I usually agonize over my posts. I write them up in MSWord, and then spend an eternity editing, tweaking, fiddling, changing, cutting-and-pasting until I get them to a point I’m happy with. Only then will I transfer them to Blogger and tweak some more. I admire my blogger friends like Debby, who can convey in so few words what takes me so many. Brevity is not one of my strong points.
The day after my little run-in with the FAA that evening, I had to fly my boss. So on Wednesday morning I was sitting in the pilot lounge at some airport and had a couple of hours to kill. I’m never without my laptop, so instead of starting with Word, I fired up Blogger and directly began composing while the event was still fresh in my mind. I got the main part of the post down, then hit “Save” and went on to some other stuff, figuring on getting back and adding more stuff to the post later – like, about the adversarial relationship between the FAA and the rest of aviation.
Anyway, the boss showed up a little sooner than expected. We flew on to our next stop. I had just shut down - literally the blades were still spinning - when my mechanic Chris called.
“Hey, I heard you had a visit from the FAA last night,” he said.
“How the heck did you know that?!” I asked. Only the people at the airport knew.
“I read your blog,” he said.
There are two little buttons at the bottom of each Blogger page: “Publish Post” and “Save Now.” I must have hit the wrong one.
One of the things I would have added to the story was that, as one commenter pointed out, my deal wasn’t technically a “ramp check.” Although they can happen at any time at any airport, those meetings with the FAA are usually unexpected. This one was pre-arranged. It was more of a “facility visit” or whatever they call it. The inspector admitted that they’d known about our helicopter for a while, and had been meaning to pay us a visit. “We’ve been here for nearly three-and-a-half years,” I said. “What took you so long?”
I went back and re-read the "Ramp Check" piece. I thought to myself that it was pretty good as it was, with no further need to mess with it. I’ll have to try that again in the future – just get to a natural stopping point in the story and hit “Publish.” Like now.