Proof: I Do Work!

May 13, SAN - OAK. And yes, it's more than just flying powered paraglidiing sites.

Friends frequently tell me they don't think I actually work. Quite the contrary—I often slave over hot throttles for days at a time. Days. OK, usually only 3 days at a time. And now I've got proof: during a trip from San Diego to Oakland we had a jumpseater riding in the cockpit and I put him to work with my camera. Hey, he's getting a free ride.

I'm one of the lucky humans—I still essentially enjoy my job. Yes, about 5% of the time I'd like to be elsewhere and about the 5th flight through Cleveland gets old, but those percentages aren't bad. Not everybody likes this job. During the 2007 Florida convention I talked with a fellow aviator who hates it. He hates flying the jet, he hates the overnights and hates the schedule (week on followed by a week off). So my good fortune is not just in having the job but, more importantly, the fact that it suits me so well.

When the picture at right was snapped, I was pointing at the flap gauge in response to the Before Landing Checklist. I applaud our flight ops management who have made verbiage mercifully brief. It catches the most important 3 items: Speedbrake "armed, green light", landing gear "down 3 green," and flaps "30, green light". Simple but critical.

The cockpit series below depict our arrival into Oakland's runway 29 ending with a pull of the thrust reversers. It was another bright sunny day in the bay although San Francisco, only 15 miles west, was enshrouded in cloud. The next two pictures were taken during climb out of San Diego.

Final approach OAK

Final approach OAK

Final approach OAK

Final approach OAK

Final approach OAK

Pulling up reverse

Departing San Diego

Torrey Pines to N

East of Las Vegas

Chicago Downtown

Biz Jet SAN

Must PPG Here!

The above photos also include a departure from Chicago a few days later. The "Must PPG Here" was a place east of Las Vegas that I plan on flying at some point in the future. I've got the distance and direction from one of the navigation stations (BCE VOR, 222° @ 41nm) we used to use. The list grows. And just think of all the terrain I never fly over, let alone the foreign destinations. For example, I'll bet Canada has some beautiful countryside. Can't wait!




1. Yours truly actually working. You can see that I'm hand flying because the autopilot is in "FD" (flight director) mode and that the airplane is fully configured for landing. At this point we're high and the engines are at idle. We plan each approach so as to be "spooled up" (main fan spinning about 55%) by 1000 feet above ground level (AGL).


2. Departing San Diego and looking north towards Torrey Pines.

© 2015 Jeff Goin   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!