Needle in hand, a button is sewn.
I knew I was home too long because the wife started asking, "when are you going to work?" After seven days off, I too looked forward to getting back in the saddle. Now I know what retired pilots must feel...
Prior to commencing a three day mission, crew sked called saying my first two legs, Montreal and back, were being displaced by pilots with management status to trial run the pending GPS approaches coming to the "small Airbus" fleet.
Because of the displacement it meant no early check in and staying home with pay. Sweet.
Sewing 101 at flight level 350
The first day now consisted of one leg to CYYT (St.John's, Nfld). Of course I offered the F/O the first leg and of course he accepted.
While moving the handle up to retract the landing gear my shoulder harness popped off a button on my shirt shoulder strap which held my right epaulette.
It's amazing how tuned pilots are to sound during take off. Both the F/O and I heard the button fall. I didn't bring my tunic (we have the option of wearing it in the summer) so I couldn't hide the popped strap while walking through the airport. Out came my sewing kit and I went to work. I joked to the F/O of declaring a distress call..."pan, pan, pan."
Of course this meant taking off my shirt. The F/O smiled saying he was glad to see I donned an undershirt. He said it would be pretty embarrassing to see a flight attendant enter the flight deck only to see the captain bare chested.
Years ago, I heard of a pilot blowing out the seat of his pants. This required sending the pants back to a willing flight attendant to sew up the "blow out." I wonder what the passengers would think knowing the pilot up front had no pants on? :)
While flying to the "rock" a flight attendant called up saying a tall blond in the back says she met me two years ago at a wedding and she wants to say hello. Of course this tweaked my interest and I queried whether this person in question was good looking. "Yes" she reluctantly said. During the good ole days we had the option of inviting people up to the flight deck and of course this option was exercised to the max with certain pilots. :) It turns out I was a mistaken identity. :(
Both days on the road meant super duper early wake up calls. I arrived home two hours ago and I feel like I did a Hong Kong flight. While getting a coffee at 5:00 a.m in Ottawa this morning a security guard stopped and asked me about being a pilot. It turns out he was accepted by one of the renowned schools here in Canada, Seneca College. I mentioned I taught some high level meteorology there. However, for some reason I did not teach this year.
While deplaning in Toronto another young man mentioned he bought my book. He had his private pilot license and was moving to Calgary to get a ramp job and pursue aviation.
Today while flying to Tampa, Florida a "super elite" passenger requested an autograph on my column in enRoute magazine.
I'm starting to feel wanted. :) Having said that, I noticed visits to my blog are up, but your comments are dwindling. Don't be shy, step up to the bat and start commenting/suggesting/querying. (The blog host mentioned a "spam" feature has been added to my site. Maybe that's where your feedback is going? Anyone know where I find this "spam" file?)
Home for a couple of days and then it's off to Cozumel, Mexico. Looks like I'll be adding another new airport to my repertoire.