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Pressure

Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
140
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Age
57
Location
Norman, Oklahoma
(The following is a short story about my experience flying the Inspire 1 in less-than-ideal conditions)

Pressure. It comes in infinite forms. No matter what flavor, a select few moments of pressure can become a catalyst for extreme rectal constriction. It's a condition most commonly referred to as the "Pucker Factor".

As with anyone who starts a new business, pressure plays itself out on many different levels. The focus and foment of my pressure on this particular occasion revolves around the fact that I have several gigs lined up for May and I MUST have a few well trained Cam-Ops ready to roll. With that in mind, I took a calculated risk and discovered, very quickly, what the Inspire 1 is made of ... And that extreme rectal constriction can actually hurt.


Saturday, April 18th - 11:00am

Weather Conditions:
Sky - Brkn
Temp - 73F
Wind - S, 2-8mph

Synopsis:
I had Cam-Op training on the schedule for employees of my new aerial photography company. 4 out of the 9 people on the roster showed up. The other 5 had previous commitments they couldn't get out of. No problem really. When I hired folks I'd emphasized the importance of family and full-time jobs over a sparse, part-time gig. I was prepared for some attrition. Sunday, April 19th, was the alternate training day. If anyone couldn't make the alternate, I reminded them that they wouldn't be allowed to work the Cam-Op position until they'd had some stick time. Besides, running 9 people through the course in a single 5 hour session would be difficult at best with only 6 batteries and charging time in short supply. So, when I received the texts and the calls cancelling appearances, I wasn't too disappointed.

It was a magnificent day to fly! The weather conditions were absolutely perfect! I ran each potential Cam-Op through 2.25 batteries. Everyone had to perform three missions each. Static target, moving target, and orbit. All at variable altitudes and speeds. With perfect weather conditions, the only thing the trainees had to concern themselves with was finessing the sticks. For me, it was a milk run. All I had to do was fly straight lines parallel to the target and then around the target.

3 hours later flight operations concluded. We retired to the living room for review and grading of the footage. The 4 trainees did a fine job. A perfect end to a perfect day.


Sunday, April 19th - 4:00 pm

Weather Conditions:
Sky - Brkn
Temp - 69F
Wind - Variable 5-10mph early, turning N, 30-35mph (Gusts to 40+)

Synopsis:
I spent the majority of the morning watching the weather. There was a slight risk of severe weather for my area per the Storm Prediction Center Convective Outlook for Day 1. Overnight storms had blown through and had left a myriad of boundaries for potential convective initiation as a stubborn cut-off low slowly traversed eastward. I spent the majority of the mid-morning hours pouring over model data and surface obs trying to put together a forecast for flight time. My analysis indicated that storms would fire in the early afternoon on the backside of the eastward drifting low north of my location, and skies would become broken around 4pm. The only issue that I'd have to deal with at that point was wind. Forecast winds (both mine and NWS) would be on the order of 18-20 with gusts to 30mph. My confidence in the Inspire 1 in these wind speeds is high. It does very well. I live in Oklahoma, so wind is well... "OOOOOKlahoma! Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!"

3 of the remaining 5 employees on the roster were scheduled for training. 1 pulled a no-show. With only two folks to put through their paces, I felt a sense of relief. 6 fresh batteries and no recharging! I planned on giving each of the Cam-Op candidates 2.50 batteries each, leaving one for me to play with later on. After a quick iOS app Power Point tutorial and Subway sandwiches, we headed outside to set up. To my surprise, the wind was a lot stronger than I'd forecasted. I pulled up the Oklahoma Mesonet on my iPhone and took a look at the wind obs. It was 5:45pm. Sustained winds were out of the north at 30mph with gusts to 40+! It was decision time. Fly or No-Fly?

Pressure

Throughout the process of starting my business Billy Joel's 1982 song "Pressure" has kept popping into my head. And, much like Disney's "It's a Small World After All", the song "Pressure" has become an added pressure to the pressures I'm already under. The song's chorus has only added to the cacophony of inner voices already beating my brain into so much pulp. Now, with an important decision to make with regard to fly or not fly, the song decided amp up and join in the pummeling once again. As I contemplated the pros and cons of flying my $3K+ bundle of flying joy in far less-than-ideal conditions, Billy decided to unleash a barrage of whoopass... Over and over and over...

"You have to learn to pace yourself

Pressure

You're just like everybody else

Pressure

You've only had to run so far, so good

But you will come to a place
Where the only thing you feel
Are loaded guns in your face
And you'll have to deal with
Pressure"



Inner Dialogue:
'Gigs on the schedule. Time... No time. The schedule is full. No way to reschedule. Employees have other commitments that take priority. Risk. Serious risk. But it's the Inspire 1. I've flown it for hours in Oklahoma wind. It's stable. It's capable. The new firmware... Yes. The new firmware? Test flights have gone well. Beta testers did their job. But... But... What if? Big gamble. I could stuff it into the ground...'

My head felt like an Intel 80486 processor trying to run Windows 8. Choke-Hour-Glass-Freeze. Reboot and try again. Nope... Then my Inspire Pilot BB signature quote popped into my head, joining the mauling of my brain.

"Crash? No, no, no, no! I simply relocated the aircraft with extreme prejudice because of a total loss of thrust and lift functions!" -H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdoch, A-Team-

2 Batteries. 2 Employees. 30 mph sustained, 40+ mph gusting winds. Extremely sweaty palms, forehead, armpits and back. The "Pucker Factor"? Off the scale. My colon became a hyperbaric chamber.

Yes, I made the decision to fly. As for the Inspire... It's an AMAZING AIRCRAFT! I have never been more confident in it. As for me... Well... I think I'm going to listen to "It's a Small World After All" for awhile.
 
  • Like
Reactions: John Alan
Joined
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GOOD READ!!!... :eek::cool::D:eek::cool::D

I'll add... that your right about... sometimes you have to judge risk factors verses value prop...

At work... I've made snap decisions involving millions and feel that kinda psi daily...
Real fun is explaining to the bosses, bosses, boss why your right and they are not.
After a while... I've earned their trust and respect to make those snap calls

Saturday the wind picked up all day...
I flew anyway to test the machine... and get used to the psi with MY money on the line...:p
 
Last edited:
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Reactions: RJ Evans
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
140
Reaction score
65
Age
57
Location
Norman, Oklahoma
GOOD READ!!!... :eek::cool::D:eek::cool::D

I'll add... that your right about... sometimes you have to judge risk factors verses value prop...

At work... I've made snap decisions involving millions and feel that kinda psi daily...
Real fun is explaining to the bosses, bosses, boss why your right and they are not.
After a while... I've earned their trust and respect to make those snap calls

Saturday the wind picked up all day...
I flew anyway to test the machine... and get used to the psi with MY money on the line...:p
Thank you John Alan :)
 

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