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coastdog

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coastdog last won the day on October 7

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About coastdog

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  • Birthday 06/10/58

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  1. Rookie Move in Shearwater

    Well, it's not that earth-shaking as far as nasty notes go but here you are. At least their printing is neat.
  2. Rookie Move in Shearwater

    I was out flying and actually have no idea who left the note and I'm pretty sure they didn't know me either. In any case the attitude wasn't called for. I like to think most of the pilots I know would have taken the high road and been civil about it. I'd would have more respect for them if they left me a card or called later to give me a piece of their mind (with perhaps an opportunity to defend myself) but instead it was kind of a spineless way to communicate. Regardless, I will be trying to mind my gear better.
  3. To the pilot who left me the anonymous note after blowing away my 206 intake plugs today in Shearwater, B.C. I really should have done a better job securing my gear and I apologize for the hazard and any inconvenience. I’m not exactly sure how things went south. My stuff had survived plenty of traffic over the past three days without incident ... but sometimes #### happens. You will be pleased to know that I didn't actually need the 'good luck' in finding my plugs as suggested in your note but located them quickly as they were less than 10 metres away and in plain sight. I will also be forever grateful that you took the time to write your vitriol and place it in my away kit so I would know just how "f#%ing dumb" I was. There has been some question on this from time to time over the course of my career and your input is truly appreciated. Certainly your time was better spent writing your note than picking up the items and removing them from the landing area. Perhaps if you had stuck around I might have bought you a coffee. In 40 years of flying I have only ever met a small handful of pilots that felt they were above making mistakes (rookie or otherwise) and that maintained a zero tolerance attitude towards the rest of us mortals. I would have enjoyed getting to know you a bit and learning your secrets to achieving perfection. I think that regardless I’ll probably make a few more rookie moves before my enlightenment.
  4. Trip Log Booklets

    I found myself in Staples one day and discovered this handy calendar part of Day-Timer. It comes in a box with a separate pocket-sized booklet for each month of the current year. On the left side is space for notes, things to do and expense records and on the right is a daily work schedule. The work schedule doesn't exactly cover a pilot's day hour-wise but it's easy to work around. The best part is by the time your book is coffee-stained and dog-eared, you just grab a new month and your good to go again. If you worry about your smart phone's battery going dead in the middle of your work day or prefer to write stuff down then this is a good alternative. Also, if you want to get fancy, pick up some sticky labels and print you company logo, etc. for the cover.
  5. Been flying the 407 this summer. For those of you not familiar, it's equipped with a squat switch on the gear and records actual air time. This is what I put in the ship's log. Easy. I also make a note of my time off and my time down at the end of the flight and this figure is billed to the client and put in my personal log. When I'm loading crews hot in the field or any other activity where the machine is required to be running, that's "flight time". I will make exceptions to this if I think it's unfair to the client (really). At the end of the day the difference between the two numbers is not that great. My current client is aware of this with no objections. We also charge a per hour fuel rate, so it would unfair to the operator not to charge flight time (imagine the invoice - 4.7 hours flying but fuel charge based on 5.1 hours ... ? I also feel no guilt in personal logging of flight time. If I'm at the stick and the machine is running - I'm working.
  6. Tool-Kits For Pilots

    There are obvious limitations with respect to pilot's wrenching their helicopters in the field. The depth of my own ignorance in technical matters is vast and well documented. In my opinion the number one fix-all for most pilots should be a Sat-phone. However a good (small) kit should be essential for minor items that pop up like adjustments or repair to refuelling gear, longlines, water buckets, etc. My bag contains things too large to carry on my belt (leatherman - of course) and include multi-tip ratcheting screwdriver, 2 adjustable wrenches (large and small), 3/4 socket, lock wire, duct tape, electrical tape, flashlight, a roll of para cord, folding saw, fire starter, flagging tape, spare grease fittings, needle-nose pliers, side cutters, etc. The zip ties come in handy to temporarily secure shackles and the like (instead of lock-wire). I usually throw a couple of spare shackles if I have room. Last, to avoid suspicion in the hangar I've disguised it to look like a lunch box....
  7. will your program curse or slap me upside the head if I get the answer wrong? It seems I learn best that way ...
  8. Flying Gadgets

    Most amazing and useful cockpit gadget ever devised: The Pen Pal.
  9. Nerd Alert - Flash Light?

    I've had good luck with Pelican, they make a full range of waterproof, sturdy flashlights from keychain LED's to super-bright Xenon. Fenix makes a powerful light at a reasonable price. Although I haven't seen them in person the new Leathermans would automatically get my vote. If you're going to fly an Airbus or 777, I recommend the Surefire Aviator, optimized for pilots with high disposable incomes (I'm sure it's a very good light too).
  10. Desperate Times?

    So there I was, a 36 year old newbie with 15 years experience and over ten thousand hours of mostly useless fixed wing time, and a fresh rotary endorsement. Like so many others when I got my big break, I accepted readily and began sweeping, fueling, loading, washing, helping in the hangar, answering phones, etc. I did get paid a token amount but I could have worked at McD's and made more. The first thing I did was put my ego in a box and stored it in my garage. I worked without complaint, showed up early and did more than was expected. On the weekends I trained in the 206. The company was busy and six months later I had a PPC, my name on the pilot roster and a corresponding raise in pay. I stayed a good long time and loved every minute of it. Today I'm watching another young, low time guy toughing it out, paying his dues. He's there every day, finds useful stuff to do and most importantly he listens well, watches what goes on and doesn't miss a thing. Don't imaging he's getting paid all that much but that will change. Best of all, he too will one day be able to lecture to his children the benefits of poverty and personal sacrifice in character-building .....
  11. Pilot's Families

    In theory I would agree also ... except that I did just that many, many years ago. Uprooted my young bride and moved to a "Port", where we thrived and survived for almost 14 years. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. My darling bride "cried when she arrived there and cried harder when she left". Of course we did all this when we were young and crazy, no kids and have since moved to warmer climates ...
  12. Pilot's Families

    One has a better benefit program!
  13. Pilot's Families

    You got that right Over-Talk!
  14. Pilot's Families

    Been married to my first wife now for over 25 years. Once at the end of a long, hot summer after five weeks in the Yukon on fires, I arrived back at base with my machine to the smiles of my wife and 7 year old son. Within half an hour of my arrival we got a call to cover for a logging support machine that was AOG a short distance away. I was the only guy on base and my bags were still packed, so off I went. My son turned to his mom and said "why did dad even bother coming home?". She stormed into the boss's office and gently explained her displeasure. He said he didn't want to send me, but that I was the only pilot on base, to which she pointed out the HE was a pilot why didn't HE go and cover the job. It was bout two hours later, my gear stowed and I was in the process of getting fallers off the hill when a second company machine shows up with orders for me to get my gear and go home to my wife and son. That's a good aviator's wife!
  15. Flightpath

    In my family there was always a great respect paid to those that packed a wrench (my grandfather was an engineer - Regina Flying Club, 1930 - 40's) and I've had the great pleasure to work in an environment where everyone worked and played nice together. I've also worked around places where the cultural difference was so thick you could cut it with a knife ... I learned a long time ago that the simple act of cleaning up your machine after a long day on a fire or sticking around late to hold the flashlight can win the heart and mind of even the most hardened wrench.
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