Since the helicopter is down for maintenance (AGAIN!) I have some free time and I can finally update my blog! I have spent the last 2 weeks on vacation, visiting Memphis, Phoenix, and a little stopover in Vegas.
I started out in Memphis to visit Kristina! It was really nice to see her after spending so much time apart, especially since I was going to get to see her for more than 2 days at a time. It was a nice preview of what it will be like when the season is over: I had nothing to do and she worked a lot. We spent a lot of time either in her apartment, or at her night job at the Flying Saucer. They have hundreds of beers on tap and in the bottle, and I wanted to get started on my UFO club. If you drink 200 different beers you get your name on a plate and hung somewhere in the bar. I am currently 4.5% done, so it shouldn't be long! We partied on the rooftop of a hotel in downtown Memphis called the Peabody, it was their last night for a rooftop party for the season, but unfortunately it rained most of the night. Emily and Kristina assured me it was cooler when it wasn't raining, but I thought it was great anyway. We spent all day cooking a delicious dinner together as well, it was devoured in about 10 mins. I had a great time in Memphis and I can't wait for the end of the season when I can come back for good.
Look how pretty she is! Almost as good as me:
At the Flying Saucer
Having too much fun on the rooftop of the Peabody:
Next up was Phoenix, it was so good to be back home, and it wasn't even that hot while I was there. Unfortunately due to poor planning on my part, I didn't get to spend a lot of time actually in Phoenix. I got to have a nice dinner at an Irish restaurant with my family, but soon after I was on the road to Vegas. The annual "Amber's spectacular birthday celebration extravaganza" had to be pushed back to August because I couldn't make it in May, but it was worth the wait. Amber is being lazy, so I have no pictures to post, but I promise I will as soon as I receive them. I can't really tell you much more about Vegas, because what happens in Vegas...well, you know.
I was back in Phoenix and before I knew it, my vacation was coming to a close. I got a chance to see a few friends but by no means did I get a chance to do everything I wanted to do. In December, I am planning on being there for about 2 weeks, so I will have to play catch up then. It was really nice to see my family and friends in the desert again, I can't wait to come back.
On the road again, and the helicopter has a new mysterious shake and rumble to it. I was supposed to fly from Chicago to Raleigh, but I wanted to make a precautionary landing every 30 miles because I was sure there was something wrong with the helicopter. I only made it as far as Richmond Indiana when I decided that I wasn't going to fly it until I had someone check it out. The next day I found out that there was a Robinson service center about 30 miles from the airport I ended up at, so I decided to fly it there. Still rumbling, but I was pretty sure I wasn't going to self destruct before I made it there. Upon inspection, the mechanic noticed that my clutch assembly was loose - it is not supposed to move at all, but when you tried to move it you could pick it up off the lower stop switch! Fortunately, the part was sent out and replaced by the next day. Unfortunately, this did not stop the roughness of the helicopter. But after inspecting the helicopter so closely, I figured there was nothing wrong with the helicopter so I flew it to Raleigh, where I didn't get in until 10PM. I decided that the photographer's opinion could be the determining factor to see if the problem was my imagination or it really was an issue. The next day, he felt what I was talking about, but we both fell like it is not enough of a shake to warrant an immediate stoppage of flight. However at the end of the day, the clutch motor froze, and we need to replace that now. So I have been about a week since I have been back from vacation, and we have only been able to do one day's worth of work. As much as I like relaxing, I would rather work, build my hours, and get the season over with. Anyone have a new helicopter they want to trade?