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Ships passing in the...day

Nearly Retired

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So, my friend Mikey was coming over from Seattle to visit for the weekend, flying across in a Bell 206B that he'd be doing some sling work in on Monday. Instead of coming up to Brewster, he terminated at the airport in Wenatchee (KEAT) which is just down the river a bit from us. I drove down to pick him up.


No sooner do I get there, but I see a red Robinson R-44 on the ramp! The pilot is at the fence rampside, talking to a person on the outside. Mikey is also outside near the entrance to the FBO, sitting on the curb having a smoke. I stop, and as we're loading Mikey's bags in my car, the pilot of the R-44 comes through the personnel gate. We pass maybe 25 feet from each other.


You know who it was ;)


I'm not sure she recognized me, although she may have. She got in a car and left.


I was going to take a picture of myself twerking, Miley Cyrus-style, against the red R-44...or peeing on it maybe, but decided against it. There was drinking to do, and all that standing around was not only making us thirsty but cutting into our alcohol consumption time.


But it was funny. I first, um, "encountered" the pilot of the R-44 a couple of years ago, when she posted on her blog a story about a conflict she had with some tour pilots near the Grand Canyon. The post was titled, "How To Annoy A Helicopter Pilot." It was a grand story about a bunch of immature pilots acting like, well, kids. Yes, including her. I said as much in the "Comments" section of her blog, which generated a lot of responses (mostly pro-her and anti-me) and which of course were immediately deleted (my comments, that is). Then she decided that all comments would henceforth be moderated - that is, pre-approved before publishing them. Oh well. I still make comments on her blog - you just never get to read them.


Anyways, I was living in Florida at the time and she was living in Arizona. And now we end up in the same valley in Washington State, doing the same job (although I do it immeasurably better), and come within 25 feet of each other at some podunk little airport. (I still actually live in Florida, but I've been hanging around up here in Washington because: 1) my company needs the help; and 2) I don't really have anything better to do.)


It's a tiny, tiny industry, eh mate?


As we were driving to the liquor store, Mikey was fuming. "Dat broad in dat R-44 came in right after we landed," he groused in a New Jersey accent straight out of the TV show, "The Sopranos." And Mikey never even lived in Jersey - he's from the midwest! "She landed right behind us...real close, you know?" he said. "I mean, Christ, she had the whole ramp to land on and she had to land RIGHT BEHIND!! Whaddyagonnado about a broad like that! Fuggeddaboudit!"


I laughed, said I understood, and explained that she'd kind of done that before. Then I told him about her blogpost.


Some things never change.

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1) You don't have to read it.


2) See #1 above.

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Off topic question..... Who flys the white r44 up there? My wife and I grew up in Chelan and Orondo. We were visiting the families up there a couple weeks ago and I kept seeing the white r44 fly up and down the river by Ciderworks. It looked like it was hoping over the hills towards Leavenworth when we saw it flying down river. I also saw it flying down lake towards town a couple times in Chelan.


I'm just curious about what's going on around the home town.


There's a lot going on up there these days with helicopter.


Also your red 44, I thought she just dried cherries. Since cherry season's over is she doing more work up there now?

Edited by rotormandan
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Hi Dan- not sure who flies the white R-44. I've seen it too and suspect it's privately owned.


As for the cherry-dryer in question, she is going through a messy and very public divorce. She actually moved from Arizona up to the Wenatchee area and is building a house. In addition to drying cherries, she has a part-135 certificate which allows her to hop rides and do charters (photo flights, winery tours, etc.) and I suppose she can instruct in it as well.


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Question is, this thread is worthless without pictures:) At least for us who do not know who this woman is. I mean is she attractive, not attractive? Other than safety that's the main thing I'm interested in:)


What a horrible thing to say! Tsimms, we will not tolerate any such sexist comments, innuendo and/or personal attacks in this forum!! You march yourself right back to the JH "bad" board, young man!


Look, I give "she who must not be named" a lot of grief. Because, frankly, she deserves it with her holier-than-thou, I-know-everything attitude. Plus, she's a member of a religion I do not respect (Atheism). Plus-plus, her blog stories are boring and tedious. ("Let me rant some MORE about my divorce from my 'wasband!'" Or, "Here's more than you ever wanted to know about raising bees!" Oh please.) On the contrary, my blog stories are fascinating, scintillating, interesting, full of shenanagins and hilarious to pilot and non-pilot alike!


On the other hand...


"That woman" is trying to build a business in a male dominated industry that is as misogynistic as it gets. Helicopter pilots can be huge a-holes. Many have so little respect for women that it's not even funny. And so "she" has to fight that everywhere she goes...that, "What are YOU doing in this business, missy? Shouldn't you be at home raising the kids?" attitude.


The first story of hers I ever read was about these a-hole Astar tour pilots who didn't like where she parked her R-44 at "their" airport (I'm assuming it was someplace near the Grand Canyon). She says they gave her the usual, condescending, "Hey honey, why don't you park that friggin' toy helicopter someplace else, where it isn't in our way...like California?" Which isn't right.


She could have accommodated them and parked on a different pad that would not have interfered with their commercial operation, but she decided to pull a "George Zimmerman" and stand her ground. "I'll park wherever I damn well please!" Hilarity ensued. Childish hilarity.


In her defense, she was at the time not an extremely experienced pilot, and assumed the tour helicopters would be following the little yellow lines as they hover-taxiied slowly out to the takeoff point near the runway like good little airplanes. That ain't how we do it.


Anyway, that was a long time ago. I'm sure she's learned a thing or two by now. So let's have a little sympathy for her and leave her looks out of this discussion.


Okay, okay...pictures. Here is a pic of the 206B that my friend Mikey was flying. Nice ship. Very light.





Up next is a pic of a Bonneville Power 407 that was also parked on the ramp...




And here is the red R-...oh wait...I didn't take a picture of it! Silly me.

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  • 1 month later...

She had one of her rants on the Facebook Helicopter Pilots page the other day. Right, but for all the wrong reasons. I was going to tag you in it for grins and giggles but.... better to let sleeping dogs lie :D


According to her, flying at max gross weight is dangerous and no one should do it! I wanted rant back but.... Fuggeddaboudit.

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I was going to take a picture of myself twerking, Miley Cyrus-style, against the red R-44...or peeing on it maybe, but decided against it.



You really need to take this pathetic, teenager-level immature obsessive juvenile idiocy some place else. Pound a bible on a beach somewhere, and shut the hell up. Seriously.


You whined about losing your nerve, about being washed up and unable to continue in the industry. About being too old to press on. Perhaps that's it. Senility. The return to childhood. That might explain why your posts sound like a vindictive teenager that cant' let go of issues nobody cares about, but you carry it to excess. Do you drink too much? Is that the problem?


I've lost three acquaintances in the last couple of weeks, and of present reflection let me say that life is too short for this crap. Move on.

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Hmm. Wow. I posted this back at the end of September. Now here it is two months later and the once great and mighty Avnut decides to come out of the woodwork (or a well-appreciated retirement) and comment on it? What...were you sleeping? Anger issues? Hey Avjerk, I'm sorry for your loss, really. But screw you. Don't tell me what to write about, nor what to think or feel. If I want to waste a little time, have a little fun and post some quasi-helicopter-related stuff on this board, it is my right. And when you become Sysop or a Moderator or whatever, THEN you can tell me what I can and can't do. In the meantime, you know what YOU can do ;)


Here's a little hint: If you don't like my posts, DON'T READ THEM! It'll save you a lot of grief. Oh and while we're at it, here's a little heads-up for you: I've got another post for that atheist-pilot thread I'll soon be resurrecting (ouch, sorry for the pun). Stay tuned! But...you (and counter-rotate and azhigher and maybe everyone else) probably won't want to read it. DON'T SAY YOU WEREN'T WARNED!


I agree with you that life is too short. Yours, probably a lot shorter than mine, as you sound like you're, what, 80 now? But I come on here, talking openly about my insecurities, fears, and aging issues, baring my soul for you all, and what do I get? Grief, that's what!

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What...were you sleeping?



No, working for a living as a professional pilot. I haven't lost my nerve, you see.


I've also a lot more to do with my day than condemning others to damnation and hell for their personal beliefs, and don't generally carry with me a public obsession with which I burden others on a regular basis. That, of course, would be you.


Avnut…Avjerk...screw you. In the meantime, you know what YOU can do



We see that the quality of your contributions, to say nothing of your Christian approach and your professionalism hasn't diminished one iota. It's still as juvenile as it can be. It's good to see you offering a valued contribution on a regular basis, rather than creating frequent posts with no other purpose than to attack people you don't know.


This is what you become then, when you lose your nerve and can no longer serve a useful function?


But I come on here, talking openly about my insecurities, fears, and aging issues, baring my soul for you all, and what do I get?



Exactly what you deserve. The responses you get, you earn, and bring them upon yourself.


If you're truly nearing retirement, implying you've had a full career and ought to be mature enough to know better, at this stage in life you should be well aware that you needn't spout every little thing in public that enters your mind. It's not always appropriate, appreciated, or needed, and frankly, most really don't want to hear it. This mental diarrhea may be best kept at a personal level. There's a reason that walls are placed around the toilet, and it's not just about your privacy; not everyone else cares to see.


Oh and while we're at it, here's a little heads-up for you: I've got another post for that atheist-pilot thread I'll soon be resurrecting (ouch, sorry for the pun).



You're planning on bringing it on yourself again, then. It's a shame you're not aware of how embarrassing this is to you. You really don't see it, do you?


Here's a little hint: If you don't like my posts, DON'T READ THEM! It'll save you a lot of grief.



Not at all. It might save you a lot of grief, but that's not going to happen, is it?

Edited by avbug
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Avnut, oh Avnut, how I dearly await your posts...how I long to read them...your witty, helpful posts so full of the wisdom of the ages and fatherly advice.


Is your sarcasm detector working today? Because my sarcasm producer is at 100% and max beep.


Avbuggy, I've spent a whole damn career putting up with pilots like you: Pompous a-holes so full of themselves that they can't bear to withhold their sanctimonious bullsh*t “advice”...guys who've been around a while and assume that because of it they can tell others what's "right" and what's "wrong"...guys with egos inflated like those balloons in the Macy's Day Parade...so full of self-importance that they become insufferable and unbearable...guys who just can't wait to tell everyone else how to fly and think and behave... Yeah, you. And you know what? You should probably just can it. Nobody cares what you think. Just like nobody really cares what *I* think!


A pilot emailed me recently. He said he'd written me a couple of years ago when he was in flight school, asking for advice on getting his career going. I gave him some (I guess - or at least I didn't talk him out of it). Now, two years later he's working as an agpilot and he was wondering if I had any *more* advice on flying and staying alive. Hah! Me?


I told him no. I told him that he's the one already doing the job day after day...not me. In fact, I've never done ag and don’t know a thing about it, although I have flown the type of helicopter he's using. However I did tell him that the best advice I ever got was from Gerry Golden, who at the time (1987) was Director of Training at PHI.


Gerry and I were talking one day about a weather issue: Another pilot and I had a disagreement on what constituted our weather minimums offshore. Gerry looked me in the eye and said, “Just don't crash. We give you the aircraft, the Ops Manual, the Flight Manual and the FAR's. You take the helicopter offshore, and I want you to bring it back to me at the end of the hitch. Don't crash." I said it's not that simple. But he shot back, "It is that simple: DON'T CRASH THE HELICOPTER." The more I thought about it, the more I understood. It’s up to *us* to not make any stupid mistakes that cause us to crash. Follow the rules, be conservative, be smart, don’t crash. That little piece of advice changed my flying.


And so I told this young agpilot: Don’t crash the helicopter. Work at it diligently; never assume that you know what you’re doing because you’ve been doing it for a while. Before *every* takeoff make a pledge that you will not crash…promise yourself that you’ll fly safely and make the best decisions possible. Don't take "not crashing" for granted. Not crashing is *not* an automatic thing, or even a given just because you have a bazillion hours in your logbook, like I do. I’m just as capable of crashing a helicopter as anyone. Just look at the accident reports: There are some high-time pilots doing the crashing, lemme tell ya!



This mental diarrhea may be best kept at a personal level. There's a reason that walls are placed around the toilet, and it's not just about your privacy; not everyone else cares to see.




It's a shame you're not aware of how embarrassing this is to you. You really don't see it, do you?


Not every culture builds walls around its toilets. And it's not embarrassing to me. Nothing embarrasses me anymore. I could take a poop on one of those Macy's Day Parade floats. I can see it now:


Al Roker: "And here comes the Just Helicopters Marching Band in their pretty pink and baby blue uniforms…they sure are a sharp-looking bunch of guys! And the band is followed by another float, Matt...


Matt Lauer: "Yes, Al, it looks like some sort of helicopter! Is it supposed to be a toy helicopter?"


Al Roker: "Well, it says ‘Robinson’ on one side and ‘Sikorsky’ on the other…so…I guess it could be a toy helicopter either way, Matt. And that 'pilot seat' is...does that look like a toilet to you??"


Matt Lauer: "Sure looks like it, Al..and...oh my…hey...what in the..."


Al Roker: "Dear Lord! That man is actually taking a...OH MY GOD, and now he's wiping his...oh dear! Well, I must say, this surely is a wonderful example of diversity in aviation and freedom of expression, Matt!"


Matt Lauer: "Exactly, Al. Exactly. It's the human aspect that binds us all. Quite well executed, I must say. I just wish he'd give us a courtesy flush pretty soon - whew! It smells like the studios after you've had a Taco Bell lunch!"


Al Roker: "No, Matt, that's just the regular New York City smell..."


Moving on...


It is ironic, Avnut, that you think *my* posts are embarrassing to me. You should hear what people say about *your* posts! Damn. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! The only difference is, I know that what I write is a little "out there." See, it's called satire. You obviously have no understanding of the concept, and therefore think that I am to be taken seriously.


And that's what separates you and me, Avnut. I take what I *do* very, VERY seriously, but I don't take *myself* seriously. You apparently take yourself very seriously. What you don't realize is that no one else takes you seriously. In other words, you really need to lighten up, man. Enjoy life a little! You seem very grouchy. You're like the Walter Matthau of the helicopter industry (or Jeff Dunham's Walter, to make a more helicopter-appropriate comparison). And you wave your credentials around waaaaay too much, just like hundreds of other helicopter pilots I’ve known throughout my career. And we kind of...you know, frown on that in this business. Just thought I’d let you know. Free advice and all. Worth every penny!



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Hahhaa !


I worked with a guy like that. We were just sitting around talking sh*t when he felt the need to correct us on how wrong we were. Then when we challenged him on something at a later date he started talking about how he was a CFII and an A&P !


Everyone got real quiet like and then I said "So does that make you twice as wrong ?"


I think a few people actually fell down from laughing so hard.


Yes, NR people like that make for a looooong day.. but are sometimes amusing (at their expense!)

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