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Thread: "I'm From the F.A.A., and I'm Here to HELP"

  1. #41
    Flying Miss Daisy's Avatar
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    CD,
    If it is 0 dark thirty where you are at right now you are giving away your geographical position as not in Va. and we are starting to unravel the True Identity of the conundrum known as Cloud Dancer.
    John

  2. #42
    BES's Avatar
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    I wonder if it says "Diggler" on the back of that paper sack....!??


    Bent

  3. #43
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    Come on CD, we're dying to know what happens to our daring young CD!!

  4. #44
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    I'll have some more of....if not all the rest of the story up by 11 P.M. eastern tonite....

    CD

  5. #45
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    Chapter Six -


    I’m passing 250 feet or so as the Twin Otter flashes beneath my still raised left wing and again see the left propellor just beginning to accelerate. I know that within the “hot section” of the Pratt & Whitney free turbine, the growing fire and expanding gases are converted to hundreds of propellor revolutions per minute from the tens of thousands of turbine revolutions per minute through the reduction gearing that actually turns the three-bladed Hartzell.

    As the dark brown strip of beach slides out from beneath the body of my Skywagon I am passing 400 feet and abeam the first houses of the village. With the indicated airspeed now increasing to more than eighty-five knots, I grab the flap handle with my right hand as I roll from a right to left bank now to line up with the shoreline. I mash the spring-loaded white push button in the end of the johnson bar and quickly allow the flaps to be pushed to the ten degree detent by the airflow while the muscles in my right arm tense and flex to moderate the rate of retraction. It takes at most a second and a half and another push of the white button and the process is repeated again in two seconds this time as I retract the flaps to zero. With a clean airfoil the speed now increases to ninety knots as I straighten up in my seat again having had to crouch down and to the right somewhat, even with my long arms, to ensure that the flap handle locks into it’s “zero” detent gently but firmly.

    As I do my right hand moves from the flap handle directly to the throttle where a gentle and steady pull drops the manifold pressure to twenty-two inches. A slight move to the right and three and a half full cranks counter-clockwise on the ridged propellor control reduces both the speed of the prop and the thundering roar noise level of takeoff power to the slightly quieter belligerent bellowing of a 25 squared climb power setting. Next a couple of equally quick spins of the red fuel flow knob on the far right brings the needle on it’s vertical half circle scale down to the top of the green band.

    In little more than another minute I have ascended through thirteen hundred feet and my right hand reaches down between the seats. Grasping the rear portion of the half of the heavy black large beaded-edged trim wheel, I start slowly rolling it upward and toward the front of it’s arc. Once and then again t-w-i-ice even slightly slower this time as my eyes focus on the altimeter.

    The rate-of-climb needle falls ever more slowly from it’s seven to eight hundred foot per minute range through it’s left downward arc as the white hundred foot indicator needle on the face of the altimeter slows it's clockwise race around the dial. The two needles reach their separate goals at virtually the same moment at the plane now settles comfortably at 1500 feet.

    The airspeed needle remains on the upswing continuing to reflect the swift acceleration of our aluminum chariot, as the thrust which, no longer needed for lift is now converted to speed.

    As I watch the indicated knots increase through 125, now 130 and then135 I lean slightly to the right and holler over the noise “ ‘SCUSE ME SADIE!” as my right forearm gentle shoves her matronly pantyhose clad left leg toward her right. I bang the corny-dog sized black hard plastic cowl flap handle out of it’s detent with the inside of my right thumb as the rest of my hand closes around it and instantly starts the travel downward to the full closed position.

    And in those few, maybe three or four seconds, our blurred propellor has increased our airspeed which is continuing to march upward, albeit at a much slower pace. Now passing one hundred forty-five knots it would, if left unchecked at this power setting continue to increase over the next minute and a half or so to barely over 160 knots indicated with this load. Pretty impressive for a fixed gear straight tailed machine with struts.

    Left to right again across the three knobs in the “power panel” at the bottom center of the dash board sets up a twenty-three squared cruise power setting with an exhaust gas temperature 75 degrees centigrade on the rich side of peak. I'm showing a fuel flow of just about 15.1 gallons per hour. Just right for this altitude.

    A very gentle tug of about a quarter turn aftward on the trim wheel relieves the slight bit of back pressure I have had to exert on the control wheel since reducing the power by moving the trimable horizontal stabilator of the airplane. Unique for Cessna singles (I believe); the 185 unlike it’s bigger family members the 206 and 207 Skywagons which I also fly daily, does NOT have a trim tab on the elevator. But rather like large jets, the front end of it’s horizontal stabilizer is what moves up and down in response to movements of the cockpit trim wheel. Hence, since it functions as both a stabilizer and trim came the term “trimable horizontal stabiLATOR”.

    Airborne barely over four minutes now all this has occurred in somewhat of a fog in my mind. As I have spent SO MUCH of the last few years of my short life in the three airplanes mentioned above it all happens almost completely unconsciously now.

    The same engine and horsepower ratings means the same power settings are set on identical engine instruments. The engine control knobs are the same shapes and sizes as are the cowl flap handles and positions on the right bottom of the center pedestal.

    The only significant differences in the 185 are the placement of the trim wheel between the seats, the flap handle and the relatively cramped quarters. Oh, and the 185 accelerates faster as well.

    But after...Lord KNOWS...... how many thousands of takeoffs behind these engines....up until this moment, since becoming safely airborne and passing out of about three or four hundred feet when I lined up to parallel the beach....the last couple of minutes and all the actions contained therein; including hollering at Sadie before pushing her leg have occurred in a veritable mindless vacuum. Seeing...doing.....twirling.....shoving....a routine. Now done mindlessly although with extreme accuracy.

    My mind has been meanwhile OTHERwise occupied with my newly created problem. Hundreds of jumbled and sometimes conflicting thoughts about my immediate future race through my head until an interruption ocurs.

    A very...VERY quiet voice is heard through my David Clarks. “HEY!” spoken in a hushed but quietly exPLOsive kind of manner. It continues “CLOUDDancer! Are you on point nine?”

    It’s RED!


    ****** Do not despair. I will not leave you hanging too long....i need a short break fopr a pint of cherry vanilla ice cream.........

    Probably some more late tonight with (hopefully) the conclusion ttomorrow.

    Your (mostly) Humble Scriber of Flying Tales.....

    CloudDancer

  6. #46
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter Six - cont'd

    Grabbing my microphone out of it’s holder I quickly respond “Yeah Red! TALK to me bud.”

    Immediately he comes back with “Go to eighty-five” in the same quiet but emphatic sounding tone. Uh-uh. THIS can’t be good. Red wants me to switch frequencies to one where hopefully almost no one else will be listening. I reach for the frequency selector on the VHF and roll one click to the left and the nine-zero in the clear plastic window on the face of the radio is replaced with and eight and five.

    “Okay. I’m here Red. What’s the scoop man?” I utter quietly.

    As he starts talking I hear the sidetone in his transmission sliding down the musical scale and the roar of the propellors of the Twin Otter in the background also diminishing. And I realize the crew is setting climb power as he speaks. MAN! I was SO absorbed in my thinking that I must’ve missed their takeoff traffic calls from Kivalina I’m thinking to myself as I listen to Red’s somewhat alarmed sounding but still quieter than normal voice.

    “CloudDancer! WHAT the HELL did you SAY to BarTELli??!! (the FED) He’s not just gonna’ throw the BOOK at you....I think he wants the DEATH PENALTY!!” this last ending with a slight chuckle.

    “Oh **** ” I mutter as my worst fears seem to be confirmed. “He’s really PISSED, huh?”

    Still speaking quietly and now outright laughing, but TRYING to hold it in (I’ll give him credit for that) Red continues.

    “PISSED?!? Cloudy! I’ve known the guy for almost three years now and flown with him a half DOZEN times and I’ve never seen the man so MAD before. I mean he’s a pain in the ass sometimes and a STICKLER for rules but MAN! The guy is SEETHING! He hasn’t even put on his headset yet he’s been back there writing notes and talking to himself ever since he got back on the airplane. Usually he won’t even let us do our before START checklist without him getting on his headset FIRST so he can LISTEN to everything as well as watch it too. YOU have got the man LIVID son. I think you’re in BIG trouble friend.”

    Obviously with Bartelli still off the headset I might have just a MOMENT to say SOMEthing to Red withOUT the FED overhearing it.

    In desperation I plead “Red! Red! You GOTta’ HELP me.!!”


    G'nite everBODY!!

    Cloud( ) Dancer

  7. #47
    Flying Miss Daisy's Avatar
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    Morning CD
    It must be 9AM by now out west and you now have us hooked again. The installment plan is alot like lay away at Christmas when you are a kid.
    John

  8. #48

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    Hey Cloudy good to see the story lying (scratch that Line I mean) start up again. Started reading in Dubai now catching up in Gothenburg. Knowing most of the people involved I can pretty much guess the outcome but I won't ruin it for anyone else. I do chuckle over your scheduling woes sitting here at day 23 of an 8 day trip. Hey found a really good local beer to rent for awhile! Keep writing Cheers MasterRod not to be confused with my alter ego ConRod

  9. #49
    dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CloudDancer

    Seeing...doing.....twirling.....
    Sheesh, you make it sound so EASY! Thanks for the lesson CloudDancer. I don't suppose you could sign my log book now? There will be a test later, right?


  10. #50
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    HIYA MasterRod -

    Been WONderin' when I'd here from you again.

    Okay...Day TWENTY-THREE of an "eight day trip". I'll quit WHINING now.

    Holy !! And I thought OUR schedulers were sadistic!! Good chance maybe I'll make Big Village on the Chena next week. I will send you an EMail.

    You're a GOOD 'ol sod for not giving the ending away MasterRod.

    An' for all those who are breathlessly waiting for tonight's scheduled conclusion.... PLEASE remember what I've told you so often before.

    This is my gentle way of telling you I accidently tripped over a barstool on my way home from the dentist's office a few hours ago and now am in somewhat of a delimma.

    Just as I'm not a FAST pilot...nor a SLOW pilot....but merely a HALF FAST pilot......

    I am half drunk.

    Left in this condition....I am unable to accomplish either proper humorous "chronicling" (is that a WORD??)....nor much of anything else.

    Ergo...I GO!!

    See ya' tamale...fer' sure!!

    CloudDancer

  11. #51
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    He-e-e-llOOO! to all my Chronically Confounded Cub Caretakers
    Well everBODY....the grand finale ......the final act......the two minute WARNing .....is SO close.......I can hear the chubby chick a'warmin' up her ol' vocal chords backstage now.

    But....(quell surPISE, eh?) I have run out of time yet aGAIN as I must throw my stuff in my rollerboard and drive my AeroBus around the flight levels over America some more. And Cananada TOO come to think of it.

    Whoo-woo!!

    Sourdough hotcakes and reindeer sausage at Gwennies!! Another GLORIOUS ANC layover!!

    I'll be back here next Monday with the judge's ruling(s) (in more ways than one).

    Ya'll don't FRET none. ....ya'HEAR? Have a FUN weekend and if yer' flyin....

    LUCKY YOU!!! Enjoy and BE CAREFUL my dear friends.

    Cloud(like my AIRline.....schedule "SUBJECT TO CHANGE")Dancer

  12. #52
    Jr.CubBuilder's Avatar
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    So CD? Got any more writins for us? How goes the book deal? Do you have a cover yet? How does the does the young Padawan CD escape the wrath of the disgruntled FAA guy? Is reindeer really that good to eat?

    Hope you're doing well and was just wondering if we'd hear the end or if we have to wait for the hardback.

  13. #53
    dreamer's Avatar
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    I was given a pound of ground reindeer meat and happened to have a bunch of green peppers in the fridge at the same time, so I mixed up the meat with some cooked rice and made up a batch of REINDEER BELLS! Sounds better than it tasted though


  14. #54
    Flying Miss Daisy's Avatar
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    Has CD just left us hanging??

  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Miss Daisy
    Has CD just left us hanging??
    Like a Florida chad!
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  16. #56
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    BOY! The NERVE of SOME mother's CHILL-dren!!

    I JUST read in today's USA Today Life section that "Sopranos" fan(atics)sometimes PATIENLTY wait for as long as three SEASONS for resolutions of SOME "story lines".

    Not that I would DARE to be so self-impressed as to put my writing on a par with David Chase's. I mean..the WORLD waited for MONTHS to find out "Who J.R.?", if President Barlett was "hit" at the end of season one of West Wing.

    A GREAT whiskey is aged for DECADES!

    peoplepeople...PEOPLE. PAY-shunts. I beseech thee. It's like FOURplay 'fer cryin' out loud!! It's about hearing Carly Simon singing "Anticipation" in yo' HEAD as you wait for the Heinz catsup to dribble out the end of the bottle :P ....or....or.....watching a beautiful red-headed, crystal glacier blue-eyed, alabaster-skinned, large breasticled dancer slide slowly upside-down, down the brass pole as she rotates around it slowly.... or the splash and sparkle of the Capt. Morgan as it casCADES over the ice cubes and begins to pool in the bottom of t...

    'SCUSE me.... I gotta' go call a TAXI.....

    Cloud(smoke 'em if ya' got 'em)Dancer

  17. #57
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Okay. While I'm waiting for the cab to get here.....it just occurred to me that I failed to at LEAST respond to your posts.

    Failure to do so would not only be unforgivably inconsiderate and rude, but could accidentally leave you good folks with the incorrect impression that I am not interested in what YOU write to me.

    Your RESPONSES and feedback....whether an "attaboy" or a "raspberry" are TRULY at LEAST 50% of what I do this for ANYway. And although you may not see a new "creativity" being displayed for sometimes extended periods [and let's not forget.....I did WARN you guys about these (writing) "dry spells"]....NONETHELESS and be that as it may, furthermore and ERGO.....

    Seldom if EVER does 24 hours go by [usually when I am and none of our "quality" (read BUDGET) overnight accommodations offers complimentary internet access, as I do NOT take a computer on the road with me....

    SELDOM do I miss 24 consecutive hours away from SC.org and the Discussion Forums to stay up to date but ALSO to see what you guys are throwing my way. I LOVES ya! Each and ever one....even Jerry Gaston.

    So. To address your questions/concerns and recent comments.

    JrCubBuilder -

    1. The writing goes slowly/poorly right at the moment. The well has not neccessarily run dry....but the pump is old and in need of maintanance....most likely a good lubrication. (Quell surPRISE, Eh?)

    2. The book "deal" has NOT yet materialized from the "big time" REAL publisher and I am starting to investigate the self-publish option which I should have done in a couple of weeks. Big time publisher has been promising me a decision for weeks now. And while I understand how they work (S-L-O-W-L-Y) , if by the time I have concluded my research and opted for a self-publishing scheme.....I will give them a weeks notice to MAKE a damn decision. This BOOK WILL BE AVAILABLE for 2007, unless they make me a deal that takes LONGER (I hope not....)

    3. The cover art "The Official CloudDancer Artwork" is now copyrighted. I will send it to Steve again and ask him to put it on a thread here for all to see now. Plans in the works for "CloudDancer" T-Shirts, coffee cups, maybe a "bobblehead" and thongs for the ladies, of course.

    4. WHAT Jr.CB is a Padawan??

    5. Reindeer makes GREAT sausage, but LOUSY hamburger.


    Dreamer -

    See last item under "JrCubBuilder"...gonna' take more that just some bell peppers to make it happen dear.

    So How's Fla.'s hottest and newest aviation writer doin??!! Tolja' you'd get some GROOVY new flyin' time!!


    Flyin' Miss Daisy - (Lord I purely LOVE that HANDLE. Smile every time I see it.) :P

    Tsk...tsk....tsk....FMD.....FMD....

    You know me better.....see previous post.....

    Heck I've already got the NEXT story done (in my lil' ol' PEA-brain). I can SEE 'em. SUMtimes.....I just can't get the colors right on the canvas or I gotta' look around and find a new brush 'cause I done wore OUT the horsehair on the old ones.

    All good things come to those who wait .....PATIENTLY DAMMIT!!


    Old Crowe -

    I once KNEW a fella' from Florida named Chad....

    Cloud(Gone to find my very own Easter )Dancer

  18. #58
    Jr.CubBuilder's Avatar
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    Padawan=Jedi Knight in training

  19. #59
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Aaaahhhhhh-SO!

    An APT analogy if there ever WAS one. I am mortified that my weakness in Star Wars knowledge has embarrassed me yet again.

    I learn so MUCH from you people!!

    CloudDancer

  20. #60
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    Story

    So what the heck happens next????????????/

    I've been away to places on the other side of the world where there's no Internet and no mobile phones for three weeks and come back and I still don't how the story ends!!!!!!!!!!

    Tim
    come and fly a Super-cub in New Zealand

  21. #61
    Flying Miss Daisy's Avatar
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    Every time I see this post the old Trio song starts singing in my head....


    "Did he ever return no he never returned and his fate is still unlearned he will fly forever over the streets of Boston he is the CD that never returned"
    John

  22. #62
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    I slide the throttle fully closed and add full forward pressure on the yoke as we pass the halfway point of the runway and the tail begins to slowly settle downward. At the instant I hear the first contact of the hard little wheel spraying gravel I smartly pull full aft yoke while sliding my boots upward on the rudders to mash down on the brakes until the Skywagon’s groundspeed has been sharply reduced to a comfortable taxi speed.

    A couple more jabs at the brakes and I am ready to take the 45 degree right hand turnoff that leads to the small parking area.

    Mashing hard on the right rudder pedal momentarily sends me down the centerline of the angled turnoff with it’s VERY slight downhill grade and rolling into the parking lots still ticking off about twenty knots or so. This is a perfect sped for I will need no further (attention-attracting) burst of power to swing my tail and roll a few feet forward afterward.

    With the throttle hard pulled against it’s aft stop, I continue to decelerate as I grasp the sliver circular friction lock knob between my thumb and pointer finger. With the north end of the gravel ramp now nearing I now shove full left rudder whilst still applying some braking pressure to the right main to continue slowing.

    I am twisting hard right on the throttle’s friction lock and the (seemingly) sandpaper-like edged rotary lock is hurting my thumb and finger I note as the tailwheel instantly flops over into it’s free swivel mode and the 185's tail assembly starts to swing fast to the right.

    Only a brief MOMENT after the swivel starts and I am MASHING hard on the right rudder AND brake to use the last of the aircraft’s momentum to roll a few feet forward so as to allow me some distance behind the plane to take the passengers away.

    **********************(DELETED******************** *


    A HUGE returns to the kids face as he steps across the seat bottom with ease now and I grab him under the arms he grasps my forearms. As I am dragging him forward and lifting him I see his big brown eyes up close. They bore into mine aBLAZE with joy and enthusiasm for.... :P

    “CloudDancer...you COOL PILOT! Flying is way FUN, UH!!” hollers the munchkin with an ear to ear toothy smile.

    “You LIKE it, Uh?” I respond in village English, me now with a broad grin on MY face for the first time in a while. The kid’s joy was infectious I noted as I dropped him to the ground and had a momentary flashback to every time an airline Captain had let me into the cockpit in flight.

    I shoved the cherub forward and prodded the two adults in the back following them toward the tail as they held the boy by his hands between them.


    *******************DELETED*************

    Sadie hollers “CloudDancer!!” And I turn back to see her twisting the small golden locking pins on the top of her black cloth palm sized coin purse which she has extracted from her large purse. Man, oh MAN am I lucky SHE remembered. I wait impatiently as she counts out two hundred and -eight of the two hundred and nine dollars due me as the agreed upon price.

    I am hearing those two cycle engines in the distance and look up to see....sure enough....three of four more three wheelers are headed this way and ONE of them carries two people with the guys riding in back carrying a large brown trash bag (suitcase) under his right arm as he holds on for dear life as the vehicles driver makes top speed attempting to get him to the strip in time.

    Okay. This is what I DON’T NEED now. I tell Sadie, now actually fishing for coins to make up the other due dollar....”Hey Sadie...no sweat this is good enough and I GOTTA’ GO before those people get here, cause’ I can’t TAKE any passengers right now because of that F.A.A. man. So will you please tell those guys I’m REALLY REALLY sorry but I couldn’t TAKE “Em??”

    She’s looking up at me trying to register all I blurted out so fast. I stuff the wad of cash bills in my right pocket and bend over to give her a little kiss on the cheek saying “Thanks!” and ‘Bye, I’ll see you guys. As I reach over to shake her husband’s hand, a traditional one shake (up and down) deal and then tousle the wiry black hair of the one youngster still watching me with worship.

    As I turn to sprint to the airplane Sadie hollers “CloudDancer!” And I whirl. Still blushing slightly from my unexpected peck on the cheek just a few seconds before she hollers “You be CAREful and don’t WORRY to much about Mister F.A.A. pilot policeman . Rod will make him go away!”

    I laughed and waved as I sprinted the few short paces to my waiting steed.

    In under twelve seconds I was again airborne with the bellowing engine lifting me skyward.

    The forty-three nautical miles to Kotzebue, checking in with flight service for traffic advisories, the landing (full stall this time), all passed in seconds or minutes unnoticed. I flew unconsciously.

    Only after I had landed and made the ninety degree turnoff taxiway and was taxying toward our lot where I could see Rod gassing up the Dornier did I return to the present. I had spent the entire 22 minute flight daydreaming about both the immediate future; the conversation with the FED when he got in , and my long term flying future. Or did I even HAVE one after today??

  23. #63
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    HE-E-E-E-E-E-S BA-A-A-ACK!!

    At least for tonight anyway. Maybe what I needed was a good dose of Alaskan air and reinvigorating inspiration of being in and among the places and things that created all the magic, wonder and heartbreak that WAS my life in Alaska.

    Prior to the trip from which I just returned yesterday, witht the exception of my occasional ANC RON's, which, while good and I'm glad to have 'em, are only long enough for my to become wistful for what my life now misses and seems to need most; as opposed to being reinvigorating as a longer stay is.

    Although if I had any more sick time available I woulda' called in for today's trip and STAYED in God's Country for another week.

    You good, kind, charitable and forgiving folks have been waiting for the rest of THIS story for a little over a month now, with GREAT (much appreciated ) patience.

    What you have just read of Chapter seven took (itself alone) over three hours to produce. Just so you know. Even when the writing juices "flow" it's more of a Hienz Catsup kinda' flow rather than a Mrs. ButterWorth's ya' know what I mean.

    I mean there is much use of the back arrow and delete key and the spell checker. HEY! I USE the spell checker. I only (mis)spell some things oh-CASSINALLY so's to make you use YOUR noggins!

    Anywho. Enjoy. I hope/think.....maybe....hell....WHO KNOWS!!

    It might be wrapped up in two more installments after I get back from this four day.

    Made it through the first full day back in "the WORLD" as a non-smoker still....

    Seven days, eighteeen hours and thirty-five minutes so far but....STILL...who (besides ME) is COUNTing??!!

    Best Wishes all, and as ALWAYS

    THANK YOU for YOUR SUPPORT!

    Cloud(I NEED a /SMOKE/ /TITTY )DANCER!!


  24. #64
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter Eight -

    Rod was balanced halfway up the folding six foot aluminum ladder with the black rubber fuel hose hanging draped over his right shoulder for comfort. Intending to top the Dornier’s nacelle mounted tanks completely his mind drifted with the splashing sounds of the fuel serving as just background white noise.

    CloudDancer had left a note on the schedule board and was due back anytime now accordingly.

    Rod just wished he hadn’t taken the 185 with the starter behaving on a 50/50 basis. To pick up a big load in Kivalina he would most likely have to shut down there at least as well as in Noatak to unload.


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


    That grin ....good weather or bad. Drunk passengers or sober. Short trip long trip. Cloudy ALWAYS had that happy face on coming or going in his airplanes. The boy had indeed been a good investment.

    The 185 tail is swiveling around to slow gently to a complete stop simultaneously with the propellor on the other end of the airplane. Having parked with the tail no more than four feet in front of the DoorKnob, from his still elevated perch on the ladder Rod first see the bottom of the left door swing forward as two Levi and boot clad legs drop to the ground.

    Emerging from under the left wing and straightening upright Cloudy is heading over and Rod’s cheerful banter over Cloudy’s landing “performance” stops in mid-sentence. He’s see the ABSENCE of a smile on the kid’s face, instead replaced there by one real WORRIED look..

    “Gees kid. What’s WRONG!!” Did sumpthin’ BAD happen? Are you OKAY?”

    CloudDancer

  25. #65
    skagwaypilot's Avatar
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    Twice Rod had to grab the skinny little bastard.....
    Skinny????

    Each time the boy pushed himself (along with his passengers) WAY to far into a corner and ONLY escaped by the grace of GOD.
    Could it be that there are even more CloudDancer tales to be told???

    Keep em' coming, Cloudy...

  26. #66
    skagwaypilot's Avatar
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    Occasionally, I am asked by my passengers why I keep returning to Alaska..The only plausible excuse I can come up with is that Alaska flying is like the way it was many years ago in the lower 48. In The Great Land, the pilot flies the airplane, not ATC. We sit with the passengers, not isolated by a reinforced locked door. If someone says that they'd like to see a glacier up close, we can do that and more. Each and every day, I am thanked by those that fly with me for showing them things that they could never see from a car, boat or train.
    Cloudy, you say it far better than I can. In Alaska there is still adventure to be found for those that seek it.

  27. #67
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Skagway Pilot -

    You and others, every now and then, pay me that compliment or one like it.

    It IS the highest compliment that I can recieve to know that other Alaskans, particularly the former and current charter pilots, gold miners, and other "rural" Alaskans see a piece of their own lives and laughs in one of my stories.

    I am grateful beyond measure and humbled by your kindness sir.

    CloudDancer

  28. #68
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter Nine -

    “Nope. Nope.” CloudDancer responded as he raised his arms and shook his hands before stopping them palms outward like a traffic cop.

    Rod, who had released the trigger on the gas nozzle and started to take a step down the ladder now reversed his actions and continued pumping as CloudDancer continued. “No Boss. The plane is fine an...except of course for the starter, you know....and everybody’s fine and the trip went ...um....ooooohkay .....SORT of..... ” and as he hesitated....Rod prodded him.

    “Okay. Okay. Now what DIDN’T go okay....SORT of ?”

    “Well...ya’ know when Sadie first CALLED she wasn’t too sure about the load, so I figured it would be a full 185 for sure. So I was thinking on the way up there tha......”

    Here Rod interrupted. Although he really loved the kid like one of his own most of the time, Cloudy had a away of getting to the point. It was the LONG way, as in never use two sentences when five will add more color.

    “Cloudy!’ he snapped his name out mildy “GET to the POINT”, what HAPPENED??”

    “Uh...well...uh.....do you by CHANCE know a Fed by the name of Bartelli?” having spoken this while staring at the ground where his right boot idly slides gravel back and forth sideways; Cloudy stops his movements and looks up at Rod on the ladder to gauge his reaction.

    Rod groans audibly, rolls his eyes and again releases the trigger and the fuel stops flowing into the almost now full tank. This time he DOES descend the ladder so as to be more eyeball to eyeball with his young protégé before responding with “Oh no. Don’t tell me you ran into Bartelli out there.....yeah I’ve know him since I was a....since I was YOUR age! He CAN be a nice guy.....he was pretty decent when he rode with me on the “F” at Wiens....BUT....he can be the meanest S.O.B. on the PLANET when he wants to. What HAPPENED?” And this time he remained silent until he heard it all.

    I was afraid Rod was really gonna’ be PISSED at me for NOT having brought the load to OTZ first and then having him fly it back north to Noatak.

  29. #69
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter Ten -

    And as it turned out I had PLENTY of time to ponder for the Twin Otter would take over three more hours to get back having diverted to PIZ (Cape Lisburne) to sit on the ground for awhile shut down. Point Hope was socked in pretty tight with fog and Red decided since Lisburne was open and CALM (a real RARITY for Cape Lisburne ) he would go there first and sit on the ground for an hour or so. Get a good (fresh) coffee break in with the Air Force boys and have a chance to try and bend Bartelli’s ear just a LITTLE bit if possible.

    Meanwhile our young hero, unknowing of the delay, literally paced back and forth across the Wien ramp hundreds of times while awaiting the sound of a pair of PT-6's. As there were only TWO airplanes in that corner of the world at the time wearing a pair of PT-6's the other being a Beech 18 converted to a Westwind.

    Deep in thought CloudDancer barely grunted an acknowlegement of a greeting to his friends who worked the ramp there. After the third one came by Cloudy gave him a very SKETCHY version of the story, apologized for being grumpy , and was left alone after that.

    Pacing. Sitting. Waiting as the sun moved from the west to the northwest starting it’s evening and nighttime journey across the northern horizon. I stared into the large orange orb willing the DHC-6 to appear from it, burned kerosene exhaust fumes turning the fiery orb into a shimmering circular pool.

    I thought about a million different things at once.

    It was ROD’s fault because we NEVER have any PARTS DAMMIT!!
    It was RED’s fault DAMMIT for NOT warning me there was a FED on Board!!
    (Although Red was POSITIVE that he HAD indeed “warned” me)
    It was SADIE’s fault for NOT being able to get her FAT BUTT into the damn PLANE any faster!!
    Hell! It’s BARTELLI’S FAULT. He’s not even SUPPOSED to be concerned with ME!! I’m a Part 135 pilot and HE is a DADGUM Part 121 Air CARRIER inspector. He shouldn’t even have any SAY or INTEREST here...RIGHT??!!
    (Boy...talk about your RIGHTeous indigNAtion anyway....)

    Okay. I’m SURE I can’t go to JAIL...so THAT’s good. License suspension..how long...I wonder WHAT it takes to legally (or otherwise) change your name...but would the airline FIRE me if they ever found out......I COULD spend my life HERE....I mean I DO like it and all....I don’t HAVE to go fly for and airline....and on..and on.

    For three hours every though of my past present and future raced around my brain like a carousel gone berserk.

    But most important....THERE it IS! Turning final. I will face my accuser in just a few minutes.

    As I watch the old man turn and kneel on the floor of the Otter in the doorway I am trying to decide how to play it. Bartelli’s right hand grasps the rear door, still latched closed, for support as he slides his right leg out and down “fishing” for the aluminum stairs with his right foot. In moments he turns and sees me standing a dozen feet off the left wing as I try to stay out of the way of the rest of the passengers and the wooden wagon being wheeled under the wing toward the aft baggage compartment.

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

    Red Hotchkins. What a PIECE of WORK that guy is.

    After Wien was raped, plundered and pillaged at the hands of an earlier day version of “Lorenzo” and destroyed the pilots went mostly to Alaska Airlines or Southwest and Red wound up at Southwest from where he recently retired.

    His ties to Alaska and Kotzebue in particular are even stronger than mine have been as he managed to marry one of the VERY best looking Eskimo girls in N.W. Alaska. Their offspring, now college graduates have all earned flight ratings of some sort although they have WISELY decided NOT to make a profession of it.

    As for Red, he can still be found on rare occasions in a 737; now riding in back to and from his new HELICOPTER job back in Alaska. Sometimes the ride in back is made far more tolerable by the fact the his life-long Eskimo love is the one pouring the from the serving cart.

    All my professional life it seems, the former Twin Otter turned Boeing turned FLING-WING Captain has been unobtrusively standing somewhere nearby. At many turning points I sought him out. He was seldom, if ever in error on issues of flight and our industry. I truly have ALWAYS valued his counsel.....even when I didn’t follow it.

    And I know to this day....on the very rare occasions that our paths still cross; now that I can no longer bump into him so often in the terminals our airlines commonly served;

    I know that Red takes some small matter of pride and satisfaction knowing that, since he had a role in my initial hiring in what became my current job, (Airbus Captain for a “legacy” airline) at least in some small measure....his flying “lessons” live on to benefit passengers still.

    For GODSAKES Red....be CAREFUL out there in that airborne collection of noisy parts you fly around in these days.

    And THANK YOU....for a LIFETIME of good advice and friendship.

    CloudDancer

  30. #70
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Holy Tortoise Toes Batman -

    Heinz Catsup comes out of the BOTTLE faster than this guy WRITES!!

    WOW Chronicle devotees.....

    I just went back to look when this thread/story STARTED. It was LAST YEAR!!

    Hey!! Howcum you guys didn't...you know...BUG me or something??!!

    Jeez lou -EEZE. Five months HAS to be a record even for ME.

    But then again Rome wasn't built in a day.

    Okay. Let's try and see if our NEXT adventure titled "The Jeremy Newton GCA" can get done in a LIDDLE more timely fashion.

    CloudDancer

  31. #71
    Flying Miss Daisy's Avatar
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    HI CD,
    What a great ending to your saga
    "Man and Machine versus the Government."
    The never ending understanding of Who you know triumphs again.
    If you ever get to this side of the world we keep a great store of hard liquor, micro brew and music on the porch after the days flying of cubs.
    John

  32. #72

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    All my professional life it seems, the former Twin Otter..............N1022S?

    Dennis

  33. #73
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya Dennis -

    1022S....hmmmm. I seem to remember that baby bein' a deep blue with gold trim and a white polar bear on the tail.

    Believe I spent some time in both seats on that baby over the years.

    CloudDancer

  34. #74
    Matt 7GCBC's Avatar
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    CD, Thanks for persevering. How ever long it took, it was immensely enjoyable. Will be looking forward to further installments when you have the time. Whether it be describing the sound of a radial engine start or keeping us hanging in the midst of an engine out landing to a river bar, you truly have a talent. Thanks again for sharing! Matt

  35. #75
    Jr.CubBuilder's Avatar
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    Ahh good ending

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