I couldn't see the rear view mirror on the hotel van I was on last Monday, but I imagined seeing TK getting smaller in it and I did not weep. My stick partner and I had finished the LOE, the Line Operational Evaluation. It was a simulated flight from Washington-Dulles to Boston in wintry conditions. They loaded us up with distractions and failed our left and center hydraulic systems. That forced us to divert from Boston because the weather there was CAT III only and we couldn't go that low with our hydraulic systems out. (CAT III weather is visibility less than 300 feet.) They threw more distractions at us while we got weather updates at other airports and picked the best one to go to. That turned out to be Newark, and its weather wasn't much better. When we finally got all the checklists done and lined up on final approach the flaps went asymmetric. We had to break out of the pattern and fix that. Then the nose gear wouldn't come down. By then the fuel was getting low but we got the nose gear down and landed on the icy runway and got stopped. Then the examiner bragged on us and issued our type certificates for the Boeing 757/767. It's over. Dern. Such fun.
I found out yesterday that a captain who was one week ahead of me in the 767 course eliminated himself. I had talked with him in the cafeteria. He was bitter about the training center and its instructors. He said they were treating him like a novice and insulting him. I suspect he bailed out because he didn't think he could pass the LOE. I don't like the place myself, but I've got nothing but high praises for the instructors there. They are top-notch. Hmmm. Come to think of it, that guy was sitting with his back to where Ham Lee's portrait used to hang. Costly mistake.
I'm in Boston for real now, my second day of IOE (Initial Operating Experience). It's going great so far. I love the 757. More on IOE later.
Incidentally, there has been a lot of press lately about UFOs seen over Texas. If you are a UFO freak, or know one, you might reasonably ask me how many UFOs I have seen in my 35 years and 22,000 hours of flying all over the world. Answer. 0. And, how many other pilots do I know who have seen one? 0. Now, if you are a serious UFO freak, you are accusing me of being a lying sack of cat scat for fear I will be seen as a freak by my peers (who must also be lying). If you are a super serious UFO freak you think I am being paid off to keep my mouth shut. If you can arrange that I might start seeing weird stuff.