Friday, March 8, 2019

That Damn Dream

It's been a long stretch of days off since I last set the brakes on a 767 at gate E-18 at Houston in July 2014. Hence I thought I might fire Decision Height back up to let my followers know what has been going on.

I've been busier than a retired man ought to be. My time is split among my growing cadre of grandkids, our church, our boat, the travel trailer trips, and of course, the Fightin' Skeeter, my Van's RV-6. Then toss in disaster relief mission trips, home repair/improvement projects, trying to finish up two books and flying a few trips as a Citation jet co-pilot. But first I should tell you about the dreams because they more or less explain the most common question I get these days. "Do you miss it?"

The dreams all share a common thread. United crew scheduling calls, asks me if I’m doing well and offers me a nice four day international trip. They say they have found a small loophole in the FAA’s age 65 retirement rules that would allow me to come back every now and then, at my convenience of course. I tell them I can work it in. But I'm needed right away and so I throw some things into the Travelpro. Next I find myself in one or more of the following scenarios.

  • I am getting off my commuter flight at the airport and I have forgotten my uniform.
  • I am looking at a departure board to find my gate but can’t because I didn’t jot down my assigned flight number.
  • I can't use the destination city to find my gate because I forgot it. 
  • I am at the door to Flight Operations but can’t remember the security code.
  • I am at the flight planning computer in operations but can’t remember the log-in password.
  • I am with a group of pilots at a flight planning table and they're sore that I have come back to hog more flying.
  • I am hurrying along the concourse to my flight but not wearing my pants.
  • I am hopelessly confused where my gate is and the pressure is on to get an “on-time” departure.
  • I never make it to the cockpit.   
Mind you, the dreams are always a preposterous blend of two or more of these calamities.You would think maybe just once I could get in the jet and take off, or at least taxi it. Not happening. Strangely, after these decades since I retired from military flying I have dreams about that too, and in them I am recalled to active duty but never get the satisfaction of getting into a C-141 or an A-7 cockpit. I always just show up at the base and lose my way. This is cruel. But this is retirement.

So, yeah, I do miss it. I miss the sunsets, sunrises, the aurora and the satisfaying feel of the jolt when the wheels plop down after a 10 hour all-nighter. But mostly I miss the fine guys and gals I flew with. I follow them on their Facebook pages. I love the photos they take and the stories they tell. One of them (subject of “The BlueMoment”) frequently takes me to lunch or out fishing and I get all the scoop on what’s cooking at Uncle U’s.

I have a few stories to share with you in the coming weeks. I’ll tell you about “Decision Height,” the book, still in development. (Only about half the material in it comes from this blog. The rest is new.) I’ll tell you about the greatest flight of my life in the RV-6. You’ll hear about my attempt to pass-ride on United and how it became another commuting nightmare with gigantic rations of deja vu. And I’ll tell you the sorrowful story of how I almost lost my life two years ago in a mid-air collision. (The other person did.)

If you are new to Decision Height I encourage you to browse the archives listed on the right sidebar. To keep your experience the best it can be I don't allow ads or clickbait. Please share the link to Decision Height on your other media. The platform will helpful to me in the coming months when Decision Height (the book) is launched.


Proud of Uncle U.
 Click the wings for an eye-wetting story.


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