03-04-2007, 05:00 AM
EWR briefly, we deadhead in hours before, leaving a snowy,ice bound DTW in our wake. Now its near midnight, we are in the cockpit,team onboard,parked in the boonies,the far west parking area,on the northside of Newark. Our ship has sit here the last few days,and we are being liberally squirted down with Type 1 deicing fluid to eliminate the encrustations of ice and snow that have accumulated. I am communicating with the de-ice crew via cellphone because for some reason they are sans headsets,but,hey,whatever it takes. FedEx MD-11s, and brother 727s are moaning off the 4's,into the clouds,and the dark midnight skies. In my previous iteration as a freight dog I skulked in these same midnight skies ,warming the cockpit of both the DC-3,and Convair 340, shuttling to and fro in the thick of the weather,never climbing above the mid teens , and battling,and bashing our way through weather systems that we clear in a single bound today. It was great flying though,and landing at EWR,or flying the Canarsie approach in the Douglas was a dream fulfilled for me. De-icing complete,we ease out of the tight confines of our parking slot,easing past an executive VP registered MD-80, and some sheiks fancy,schmancy 757,on our way to 4L. Minutes later,we are aloft, and banking over my beloved Jersey, doing the Newark 7 departure,before the clouds swallow us,and all that neon glitter fades away beneath. The next hours find us aloft in silent,smooth dark skies, briefly alighting at Dulles, before blasting off for Indy,then deadheading home ,for bed,and some blessed relief. My next sortie was flying a plane full of Marines from DFW to Cherry Point MCAS, in the midst of some of the most violent weather I have experienced in years, during the ILS to 23R, I experienced airspeed fluctuations of +.and - 15 knots, gusts that alternately pummeled,and bashed us,pushing us ,above ,and below glideslope, it was a battle royale, I was totally in the moment, a sense of joy consuming me, this was what it was all about,a yoke in one hand,a fist full of throttles in the other,feet dancing on the rudder pedals, as we emerged from the storm, and yawed,and crabbed our way to the runway, slick with sheets of rain,the crosswind pushing 40 knots, we get her down,and keep her on, the JT8ds defiantly thundering in reverse, Oh yeah !!!! God's grace, we taxi in, flick the sweat off our brows,and thank the All Mighty for the 727,one of HIS finest gifts to pilots. Semper Fi, to my lads in the back,in my younger days,I carried an M16,and wore the globe and anchor. Thats it for this week,Cheers,and Godspeed. peace,out.