View Full Version : Devil talking

Bill Greenwood
01-03-2013, 02:09 PM
Some people believe that there is literally a Devil or The Devil and some people don't.
But if you are a pilot ,especially one who is learning; I suggest that you'd best believe in the old horned nemesis, because he is sure going to be talking to you at times and you need to know where that voice coming from and what credulence, if any to give it.

An example. Last Friday I was trying to fly over to the Denver area where I had a football bowl game to watch at the sports bar, and then the next day a party at Earl's house who is a CFI and a friend. We had several days of lot's of snow and temps well below freezing at home in Aspen, which is great for a ski area but not so good for flying.
Anyway, I went out Thur afternoon to make sure the engine heater was plugged in and sweep the snow off. Most of the snow was cold and therefore dry, but some ice remained.
Next morning we had a break in the weather, the fronts passed through and it was CAVU and great flying weather. I packed my bag, loaded the plane ,rechecked the weather and filed a flight plan.
The I taxied down to the deice ramp. I got deiced in a few minutes, and taxied to the runup area, full of good cheer and hope.
The engine was rough on the right mag, and it would not clear running faster or leaner.
I knew I needed to taxi back, but someone behind me wispered in my ear, "You better go now while the weather is so clear and calm all the way." I was the only one in the plane, but then I heard that voice again say. "it'll probably clear in the air, and you've got one good mag anyway."

So, I taxied back and as I suspected the local mech was up to his elbows in corporate jets and said he could not get to me until Wed.!
Man, I wasn't too happy right then, and once again I felt a tap on my shoulder and a voice in my ear says, "It'll probably clear after takoff."
Then I realized who that voice was, and it for sure was the Devil. He was bored with O J and Madoff and wanted me to come down for a visit.

Then I did a smart thing. Instead of cursing and throwing things, I calmed down and did some logical thinking. I had only a few hours till dark, but I could give it a try. I hadn't done any real work on my planes in a few years, but I drove into town, found some wrenches and a spark plug socket. I came back and set to work out on the ramp, which in the sun was barely ok. I was pretty sure which cylinder was off as I had my Gem indicator on the panel on runup. Sure enough the right mag fires the bottom plug on #4. It was easy to get the top plug out which looked dirty but was firing in the test stand.
The bottom plug is harder, but was really dirty and not firing on test. Just then the A&P came in and he cleaned the plugs for me and now both fired good. I gave him a $50 bill and all seemed well. I just had to get that bottom plug back in. So I am kneeling in the snow, and it is not easy, had to take breaks to warm up my hands and avoid cross threading it. Finally, just about the time the sun is going behind the hill, I got it in, and the cowl cover back on. I have less than an hour till dark, but it will be a full moon night.
I jump in, taxi to the runup area, and praise be, all 6 of them are running good, seems it was just a plug on cold idle and not a mag problem, at least that is the best hope.

So I am off, and had a nice safe flight, and a beautiful sunset over the mountain tops on the snow.
I landed safely, got to see the game only a few minutes into it.

Oregon State leading, by 3 , Texas ties it up. Oregon comes back to a 10 point lead, but they wear down and can't block our defensive end,Alex Okafor. Texas stuffs em, get the ball in the end and scores twice in the 4th quarter to win.

The Devil is pissed, but I am alive and happy.

Don't listen to that guy. And if a little voice is telling you to do something that you know is wrong, phone your Mom and ask her is she thinks it is a good idea. Mom"s know better.

01-04-2013, 11:38 AM
Great story, Bill, and nicely told....

01-11-2013, 09:26 AM
Gday Bill,Your story reminds me of a friend of mine at the aero club who was doing his first solo nav exercise.The flight plan called for a 400 mile round trip approx in the days before sat nav.It was from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia straight out into the bush to a way point and turn west to another way point and then turn for home using the local beacon.It was all dead reckoning and map reading.Well about three quarter of an hour out the weather become rainy and overcast so he made the right decision and make a 180 and beat it for home.When he got back he was a little disconsolate about how he was going to have to do the nav exercise again but the CFI said that as he had made all the right choices he considered the the exercise had been passed.And this is what good flyers do ,make good decisions and choices because there is a pretty final outcome if you don't. Cheers Ross

01-11-2013, 10:37 PM
Bill, so glad you are able to tell us your story, well done. A cautionary tale for everyone who has ever had or will have gottogetthereitis disease. It also made me go to youtube to find that classic Flip Wilson routine "The Devil Made Me Do It." Funny as ever 45 years later.