October 4, 2007

Transit to Kansas City

Well it was a long day driving around 500 miles from Indianapolis to Kansas City, MO but we made it. En route we passed through St. Louis which brought back some memories of my days there during training at Trans States. Hopefully I'll get a chance to catch up with some of the guys that are still living there while I'm nearby here in KC for the next week or so.
Tonight I experienced my first light landing from the ground crew perspective. During a light landing the pilot has to fly the airship to the ground low enough for the ropes to be grabbed by the nose lineman. The tough part is flying with power in down to the ground and then slowing up in time so the nose lineman have time to grab the ropes and assist with lowering the airship to the ground. The coordination and timing between the pilot and ground crew determines whether or not a light landing will be successful. Like with all landings, the ground crew is necessary to assist the airship in landing and to keep the ship maneuverable on the ground. However during a light landing it takes a lot more physical effort on behalf of the crew to keep the airship on the ground and under control. When I begin doing landings, I'll have a lot more appreciation for the crew's role during light landings having experienced it from their point of view.