Carrboro Music Festival

Scott Day at the Frank Cole Stage Sunday September 24th at 4 to 4:30

Couple in Carrboro

Shot of a couple at the Carrboro Music Festival



I spoke to my friend who said he was encouraging one of his sons to become the family pilot.  I’m one of those pilots that never did quite finish his license.  I did take my written and pass it, but it expired before my check ride.   Sometimes I watch Youtube airplane flights.   Seems like fully half of flying is talking on the radio, or tuning in the VOR radial and flying along that beam.  If you don’t trust your instruments and talk on the radio you will get lost.   Famous quote about it is “Never been lost but didn’t know where I was.”

I told my daughter not to ride on motorcycles with guys that weren’t also pilots.  They do better far as wrecking motorcycles than those who are not also pilots, though motorcycles will get you.   Lionel Douglas died at 36 wrecking someone else’s bike.   Patrick lost Dave, and then there are others gone to the motorcycle wreck.

I’d have a Bonneville 650 because they handle as a motorcycle is supposed to same as my 450 which first thing I did in a park was lose control of it so far as to leave the road, and then there was the time on the windy bridge out by the lake when it was keep power and lean into a lucky constant wind.  After three years of riding everywhere on two different motorcycles, three?  I could feel the luck draining from my body.  Ruthanne lost a leg.  Michael is in the hospital now as we speak.

Flying really helped me ride and survive and the engines are similar.  I liked working on old airplane engines the best of all the mechanics I did there in my 40s.  I tell pilots to make friends and pay attention to their mechanics.  You really need to know how to start your engines or they are blown apart.  Spool up a keyless Learjet to 10 percent off the batteries and then dump in the right amount of fuel and then ignite it.  There are switches for this.  It is a kick to perfectly start an R 2800 Pratt & Whitney 2000 about horsepower engine.   Number one is port inside?  Whichever one makes all the power for the plane is the one to start.  I’m forgetting which is number one.

You need to know these things.

People walk into props and are killed.  You don’t want to do that or do it to someone so you signal when you start an engine.  There is airplane safety and ramp airplane safety.  Keep your wits about you walking around or filling the things with fuel.  If you don’t ground an airplane static electricity might spark you into a fireball.  I got one of the shocks of my life from my reach to cup the tip tank on a Lear after bad pumice air.   You can get chopped up, or sucked in, or exploded on a ramp.  Tarmac.  Hot black surfaces.

One time I had a fire.  I was trying to be neat and folded up some cardboard I’d stamped a cig out on.  Stamped it out and made a chimney of it I stuck behind the seat of the Columbian Air Force Tug on the Customs ramp at FLL.  Was putting the tow bar on and saw over my shoulder flames into the air and ran into the cockpit of the C-130 to find a near empty fire extinguisher with one shot at the base of the fire that worked.

I was briefly fired for that.  Actually I refused to be fired.  The Columbian Commandant was cool about it.  I had fueled their C-130 a good deal and they knew me.  He shook his head.  I’d kept it off the TV when the firemen and the TV crew showed up sticking my chest into the camera lens.  “Nothing to see, it’s all over.  Nothing to see here.”  I’d said.

In fact I was perfect to walk around in circles on the Tar MACK!  My whole work process is to go in circles where the funk is and do things.  Rust appeals to me.  In truth I simply cannot work in a sterile environment.  I must have the funk and you have plenty of it around big reciprocating engines.

You build the airplane around the engine.   An airplane is its wing.  The Falcon 50 has the best wing for what it is meant to be as an aircraft.  You want to go fast & high really.  There is a different view and lots of the world from high up looks the same.  Light makes a difference.  The beauty of defending through Cumulus clouds as the sun is setting if memorable as is flying over the misted lake in the moonlit night.

The point is not necessarily to get anywhere in particular.   Don’t hit the mountain.  It is easier to hit the mountain than you might think.  Set that altimeter and don’t ever be wrong about it.

To learn the least and best way I say take the cram course of three days they tour the test with for 300 dollars and then spend 4 to 8 grand right away getting all your important ratings, certifications.  I mean single VFR Private through to multi engine IFR and particularly get some Heavy Certifications.  Heavy and big freight flying is a better job than flying people you don’t like around.   Being a Captain is a big deal.

Guilford Technical Institute in Greensboro has, or had, a superior Community College course in flying and airport management.  I recommend taking their courses and transferring to Emery, Embrey Emry Riddle which is expensive as hell but will make you whatever you want to be in Aviation.

Aviation is an area where youth actually counts for you.  Quick reflexes and good eyes are valued.   I drove on the ground like a bat out of hell, 100 miles an hour, 110 miles an hour all over nighttime North Carolina.  I was a very conservative pilot refusing to spin the Tomahawk I got the most time in.

I like sitting on the wing of an airplane better than hanging from it.  It is easier to land just flying the plane onto the runway and pulling the power off than trying for the perfect flair though you need to learn to do the perfect flare.

Making memories is something you do to create an identity or what feels like a marked soul, and flying around a lot gives you a big store of memories.   I really have great memories from the 9 years I spent on three different airfields.  The worse job I ever had was with Piedmont.

Photo is from my first performance live and in person as a musician, singer, and songwriter.  I sang I Phone Lifestyle, so those there heard it first before it became a great hit.  I will add a photo of a TBM on the Horace Williams Ramp at IGX Chapel Hill, NC.

Horace Williams NC

TBM single turbo prop at Horace Williams Sept. 2017


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About Russell Scott Day

I come from sailors and priests. My aim is to prevent apocalyptic riot, better known as nuclear war, when I was growing up. Creating a nation of airports will create the peace enough environment to prevent apocalyptic riot. I had a vision due to a period of boredom and bliss like the Aleph of Borges. That is the story I learned and was made up and happens.

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