Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bask in the shadow of yesterdays triumph

Another evening at home.

I took the night off tonight; there wasn't a plane to work on. I took half of last night off to, as we were pretty much done. It's nice to come into work, hand the supervisor a piece of paper, then run off to enjoy a lovely sunny, warm afternoon with a few friends at the local Starbucks.

We have been having a tough time delivering this last plane, the customer kept finding bullshit snags everywhere, things that were not real problems. Mostly cosmetic in nature. He even made up a few, which after investigation, it was determined that nothing was wrong. So, why was this happening? My opinion is, that the rep was trying to keep it here for a few days. Every day we are late, it cost us a lot of money. The plane was due at another facility for winglet mods, and they other place was a few days behind. So, keep it at our hanger, make a lot of cash, and then show up on time. We get screwed, and the customer gets a lot of money. The airline business is a crooked one.

But, on the good side of things, I finally got a raise. It wasn't what I should have received, but it was better than nothing. I guess this means that they expect me to work harder. I don't know if I can, I have been working harder than most guys at higher pay scales for years. I think the reasoning works that the more you get paid, the less you have to work. At least some of the managers I see work to that criteria. (Not all, mind you. Some work their butts off.)

So, what are your plans for the Easter Long Weekend? I have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off, and will be spending at least two of those days working at Riverside Raceway in Mission, getting things ready for the up-coming season. Marc has told me that the guys that make the timing equipment have upgraded a few things, and now the racers can have receivers in their cars to get lap times, and total laps displayed to them while on the course. Sweet! I really enjoy hanging out in Timing and Scoring, watching the cars zoom by. I can't afford to actually race, but this is fun too.

Well, that's about it for now. Glad that I have had a few moments to write something down for a change. Take care all!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Night moves

Friday was a long day.

It started of as a regular shift at work, doing the regular boring things. Doing overhaul on airplanes gets to be almost production line-ish at times. There is usually only one or two days of fun when the plane is getting ready to leave, and you get to run around outside with engines running and the bosses freaking out and stuff like that. But, normally, it's a little mundane. So, Friday night, it got a little interesting.

I finished my regular shift, went home, showered, and lied down for a couple of hours. Didn't sleep, but I wish I had. Then, got up, grabbed some food for later, and ran off back to work. From there, we did the hour drive out to YVR to go and do an "A" Check on a 757 out on the line. This is a big difference from working on the "dead" airplanes in our hanger. This bird was live, and we had six hours to check it all over, change a few filters, flush out the water system, and boroscope one of the engines. There was a lot to do.

I was handed all the APU cards to work on. The APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) is a little turbine engine that sits in the back of the plane and produces electricity and is an air source for starting the main engines. So, I jumped at it with a lot of enthusiasm, mostly because I had a short time to do it all, and also, I really like working on APU's. I managed to get it all done in a couple of hours, and then went off to inspect the wings.

We did the check in the BCIT hanger, so we had a herd of students following us around. It is amazing to realize how much more info I have crammed into the sponge in my head than these guys that are still in school. I guess that I do know what I am doing!! I had a lot of fun teaching the students about different things, getting them to help, and telling them about working out in the "real world" of aviation.

Some time into the check, one of the guys changing a filter on the IDG (Integrated Drive Generator) found a whole bunch of metal in there. Lot's of metal. Seems that this is a fairly common (albeit expensive) problem for these generators. So, we had to change it. Luckily, they always keep a spare handy. I don't think that I have ever seen one changed as fast as those guys did it.

So, by 8:00AM, the plane was pretty much ready to go again, with only the engine and APU runs to complete. Most of us got to go home to bed, and a few of the guys stuck around to make sure that everything was good. By 11:00AM, the plane was loading with passengers to fly to Hawaii.

I was (as well as a few others) awake for over 24 hours in all that, but I have never seen such a concerted team effort like that before. It was a lot of fun, and I think that we all learned lot's from it. I will probably say yes again next week if they do it again. Even though I had to sleep through a beautiful Saturday. Well worth it!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

A ribbon of black

Wow! Has it ever been a while since I put anything here. I'm sorry. You see, I have a new addiction. It has taken up too much of my time, and between that, going to parties, going to camp with 600 Scouts and Girl Guides, working odd shifts and just trying to get some sleep, my Blog has been neglected.

As for the addiction. Well, it's not any kind of drug, but it seems to be harder to quit than heroin. It's the online game, World of Warcraft. I have been getting off work at midnight, staying up till 5:00AM just trying to finish one more quest, then getting up 6-7 hours later to get in a few hours of gaming before going back to work. Yes, it is that bad. And being that there aren't many people out this way for me to get together with, the game has taken over my life.

On the good side though, I sit at home and don't spend any money! And next week, I will be back on dayshift so I will have evenings free to do things with friends again. And I will try and write here a little more often too. I actually have a lot on my mind that I need to put down...maybe I will try and ignore the game a bit more.

I will, really I will.