What to Do During Long Boring Flights?

Posted September 1992
hchong@netcom.com (Hoi Chong) writes:

>Usually, we listen to radio in the cars during long solo drive, but what do
>you do for long solo flights (assuming FAA does not permit radio)?

Generally, I put my feet up on the dash, open a bag of Cheez-Its (tm), and catch the soaps on the Watchman :-).

Actually, my time during long cross-countries are spend as follows:

  1. Looking for forced-landing spots.  This is also called, "Sightseeing".
  2. Navigating.  Since navigation in the 'Baby is 100% pilotage (whaddya think, should I by a Pixis?) I spend time comparing terrain features to the map.
  3. Listening to the engine with various degrees of mistrust.
  4. Squirming on the 'Baby's hard aluminum seat.
  5. Singing.  Flying a single-seat open-cockpit airplane is a good place for it... no one's there, and at 2,000 feet not many people can hear you.  With the engine noise, you can't hear yourself worth a darn, so the need to sing well never enters into it.  LOUD is important.  GOOD is irrelevant.

WHAT is left to the memory/imagination of the pilot.  Certain songs, for instance, seem fit certain planes better.  Richard Bach, for instance, says "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" goes well in a Sea Bee at cruise.

The Fly Baby, oddly enough, likes a combination of Glenn Miller and Heavy Metal. Miller's "Pennsylvania 6-5000" is a nice wing-rocker (although the chorus is changed from "Pennsylvania Six-Five-Thousand" to "Fly Baby N-Five Hundred").  For metal, Billy Idol's "White Wedding" goes well with entering  the pattern of an extremely busy uncontrolled field.

Of course, no matter what the original song, the lyrics are often changed by the end of a Looonggg cross-country:

(To the tune of "Onward Christian Soldiers":)

Gee my ass is hurting, gee my butt is sore,
Gee my ass is hurting, gee my butt is sore,
Gee my... (repeat until landing) :-)

Comments? Contact Ron Wanttaja .

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