Some days being a DZO (drop zone owner) can be the best job in the world and some days it can be a never ending series of frustrations.  Saturday and Sunday will go down in the latter category.  The promise of a really profitable Saturday was blown away, literally, by strong ground winds, shutting down operations and causing the Twin Otter to abort 2 landing attempts due to the strong cross winds.  At $15.00 a minute watching the pilot struggle to get the plane down is particularly painful.  The weather was better on Sunday but my luck was not.  The 8 way competition/camp I was running produced lackluster results and was capped off with an inexperienced jumper deploying his parachute underneath the formation causing a potentially disastrous situation.  I thought my day was getting better when another jumper showed up with a fully automatic 9mm handgun and a backpack full of loaded 30 round magazines.   I had a few minutes to kill so we ran over to the range, yes we have a shooting range at my airport, to shred some targets but just before we started shooting I was called back to video a tandem who changed his mind at the last minute.  I ran back to the building scrambled to get everything needed to film a tandem and jumped on the Otter, only to discover that the battery on my still camera was dead shortly after takeoff.  My day just got better and better after that.  A student I was radioing down didn’t listen to my directions and hit one of my instructors car on landing putting a big dent in the door but thankfully not injuring him.  The instructor threw a small fit, jumped into his dented ride and stormed off tearing up some grass and generally making an ass of himself.  Then to cap off a truly wonderful day my aircraft loader/fueler came up and informed me that one of the fuel caps on the Otter was missing.  That was just great.  We’d lost that same fuel cap just last month and had to ask the owner to send us a new one and now it was also missing.  Those caps are expensive and I was sure the owner was going to make me pay for it this time, I wasn’t looking forward to making that call.  Apparently the loader hadn’t put the cap on correctly after fueling the plane and it fell off in flight landing who knows where.  For rest of the day we had to fly the Otter with a bunch of duct tape covering the fuel tank opening, that was classy.  The day finally ended and whilst trying to forget it over a few adult beverages with some of the staff and regular jumpers I got a text from one of my Jump masters who lives about three miles south of the airport and is also one of my Otter pilots.  The text read “Here is what I found on my wood pile when I got home tonight.  I didn’t move it.”

    Here was the picture he sent. 

Yep, the missing fuel cap, what are the odds?  Finally,  a little luck.

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