February 20, 2008

Highlights

Being on vacation has given me some time to reflect on the past five months and take it all in. It really has been a great beginning to a great adventure. I decided to put together a little highlight reel from my hundreds of pictures from the road thus far. It pretty much follows the journey west from my first meeting up with the crew in New Jersey to our travels up and down the California coast and ending with passing the checkride in Florida. If you want to check out all of the photos, you can find them all here. The accompanying music is a song called "Hourglass" by one of my favorite bands, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, off of their latest album "No More Beautiful World." Time sure flies by fast, even in a blimp.

video

February 12, 2008

Blimp Wash



Before putting on new decals, an airship must be washed down with soap and water. It not only cleans the envelope fabric but allows us to check for leaks in the envelope. Its just like checking for leaks in a tire. Despite my healthy fear of heights, I helped out up on the cherry picker washing the ship. It wasn't as bad as I thought and turned out to be a really good learning experience. Its not often you get to see the top of an airship up close.

Last Stop Tampa

I flew my last leg on the blank blimp tour today into Tampa, FL. Here we will put the ship in the hanger to finish up its annual inspection and get new decals put on it for an upcoming contract. It should take approximately a week to finish everything up if all goes according to plan. This will actually be my last stop with this crew as I head back home for vacation at the end of the week. After five months on the road, I need a little break to catch up on life's day to day things and to visit with friends and family. I just hope I can fit everything in that I'd like to get done.

February 9, 2008

License to Learn



Well we passed our checkrides yesterday, adding two more Airship Pilots to the ranks of the estimated less then 150 that are in the world. Fun fact: It is often said that there are more astronauts then airship pilots.

I feel relived to be done with the training and to have officially added the rating to my certificate. However, the learning has just begun. Like with everything, experience is life's true teacher. Every flight is unique and you never know what challenges may lay before you.