Ask any professional pilot what is the biggest negative about his, or her, chosen line of work and more often than not the answer will be the time spent away from friends and family. Long hours that lead into days spent crammed into cockpits, riding airport shuttles and stealing hotel shampoo means missing a lot of birthday parties and baseball games. But every once in a while being a pilot and owning an airplane comes in handy, like today. Number one son has his first sophomore football game this afternoon that I would dearly love to attend. The only problem is that I have to fly and jump out of a few airplanes in the morning and early afternoon and the game is a day killing three hour drive from the dropzone. Enter the my go fast machine, Black Betty the Queen Air. I can jump until 2:30, drive to my hanger, fly the thirty minutes it takes to get to the airport in the opposing team’s town, borrow the crew car, and get to the stadium in time for kick off. And my wife told me that my plane was impractical.
UPDATE: Menomonie (the good guys) 41 Merrill 28. Number one son played most of the game and scored a two point conversion on a nice fake extra point passing play. On a slightly less joyous note, my wife and I left the restaurant we went with her sister and brother in law after the game at the same time. I stopped by the stadium to check on how the varsity was doing then went right to the airport. After a quick fuel up, which is nothing but what with four fuel tanks and all that’s involved, I took off into the setting sun. I powered the mighty Queen Air down to her max range power setting, plodding along smug in my knowledge that I was king of the world rocketing along at a modest but sort of fuel efficient 140 knots. I landed, taxied up to the hanger, and was greeted to the beautiful sight of the airport manager sitting on the tug ready to push me in like it was some kind of NASCAR event. Five minutes later I pulled into my driveway and walked into the house whistling a happy tune only to be greeted by my wife who asked me “what took you long?”…..Meh.