Friday, October 18

How We Do It Part Three

The air show is over, but there is still a lot to accomplish in the week to come. Blake Butler is here to prepare for and take his oral exam and check ride for his DC-3 type rating on Wednesday. Dave Buffington is testing for his Certified Flight Instructor rating that same day. Gene will teach ground school on Thursday to meet requirements for recurrent training and on Friday we will travel to Augusta for the show there.
Blake and Gene after successful checkride.
On Monday, October 14, Gene leaves early to take Rick Smail to the Atlanta airport for his trip back home. Sheryl takes Dave, Blake, Gladys and Scott to Covington airport. Scott and Gladys are returning to Ft. Lauderdale. Dave and Blake will pre-flight the airplane and training will start when Gene returns.
Monday and Tuesday are long days in the air followed by late nights going over material for the oral exam. It is hard work. Blake is a good student, but very nervous, as all our candidates for Captain before him have been.
Late Tuesday afternoon the word comes in that the Augusta show has been canceled. Due to the government shut down, they have failed to receive their paperwork from the FAA sanctioning the show. This is a deflating moment for everyone. Because the plane is already in position close by, that show would have been almost pure profit for the Flagship.
On Wednesday about 7AM, Gene, Dave and Blake left to meet the examiner for the check ride. They expected to return around 4PM or so. Sheryl and Gene had invited everyone to their house for dinner that night. Tony and Judy had flown in from Hilton Head where they spent a few days and Steve Jacobson had come from Ft. Worth. We were also being joined by our newest pilot member, Allen Murray. Just before four, Steve and Sheryl went to the airport with a cooler of beer for the road weary crew. Shortly after arriving, Sheryl received a text from Blake that he had passed his exam but Dave's had not yet started.  Leaving the cooler in Gene's truck, Sheryl and Steve returned to her house. It was 7:30 PM when the fliers finally returned. What an ordeal!!
Corks popped, toasts were made, dinner served.  The wine flowed along with the never ending flying stories accompanied by uproarious laughter. Folks started dropping out to return to hotels. However, two of the crew who shall remain unnamed stayed up until 3AM still celebrating. They heartily regretted it next morning.
Dave, Blake and Gene after long day testing.
Thursday was a little later start as ground school had been scheduled for mid day to allow for any folks who might fly in that morning. It was another long day as they were at it until well after 6PM and then a three hour dinner.  Meanwhile, Sheryl and Judy had a Ladies Day Out touring the historic towns of Covington and Madison and meeting Carol Jones for lunch at the Madison Tea Room. Many thanks to Carol for suggesting that delightful place! It was no surprise that everyone turned in early that night.
Friday morning, Steve and Dave left for the Atlanta airport. Gene and Blake left for the Covington airport, where Blake would fly his Bonanza home and Gene would start training Allen. Judy and Tony will stay in Covington until Sunday visiting friends and sight seeing.
Hopefully these last three posts show that although the crew of the Flagship love what they do, the times spent together with the airplane are long hours and hard work.

The next gig is Stuart Air Show in Florida the first weekend in November. This is always fun and well attended.

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