Monday, December 10, 2007

Some are better than others...

Hi all,

I haven't been writing much about "life on the road as a pilot" because there hasn't seemed to be very much to talk about - just business as usual.

Well, today we are flying a couple of people delivering their Christmas presents. We are waiting a few hours for them in the FBO here at the airport, and if you want to know the truth, I would have rather not! This is a very old building out in Arkansas. We were happy at first because there was a restaurant (above) serving good food (all fried, but very cheap). But when it was time to visit the pilot lounge, that was a different story. Image of the other pilots' attempt to recline in the laz-y-boy to the right. Oops. Inverted.

I have talked before about some of the nicer FBOs having snooze rooms and wide screen tvs. Free gourmet coffee, popcorn, cookies and wifi. Not here. The tv doesn't get any channels. There is a computer, but with virus alerts popping up. And the smell... whew. It does get humid down here.

The good news is that it is relatively warm and the people are nice. We'll go on to Texas for another gift delivery and if we're lucky, fly these folks back to Nebraska before the freezing rain hits. All airplanes are not certified to fly in freezing rain (it disturbs the airflow over the wing - decreasing the lift that can be produced). Since this condition is usually reported only on the ground - the report of freezing rain at an airport prohibits anyone taking off or landing. In flight, most airplanes have de-ice or anti-icing capabilities, or the pilots use PIREPS (or PIlot REPorts) from others experiencing freezing rain in the area - or they use their noggins to figure out where it could be taking place and avoid it. For more information, go to AOPA's article about airframe icing:

Freezing rain
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Freezing Rain is a type of precipitation that begins as snow at higher altitude, falling from a cloud towards earth, melts completely on its way down while passing through a layer of air above freezing temperature, and then encounters a layer below freezing at lower level to become supercooled. This water will then freeze upon impact of any object it then encounters.[1] The ice can accumulate to a thickness of several centimetres, called glaze ice. The METAR code for freezing rain is FZRA.[2] (see freezing drizzle for another way of forming ice accretion)

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