Not only to fly, but to bring the world's eyes...skyward.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Upward Mobility!

I took this cherished picture, which I call, "Upward Mobility," with my cell phone (yes, while stationary) from a taxiway at O'Hare a few summers ago after a squall line had just passed. I use it as my background on my Twitter home page.

We were about number eighty for takeoff, and this 757 blasted off right in front of us with that moon and clouds kissing softly in the afterglow of a fantastic storm in the background. It was a gorgeous metaphor for how I was feeling about my career in its sixth post-9/11 year: stuck. Idle. Utterly stranded with no credible hope, but with a lovely view of the rest of the world getting on with their lives. In that same frame of mind, I later wrote "The Terrible Teens" and "First Officer, Second Fiddle" about my career's stagnation.

Then, out of nowhere, last December I got a call from Crew Planning, asking if I'd be "willing" to come to an International 767 class on 12/27/09. I finally understood what Einstein was talking about: the speed of light really didn't seem all that fast as my brain dispatched, then recalled a "HELL, YEAH!" followed shortly by the far more airline-pilot-like, "Well, I've got a trip on the 25th, but I don't guess I'd be legal to do that and come to class, so, yeah, I guess that'd be ok." Another call from my union's Professional Standards committee averted...

I reported for class as scheduled and was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually had a little spare time to write my previous post about AQP training. The hardest part was being the only pilot in the training center who was moving up; that, and watching the news about how many people are suffering through job losses and bad economic times, which, of course, those of us in the airline business have known nothing different from for nearly a decade now.

As I post today, I've flown two trips in my new status, one to Paris and the other to Bolivia, but I've been sitting on those posts until I hear back from an aviation website that expressed an interest in my contributing. It's been a week, though, and I've decided to wait less quietly.

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