end of the cable connected to a upward and downward arcing metal arm on the back of the FCU (fuel control unit).

    When the throttle knob is pushed forward to it's limit the other end of the cable raised the metal arm on the back of the FCU to the maximum upper limit of it's arc which of course corresponds to full fuel flow...hence full power.

    Every time a pilot gave the throttle...already pushed full in....one last extra strong PUSH to get that warm fuzzy feeling that he had the throttle ALL the way in, an almost UNIVERSALLY practiced (unconciously) "procedure"; the very end of the cable which HAS or HAD a little extra length would bend and this repeated extra bending eventually would crimp the metal cable at the attachment point. So of course....BEND any piece of cable enough times sharply at the same point...and it BREAKS!!

    When the cable broke away from the flow control arm on the back of the FCU, which in MY case HAD to have happened at the INSTANT I set climb thrust....the vibration of the engine and gravity (I GUESS) vibrated the FCU flow arm downward to it's LOWEST position.....IDLE!!

    This being something like the fourth or fifth ocurence of almost iDENTicle incidents....I'm told THIS failure was the one that prompted a "fix" although I cannot remember if it was a required retofit or A.D. or merely a new design for A/C coming off the assembly line.

    But apparently thereafter the FCU was rigged with a spring that, in the abscense of input from the throttle cable or failure of the cable, took the arm via spring tension to a position approximating 75% fuel flow.

    I flew many more 206s, 207s and 185s for years after that without ever having the same failure again....so maybe somehow I "contributed" to one LESS way for us to have to suffer total engine failures in the future.

    To this day I STILL wish I coulda' seen the look on my face when the throttle knob along with the whole damn cable came slithering into the cabin .....PRICEless!! One HAS to wonder. Had the load been lighter...would I have completed my course reversal after takeoff earlier? Retracted my flaps sooner? Been at a DIFFERENT geographical point or altitude when I SET climb power (breaking the cable). If I'd been a 1/2....3/4 or a mile further away, or 150 feet LOWER. Would we have MADE it?

    Shades of Ernie Gann's "Fate is the Hunter". I've oft wondered why I survived my "Chronicles" when 16 or so of my friends and roommates.....many of whom were FAR superior pilots than I, were killed. The answer I guess is one I bet we've all muttered aloud at least ONCE in our flying lives. "I'd rather be shot in the ass FULLA' good LUCK...than just GOOD... ANY day!!"

    It's good to know I accomplished SOMETHING outta' that deal. Aside from spoiling Kara for all SUBsequent lovers of course!!

    Your Friend - CloudDancer

  31. #31
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    YEAH!! T.J.! What SNERT said!!

    (Thanks Snert ol' Buddy) LOL

    CD

  32. #32
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    delete

  33. #33
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    Reposition Bump

  34. #34
    Snert's Avatar
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    Cloud Dancer
    If you ever get to Raleigh, bring your sack and I'll take your picture in front of this place. Then you can mail it to TJ.

    http://www.irregardless.com/cafe.html

  35. #35
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Snert Ol' Buddy!!

    You da' MAN!!

    I'm filing THIS one fer' sure!! Raleigh-Durham overnights may someday become an opportunity for me, and THIS I wouldn't dare MISS.

    I'll be there with BELLS on....and a SACK of course!!

    CloudDancer

    P.S. T.J. - Nah-ner Nah-ner NAH-NER!!

  36. #36
    Snert's Avatar
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    We will leave the light on for you.

  37. #37
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    This might be hard to follow because the original post was deleted.

    To show TJ and the rest of the world that IRREGARDLESS is a world, I took these photos. At least in Raleigh it's a word. Next time we will have to get some shots at the Breasticle Palace.





  38. #38
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    Hiya Snert -

    Yeah. We'll see how long it takes T.J. to come 'n eat some humble pie.

    An' speakin' of vittles....I shorely wanna' THANK YOU an' the missus for havin' your favorite scribe over for a FINE home-cooked Snert Family Dinner.

    It was truly an HONOR an'a priviledge (onced I got past that SHETLAND PONY disguised as a DOG !!) to share the dinner table with the Snert kids and I wuz plumb tickled. Add in Mrs. Snert's fine dead roast beast and smashed taters an' baby carrots an' well.........

    I know YOU know what it means to get out of another hotel room and restaurant dinner when you're on the road.

    CloudDancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

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