April 4, 2008

Houston Update

We made it to Houston on Tuesday with some good planning and a break in the weather. I planned and flew the transit down from Dallas as part of my training to get signed off as a line pilot. The more senior pilot I flew with was really helpful in giving me some tips and quizing me about various possible situations. Other then that, he let me run the show and make all the decisions. It was a nice confidence boost knowing that I'm thinking about the right things as we're flying along. The planning that goes into transitting the blimp from place to place is extensive due to all of the various factors involved. Weather, the airship, fuel planning, location of the crew, traffic on the ground, etc are just some of the factors that have to be reevaluated constantly in the air. Always knowing the location of your crew and possible alternate airports along the way is crucial. The best plans can be foiled by a flat tire on one of the trailers or unpredicted weather. Hence there always has to be a "plan B" and "plan C" even. Of course all of this is what makes being an airship pilot so great, the challenge of each flight is never quite the same.