Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fort Saint John

Being weathered over for a day in Ft. St. John has been the longest time I've had to work at not feeling like chewing off my leg to escape a trap. The people are great, the FBO luxurious, and I... I'm not their kind of client. This place has exactly one tie down for a small aircraft, and I'm in it. They have a large asphalt pad for jets to pull in and out, and though the pilots have been unfailingly good, I still cringe inside every time a corporate or charter jet, including a 727, turn and sweep my little rag n' tube with their jetwash.

I may not be the only pilot yesterday without epaulets, but it was close. At least I fit in with the charter passengers, headed up to the oil patch (except they are all male). I feel a bit like the ugly duckling around the swans, foregoing the leather couches and tasteful rugs of the pilot's lounge for sitting on the floor playing with a five-month-old toy breed puppy.

That said, the rampers and receptionist have been awesome, ranging from amused and generous to apologetic for the "worst summer since 89". The pilots with their pressed uniforms and epaulets either ignore me or want to know all about my plane and trip with a grin in their hearts at the challenge.

Today's weather is forecast to be no better, but I'm hoping for a break. I would rather be camped under my wing off the side of a gravel strip, no showers and mosquitoes all around, than out of place in asphalt and luxury. Maybe it's just early curmudgeonliness, but after a two days of working at being cheerful, I don't want to deal with people for a while.


  1. I had no idea their airport had gone so ... upscale. I hope you get the relief you crave, and soon. :)

    We're all thinking of you, and praying for you, up here.

  2. Bright side- You're safe and smart not to push it... downside, well, you already covered it. The weather WILL break for you! :-)

  3. I know which of those epauletted pilots I'd rather be flying with! People who show an interest in their jobs outside their official duties fill me with a lot more confidence! I have an immense amount of respect for the journey you are undertaking, and wish you fair winds and fair weather.

    Cheers, Liam