Monday, February 13, 2006


Sunday and a slow start starting day is suddenly jolted into life as the hotel fire alarms go off. In the rooms they are deafening. As it happened I was already showered and dressed so I picked up my bum bag and walked down the corridor. I used the lift (your not supposed to do that) and decended down the one level to the ground floor. The cause of the alarm was obvious and if the alarm did not wake guests, the smell of burnt toast certainly would. People were milling around in dressing gowns or less. The alarm was obviously not easily turned off and just kept up its penetrating wail. I decided to get some fruit and bread from the breakfast area and head back to my room and try out the ear plugs I use for visiting F1 motor racing. I took the lift back up and there were will still angry residents vacating their rooms. My ear plugs made the alarm just about bearable so I started making some coffee and then saw out of the window that two fire tenders had arrived. I went back down to see them and get a picture.

The chap in the khaki shirt walking towards me is Michael. He is from Cork in Ireland and arrived here on Monday also. He is at NAC for a year whilst I am only staying 25 days.

The other fire engine soon cleared off once the bit of burnt toast had been rescued. It was noticeably cold and dull outside.

At last the alarms were turned off and we could return to our rooms and in my case my breakfast. Later I got my flight bag packed and donned a warm jacket and cycled off into a strong cold headwind to NAC for what I thought would be a short visit. In fact the nav video lasted for an hour and a half and then the written test was really stretching my knowledge of US air law. In this test you are allowed reference books so I borrowed one on air law. It took me ages to find the probable answers to each air law related question in the reference book as it was full of thousands of individual clauses and sub clauses. Eventually I found that using the index at that back rather than the contents pages at the front gave the best chance of finding the right clause. It was then only a question of interpreting it properly. Other questions needed reference to the POH, the local chart and the airport directory. This whole process took me four hours. So much for my day off, but hey this is not a holiday.
The wind normally turns around during the day to become a sea breeze and still be a headwind on my way back to the hotel. Today it had not moved so a tailwind got me to the base leg quicker than normal. I am amazed by the number of pawn shops I pass enroute. In my room I know that I will have to alter my nav logs in the light of some things I had learnt today, but first I decide to have a meal at the nearby Olive Garden restuarant. This is a chain restaurant but the food is Italian style, good and reasonably priced the only snag is that it is so popular that their can be a long wait for a table. On arrival I heard that there was a 40 to 50 minute wait, but as I was on my own I could be seated straight away if I sat at the bar where I would get full service. I took my place at the bar and ordered a meal and it's salad with a beer. After hearing my accent the man to my left asked if I was on holiday. I explained my presence here and he happened to be a flight instructor by the name of Vince D'Angelo. We had an interesting chat about flying and flight instruction during the meal. He owns a Piper Arrow and does Commercial,Instrument and CFI training.
Back at the hotel I want to get my blog right up to date but luckily there is not too much to say and this will leave time to sort out my nav logs and prepare for my 6am start in the morning. It sounds as if it might be just above freezing early tomorrow. Wish I had some gloves.

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