Erik's Journal - September 29, 2002

Geography: Brandon, Manitoba. Canada. Parked in the driveway of Vern and Norma.
Point form day: Woke up in the RV -went for a beautiful run –had a LARGE and wonderful breakfast –left the house with Vern to take down a couple of trees at one of his properties –went to the YMCA and had a workout and a steam –returned to the house and had a large chili dinner –spent the rest of the evening talking and laughing.

Highlight of the day: Running in the morning. I left the rest of the crew sleeping in the RV and headed down the only hill in Brandon. After running across a dew licked field I ventured through a trail that wound through flood lands. The floodwaters had bleached the willow trees to about shoulder high and as I huffed through the morning mist a hazy, surreal light filled the woods. Suddenly a white flash, then another, and another. White tail deer sprung from the woods around me. They bounced and bounded across my path and bounded off into the milky forest. The trail looped around and followed the Assiniboine River on the way back to the fields. My legs and lungs felt good as a chased jackrabbits back up the only hill in Brandon. Morning runs in new places are pure bliss.
Most inspiring moment: Seeing how enthusiastic, outgoing, and friendly Norma and Vern were. These people are the ones who are truly connecting the world through kindness. They took us in as if we were their own kids. They are the kind of people who give older folks a good name.

Shout outs: Of course Norma and Vern. Thanks for treating us like family.

Classic Quote: “Oh just take what you want from the kitchen,” – Norm “Oh thanks I could use a China set, we need some dishes for the RV.” –Chris.

My Crux: Sometimes it’s hard to just chill out. When you are always on the go it can be hard to find that time just to relax.

Physically Speaking: I feel pretty good, my run was great but I pulled a muscle in my neck at the YMCA and received yet another blister from chopping down that tree.

Mental Stimulation: I learned a lot about diving in Central America and a fair amount about Brandon and the surrounding area.

Big Laughs: Reading this with Norma and Vern: (Isn’t it funny how contagious laughter is)
After every flight, pilots complete a gripe sheet which conveys to the mechanics problems encountered with the aircraft during the flight that need repair or correction. The form is a piece of paper that the pilot completes, and then the mechanics read and correct the problem.

They then respond in writing on the lower half of the form what remedial action was taken and the pilot reviews the gripe sheets before the next flight.
Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual logged maintenance complaints and problems, as submitted by QUANTAS pilots, and the solution recorded by maintenance engineers. By the way, Quantas is the only major airline that has never had an accident.
P = The problem logged by the pilot.
S = The solution and action taken by the engineers.
P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
P: Test flight OK, except autoland very rough.
S: Autoland not installed on this aircraft.
P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.
P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.
P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.
P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.
P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what they're there for.
P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.
P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.
P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.
P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with words.
P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

When I finished writing this I was: Feelin' mighty low.


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