Friday, July 18, 2008


It was supposed to be fairly simple, take the 2 hour Annual Check Ride (ACR) with our program manager. Normally, one hour of flight and one hour of ground review are included. However, some times it can take all day.
Ground review of Peruvian air regulation led to the discovery of 3 types of airspace A, D, and G. With A starting at FL 240 and G from the surface to FL240. D is only used around a couple airports that have control towers.

Anyways, the ground review took 2 hours and then as we were getting ready to fly, a call came in for an emergency flight to a village about 1 hour away. So we changed plans and headed out to pick up the sick person in the village. Landing the float plane, I shut down and got out on the float to dock the plane with a dugout canoe. Standing in the canoe, the wind started to blow the airplane and so I pulled on the tow rope and only succeeded in losing my balance and falling out of the canoe. Waist deap in murky water, I could hear the muffled laughter of my fellow "comrade" and check pilot. I'm not sure what he found so amusing.

We get the patient loaded up in the stretcher in back along with the nurse. I begin to load some baggage into the pontoon when I manage to wrack my head against the wing strut. Wow, that hurt but I think I am ok. As I continue loading I notice red splotches on the white floats and a quick check reveals I am leaking 5606 hydraulic fluid from my head. Thankfully the other pilot is there to wash the wound with my bottled drinking water and put antibiotic creme on a gauze pad. Man, why is he laughing again? Now, what to hold this bandage in place? Oh, of course, my helmet. So off we go with me still soaking wet and my head throbbing away... perfect time to practice an instrument approach on the way pack into Pucallpa.
One VOR/DME approach and 60 minutes later we are on the water again and the patient is on his way to the hospital. By 3pm I am back in the office regaling our secretary with the whole story. I guess sometimes when it rains is pours. At least I passed the ACR.


Jason A said...

Lighten up Dave. If it was an easy job, anyone could do it. lol!

Be sure to check your fluid levels before leaving. Hate to have you out there a quart low.

Daniel said...

Dude, was it Jon? I could see him laughing about all that. I'm glad you passed your check ride. I've got a meeting in 3 hours and 10 minutes to find out if I'm accepted and where I'll be assigned. I'm pretty excited to hear, but really nervous too.

I guess I should find something to do to keep my mind occupied.

Ed said...

Ouch! That hurt! It's a good thing you were able to fly back, head wound and all. Keep 'em flying!