Monday, November 10, 2008

Beating the Air Into Submission.

Today would normally be my last day of the work tour, but I've been tapped to work over at Pump Station 5. That means tomorrow I'll be on an airplane early in the morning and with a bit of luck on Wednesday I'll do one of my least favorite things in order to be home at a reasonable hour. If the weather permits, my relief will fly up on our security helicopter, and I'll return to town on the same machine.

I really love small airplanes and as a teen I took flying lessons. I even soloed before I ran out of money. As much as I like airplanes, I dislike helicopters. I very much appreciate what helicopters can do, and many times I've been happy to see them show up to transport a critically ill or injured patient to a distant hospital much faster than I could do by ground. I'm really glad that a lot of people truly enjoy flying on helicopters - if they fly it means I don't have to.

An airplane glides through the air with grace and finesse, obeying the laws of physics very nicely. There is no finesse to a helicopter - it is simply a very expensive collection of spare parts, all moving along in loose formation while beating the air into submission.

I'm hoping the helicopter I'll be riding on Wednesday is very successful at beating the air into submission all the way from Pump Station 5 to Fairbanks.

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