Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How do ya tell when someone is having a BAD day?

When you roll into the parking lot at 5:30 in the morning and Second Shift guys are still there.

I knew what had screwed up their evening.

Fuel leaks. One of the most insidious problems an aircraft can have.

Leaks can be damn hard to find and hard to stop.

These are what we call "Wet Wings". The cavities are sealed with gallons of two part sealer instead of having a liner.

Any repairs in the wet areas beg for leaks. Even putting it together wet, meaning you put sealer on the skins and frames and rivets and everything else as you assemble them doesn't guarantee a thing.

This old airplane had both leading edges replaced and that's a lot of area to reseal.

Night shift handed off to Day shift and they handed it back again this evening. Still leaking.

As I was leaving I heard my name called, "HEY! David, come fix these leaks!" I reverted to Spanish and backed out the door at a run!

I'm probably boring you.

Thing is, all day long I watched this thing from one plane over thinking, "Glad that ain't me!" But, I know, my day (or night) is coming. It's just a matter of time.

Fine Lines

Early one morning last week a 'near incident' highlighted the fine line between humour and horror.

Texas Highway 181 is a divided four lane and every month the traffic gets heavier. It gets heavier but hasn't reached the point where the extra weight slows it down.

I monitor my speed and run the 65 mph night time limit or the 70 mph daytime limit as appropriate. I get passed by more cars than I pass myself.

It's fertile ground for Numerous police jurisdictions.

About 6 a.m. that morning traffic was bunched up pretty tight and running at usual speeds. At the gas station I noticed a Mustang backing toward the highway with no lights on. Just backing across the parking lot.

At this point I'm wondering aloud, "What is this idiot doing?"

All of this happened fairly quickly.

The Mustang stopped on the highway shoulder.

It was then I saw a man jump from his pick-up and run towards the car.

Immediately followed by a woman running from inside the store.

The Mustang was a runaway.

At that point, it was funny. (That's a personal phobia of mine, the Dodge slipping out of gear and overcoming the parking brake to roll into something.)

Had it rolled another three feet... it could have easily collected a dozen vehicles.

Thankfully, the runaway Pony didn't cross that fine line.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Almost Heaven?

Classic Rock on the radio.

MEK gently wafting through my central nervous system on it's way to my liver.

A 7X rivet gun thundering in my ears.

My knuckles battered and bruised.


Naw. It's just 0530 in the hangar!

"back in black
been too long
I'm glad to be back!"

We all have lousy things befall us from time to time. Sometimes they come one at a time. It's said that bad things come in threes. Sometimes they come in waves.

When the waves are pounding you it's very difficult to believe the storm will pass. It will. Sooner or later.

Just keep kicking and keep your nose above water as much as you can.

2007 brought a helluva storm to the Nada.

I quit kicking for a while there. I quit caring.

What changed?

I have no idea. There was no epiphany, no rescue boat, no bolt from the blue.

The just storm passed.

I was still scared to death. I was scared right up until I shoved my hand (arm) into that fuel tank and thing started to go RIGHT. Right away things started to come together. Literally and metaphorically.

"I can do this. I can actually do this!"

Damn Skippy I can. I AM an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic.

I am an A&P first and foremost. Before I can be anything else I must be an A&P.

Now, Ive been in those fuel tanks for a week now. Enough already!

In the break room one of the guys asked me what I'd been doing all day.

I replied, "Trying to put a puzzle together."

"Sump tanks?!"


"The guy that designed that s**t ought to be stuffed into one!"

I concur. He should go in head first!

I can hear you now, "Aw hell. He's only back a week and he's already bitching!"

Yeah. Ain't it a lot like heaven?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Water Boarding

'Water' they doing to keep me safe?

I don't care as long as it works.

'They' are not loading people into box cars and sending them to gas chambers. 'They' are not lining people against the wall and executing them. 'They' aren't using N.B.C. (Nuclear Biological Chemical) warfare.

If I'm a suspected bad guy and get water boarded, I'll be pissed. BUT I'll be intact to raise hell about it.

If I am a bad guy and get water boarded, I'll be glad for all of the media attention about the tactic. My training covered it and I was prepared.

Either way, I'll be happy that 'They' didn't use methods that really damaged or hurt me!

Like, oh... decapitation comes to mind.

I'd really loose my mind over that!

Once, I managed to shove a slice of linoleum tile under my big toe nail. It went from the tip to the quick.

I bet that sucked worse than being water boarded.

Once, I got kicked in the crotch so hard that I woke up with a grapefruit in my pocket, so to speak.

I bet that sucked worse than being water boarded.

I bet that the people lamenting the practice of water boarding have never been kicked in the balls. Double or Nothing says that if they got kicked they would be screaming for a lawyer.

Water boarding is a scare tactic.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Hal, You were right. I did not realize that I had not posted since Christmas.

Check this out!!!


That's MY little Brother.

"Silence Is Golden"

But, blank pages stink.

So much for a summer on the Redneck Riviera. My 'lack' of 'recent' heavy jet experience sank that notion. It's not the end of the world. It's just the end of a really good daydream!

I just 'pulled the trigger' on the consolation prize. We'll see if that hits the mark.

To catch you up, at least a little bit, I've been working in an electronics factory for a month or so. It's interesting. I'm learning a lot. If I'm there much larger I'll take a class to interpret xrays. That's pretty cool. It wont be worth much but would make an interesting resume' entry. I've probably absorbed enough gamma to be sterile!

The factory will be a long entry all it's own as soon as I have time to write it.

For now though it's time to get back in the saddle. It has been "Time" for a long time and it's not like I haven't been trying.

And, of course, we have politics.

One reason I was looking forward to the coast was buying a sail boat. 'Cause if Bil-Lary-Omama get elected this country is going in the toilet. McCrazy doesn't give me a wit of hope either.

2008 is a year of change. Sometimes changing is like two stepping. Sure you take a step backwards but you know that the next two steps are forward and that equals progress.

It has been a little slow to get going but '08 will be very different.

For now I'll concentrate on getting my wires uncrossed and start publishing more. (I hate blank pages as much as you do.)