That’s right, I got the call today! We’re on our way to Turkey in February! I had gotten to the point where the assignment was way back in my mind because so much time had passed. It was very surprising to get just a quick phone call saying, “tag, you’re it!” Now there’s so much to do in 3 months it’s almost overwhelming: call everyone, sell the house, sell the motorcycle, sell everything else we’ve been meaning to sell. Separate the stuff: what goes on the plane with us, what goes in the small shipment, what in the large, what stays behind. We won’t even know right away if e and MJ get to come with me. Housing is limited enough over there that they may bring me over by myself until the house is ready and then fly them over. My mind is naturally going in 50 directions at once. We have to keep doing the normal things to live here while avoiding things we won’t need in Turkey. That means no more Sam’s Club. The membership expired last month and we won’t renew (I have been told we won’t) for such a short time. No more plants and […]
Well, after another flight physical fiasco, I was able to make my first C-130 flight in 2 years today! It started out badly when I rushed myself and skipped a whole page of my initial briefing, but once I calmed down it went better from there. I’m still fairly rusty, but I think it will come back quickly.
Well, the final countdown starts today when the new gringos come into town. We’re picking them up at the airport this afternoon and taking them to Rota Monday to inprocess. We can’t believe that 2 years have flown by so quickly and that we’re now the ones sponsoring a new family. I’ve managed to coordinate our HHG move and the BMW shipment this week. While I’m at Rota I’ll see about setting up our travel back to the States in just eight short weeks!
Well, the US finally decided to give in on the flight physical. Turns out the Spanish actually were right the whole time, but it doesn’t explain why they’ve accepted the US flight physical for years and suddenly decided not to. Anyway, after receiving my orders from both chains of command, I took a Spanish physical yesterday. As predicted, it was no big deal, but it was wasted time nonetheless. It was a little weird doing the written and oral psych exam in Spanish, but I made it through ok. Now only 4 months until my next physical, the American one, but then I’ll be back in the US and do one a year. In other news, it looks like I won’t be getting my shiny new car for 2 more weeks. About 2 weeks ago, the dealer wrote to tell me that the car was in Jerez (near Rota) and that if he could get it registered I could have it by last week. When last week came and went with no word from the dealer, I asked again when we might get the car. The dealer called e today while I was at work and said if we wanted […]
Believe it or not, this photo is now circulating through the Argentinian Air Force as an example of how not to land during the student solo. Anyone with minimal Photoshop experience will recognize it as altered. Here’s the story: In January my student had his solo ride to the sector. When he came back to land, he reportedly had a steep descent angle on final. After shutting down engines, he confirmed that he had landed with 5 G’s when the aircraft has a limit of 3.68 G’s for landing. In an attempt to not sound like an idiot, he then tried to blame the hard landing on the fact that his camera fell out of his pocket on final, and the noise distracted him and caused the bad landing. The news of his hard landing and the camera made it to the base commander in about 15 minutes. Now, I like my job here and the people in my squadron, but in all honesty following the regulations doesn’t rank very high in the Spanish list of priorities. However, when they’ve decided that something is really bad, as opposed to all of the other illegal stuff I’ve seen here, they go […]
Back in the air! e took me to work this morning, and I treated myself to a nice warm shower since we’re still without water at home. When I got out, they were looking for me in the locker room because I was on the flying schedule! Apparently the #2 man on base realized that I’m being needlessly punished by the flight physical mess, and he authorized me to fly for up to 30 days while it’s being resolved. I can’t tell you how happy I was to be able to go up again, even after such a short break. My poor alumno, who’s flown nearly the entire instrument phase with other instructors, was almost as happy as I was! All problems aside, that is why I came here to do this job: to have students and fellow IP’s happy to see me on the flying schedule. Today’s flight was a lot of fun. I’m glad that I got to fly my student’s last normal ride instead of watching someone else do it. Monday he’ll do fine on his instrument check, and within a few months he’ll be seeing some real instrument training at Salamanca.
Well, after all of my whining, the US came through at the last minute. I went home early yesterday because my brain was fried after 6 straight hours at the ops desk. When I got home there was an email from my commander in Germany which said that he had a copy of the NATO agreement I was looking for and that it seemed clear to him that I was right. While I was reading that email, another one came in from Madrid that said the General in charge of training had approved my flight physical and was trying to call the base commander to pass along that info. The “sort of” part came this morning when the #2 man on base came running in and pulled me into my supervisor’s office. Apparently my supervisor was not keeping his supervisors updated, so it looked as though I had gone behind their backs or over their heads. Instead of saying that he had actually been informed all along, my supervisor played dumb and let me take the heat for my supposed failure to notify the chain of command. He also told me that in the future I’m not to call my […]