|Our neighbours busy making hay|
|The receding view of the Kuala Paka coastline|
|Clouds reflected on the mirror-smooth sea|
The initial change in wind direction is a testy time for the left hand seated pilot. The winds are weak, as the north east monsoon is not yet in full bloom. The entire process of judging the closure speed on finals approach to the platform is more difficult in incipient winds, because the speed decay curve is not as rounded, demanding more precision than a windy day would call for. Stronger headwinds help the copilot to gradually reduce the approach speed at a more amicable rate. Yet, I shall not complain as dealing with a difficulty degree can only serve to make me better at approaches, if I do not prematurely yield to despair at my messy approaches. So far I shall say, it has been rather good, and more than anyone else, I have to be happy with what I am doing before anyone else can.
It is with much relief that I return to the EC225, an aircraft whose intuition in reducing the pilot's workload makes it a virtual magic carpet ride. Yet, it was not a week in the air before more bad news came out of Aberdeen, the offshore Mecca, announcing the catastrophic crash of the Super Puma L2 in which four out of eighteen passengers perished. While it would seem like a bad year for Eurocopter, looks can be entirely coincidental. Throughout the the months of the EC225 grounding, I do not suspect any of the pilots worrying about flying the machine. However, the industry is rife with pressure groups, and workers unions exert a lot of force upon the decisions made by offshore flying service providers. There was an initial knee-jerk reaction even to this incident, and unfortunate as the crash was, the real cause can be lost in the noise of the impact. Preliminary speculations over C-FIT and erroneous employment of automation hover and abound. In the meantime, the Super Puma L2 has been returned to flying status when technical and design faults were ruled out.
One year away from the EC225, and one month on the Super Puma L2, seems to have done me some good. I believe in my complete resignation towards events in my life that I struggled to control but could not, I have also settled down completely in the EC2225 cockpit. No more wrestling. No more desparation. No more arguing with the aircraft in a language that she would not understand. I can finally just sit back and enjoy going up there into oblivion, whatever the weather, deliver the goods and come back home to face another day of flying on the morrow. The events and non events of the past ten months did make bleak a future I had hoped would not include marginalisation. But we really cannot fight every issue that crosses our patio. At times, we really have to let that which passes, to pass. Other things may come, will come, but this day must pass first.
|A rainbow visiting the supply boats|
It is true then. It is an ill wind that blows no good.