17 Signs that Your Airplane Preservation Hobby may be impacting your home and family life…

seebee Why only seventeen?  Because we’re too busy with the airplane project to come up with three more!

Hope you enjoy the chuckles… and hope they don’t hit too close to home!


When your wife says your son was caught with dope and you get excited and run to the garage and turn on the lights.

When your new $25,000 truck sits outside in the snow while you protect $800 worth of wood and metal in the garage as you procratinate in building one of your wings.

When you don’t understand why your wife is mad at you for using the master bath shower stall as a spray booth — I mean, those parts aren’t going to zinc chromate themselves!

When you’ll spend $400 on gas, three days on the road, and 30 hours sifting through a junkyard in Wyoming in the middle of winter to find three good turbocharger cores, but can’t stand waiting for more than 5 minutes holding a purse outside the dressing room at Macys

When the local stray cat goes missing, but weeks later you find him after “smelling” something in the backyard — and it take 6 hours and a 12 pack to extricate him from the pile of parts in the yard.

When you go to an airplane museum for fun and end up needing to rent a trailer to come home.

When your idea of interior design is mounting pieces of battered metal “scored” from your wreckchaser friend on the walls, and you show your wife in all seriousness that Moto Art website when she says she wants a new dining room table.

When more than 20% of your home “junk drawer” in the kitchen contains either broken clecos, AN bolts, or odd shaped hydraulic fittings.

When Lava soap replaces that Aloe and Shea Butter pump soap at your kitchen sink.

When the stack of Aircraft Spruce catalogs, Trade-a-Planes, and EAA Magazines in your bathroom is declared a piece of furniture.

When you’ve got a half-finished deck and patio out back, two-thirds of your house has been covered in Tyveck wrap for a year, and the shed out back still has a roof covered in a blue tarp, but you pride yourself in engineering and constructing a wooden rib and longeron steamer in two weekends.

When the yearly tax-return in April always seems to vanish in May when the local “fly market” happens at the local airport — I mean, where else are you going to find those fairings for that Navion you may eventually buy when the kids graduate from college?

When you are the only family for at least 400 miles that has a microfilm reader on the bureau in your bedroom.

When you become insanely jealous and wish YOU had a dry lakebed where you could horde cool stray castoff projects.

When your shop vac gets more use than the Hoover in the hall closet does.

When your digital camera has taken only about a dozen photos of your kids playing teeball, but is credited with 2000+ photos documenting your project.

When you can’t hide your stray fingernail clippings in the carpet because they are all stained black from your overzealous usage of the parts cleaner.

and that’s it!  Seek help now if any of these apply…

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Aviation: Reserved Unbridled Passion?

I was wandering through some of the archived stories in some of my favorite blogs from the past month and came across a nugget from Adam Webster’s Aviation Marketing Intelligence blog.

A post on how nuts we are in aviation.

Yep, nuts.

Read it at: http://adamwebster.com/2008/04/16/how-nuts-are-we/

planeAdam uses the example of a Pilatus PC-6 obsessed pilot who would literally do anything, anywhere — just to get the chance to fly a PC-6.  Yes, that’s the ugly STOL plane that can be found in the movie Air America… the one that looks like it stole aerodynamic theory from John Deere.

Anywhere means exactly that in this post — the PC-6 is used to get around in some of the most inhospitable areas — the jungles, the war torn, the mountainous.  Basically places where the closest Hilton is not just miles away, but time zones away.

I’d sell my first born for a gig flying a Supermarine Spitfire… but that really doesn’t count, right?

Regardless, it is a perfect example of how devoted many of us are to flying. A devotion that sometimes makes the most logically minded people make decisions that escape logic.


The Almighty Aviation Network

rk_galesgrp I was reminded twice this past week about how small the aviation world really is.  It seems like the old saying that we “are all six degrees away from Kevin Bacon” is especially true in aviation — but in this case, we are all four degrees away from Harrison Ford.

Earlier this week I got an email via Facebook of a fellow alum of Daniel Webster College (though a much more recent class) who now works at avionics manufacturer Avidyne.  She said she works directly with one of my former coworkers at the Collings Foundation (I only had three) and was the direct contact with the avionics department at Cutter Aviation, my new employer. Her spot in my network basically represented the crossroads of my professional career!


Tales of a Pilot’s Jacket

Z2102 Look in any pilot supply store, catalog, or website and you’ll notice there is are several products that everyone carries, mostly because their iconic nature in the personal inventory of a pilot makes them easy inventory to carry and sell.  You’ll surely find the old standards: the E6B, the fuel tester, the kneeboard, the logbook, the sunglasses… and the pilot’s jacket.

Just about anyone who is or aspires to be a pilot realizes pretty quickly that the symbolic aviators jacket is a must have — not because it’s a "need" per se, but because the ego forces it on you.  I mean, how many of us fly in a "Members Only" jacket afterall?

If you want to reinforce your new found hobby or career path with family and friends, the leather bomber jacket is a requirement.  Nothing screams "I watch Top Gun at least once a month and want to be Maverick in my C-150" like it. For some of us, it’s a love of the historic side of aviation that prompts us to go after that piece of stitched goatskin… to wear a jacket like the heroes of WWII is in some way, a tribute to their influence on us.

After a time, you may get a bit tired of wearing the sweaty leather in all climates and may switch to a nylon or cotton aviator jacket — while the leather gets relegated to the "dress" uniform.  The nylon jacket offers the bonus of washability if you have an oil-hungry plane in your care and for those gadget "cockpit is an office" types, the nylon usually adds more pencil holders on the sleeve than you can shake a No. 2 at!