Just a little miffed - preheating

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PilotDAR
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Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by PilotDAR » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:17 am

So I'm just a little miffed at someone;

I flew to one of our well known GA airports yesterday, to test fly a client's plane. The DOM at the airport knew I was coming. It was cold! So when I parked on the apron for the better part of the day, I chose a spot with an extension cord present, then before plugging in, I asked the DOM, who smiled, and said "Of course!". So I plugged in, and put my engine blanket on.

I did the required flying, accompanied by a TC Engineer (and actually found an avionics wiring problem during the test!). We discussed with the AMO, and then I went for my meeting with the TC Engineer.

After finishing the day, I went out to my plane. Someone had opened my engine blanket and oil door enough to remove the cord, and stretch it over to another plane on the apron. So mine was stone cold when I went to start it! I hate cranking over a stone cold engine, but it was my intention to fly home then! It begrudgingly started.

So, fellow pilots, perhaps don't fuss with someone else's plane without asking, I was not hard to find around there, and would have appreciated the opportunity to make a plan B for preheat if needed. 'First world problem, I know, but it's a courtesy thing...

Rant over....
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Last edited by PilotDAR on Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by C-GGGQ » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:45 am

Nah, you're right to be mad. That's pretty low.
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by fish4life » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:38 am

The ONLY thing is if the DOM didn’t realize that was someone’s parking spot and perhaps it wasn’t the first time they had someone steal it so they were fed up. Still a quick “who’s plane is in my spot?” Is more appropriate
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by PilotDAR » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:42 am

someone’s parking spot
No, it was the main apron, for club and visiting airplanes, but, I still asked, in case it was an assigned club plane spot.
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by CpnCrunch » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:34 am

PilotDAR wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:17 am
I chose a spot with an extension cord present
Could it have been someone's extension cord, and they were miffed that you plugged into it?
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by digits_ » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:42 am

CpnCrunch wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:34 am
PilotDAR wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:17 am
I chose a spot with an extension cord present
Could it have been someone's extension cord, and they were miffed that you plugged into it?
I did this once at the appartment building where I rented a unit. I was so happy to see the appartement building provided extension cords. I was pissed off when someone stole the extension cord I used to plug in my car.

Turns out the extension cords were *not* provided by the apprement building manager. Oops... :oops:
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by PilotDAR » Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:09 pm

Could it have been someone's extension cord, and they were miffed that you plugged into it?
I think not, it was hard wired to the main power (bus?) on the apron, and I still had the DOM's permission to use it!

I know it's petty, and a first world problem, but to me, it's akin to removing someone's wheel chocks, or control lock, either find another way, or ask first!
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by Redneck_pilot86 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:48 pm

I can see both sides of this. If I showed up back at my parking area (even if it was on the main ramp) to someone using my cord, you can be damn sure I'm taking it back. I get this all the time with tie down straps and chocks. I have my company name written on them, and if I find it attached to a strange aircraft, I will remove them. If you travel to a strange airport and want to tie down/plug in, you should provide yourself the ability to do so.
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by corethatthermal » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:39 pm

to someone using my cord, you can be damn sure I'm taking it back.


Would you also do that to someones plane that is mistakenly tied down with your tie downs before a storm ?? OR would you be a gentleman and go the extra mile -----redneck !
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by valleyboy » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:59 am

While this was a very underhanded thing to do. It seems to me that one should be (as mentioned) carrying their own cords and possibly at least a cpl straps to tie down, unless tying down is not an issue. OK maybe it's my mind but what is a DOM - I doubt whips and vinyl come into play -- lol - all I know is that I would not go flying in a piston aircraft in the winter without at least 50' of extension cord (blow pots are passe but were very effective). It still doesn't forgive the way the issue was handled but likely there has been a lesson passed down to the winter flyer/owner group. Also, if there were no costs involved and not a paid service you were likely plugged in on someone else's dime which leaves you wide open to surprises.
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by corethatthermal » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:51 am

DOM = Director of Monkeybusiness

DOM = Damn ordinary man
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by Blakey » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:58 am

The Director Of Maintenance would be one of the people that Pilot DAR would be there to work with.

This does NOT mean that they own, control or even have anything to do with the parking spots or the power cords serving those spots. Perhaps it was his cord, perhaps it was one that belonged to his company or perhaps it had nothing to do with him and, if not, then perhaps he should not have volunteered the use of something that was not his to lend. Evidence would suggest that someone was of this last opinion!
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by valleyboy » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:10 am

Damn and I had hoped it was a little more on the edge -- acronyms the scourge of modern life but even google didn't know this one.
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by PilotDAR » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:36 am

My bad, sorry, yes, Director of Maintenance, for the only operator at that airport, who controls that apron, an probably wired the extension cords himself. I simply trust that he would not give permission for me to use a power cord for which he did not feel he had authority. It was his choice to tell me that he could not say yes, it was not his. Instead, he said yes, so I happily accepted, instead of challenging his authority - which is why I asked him in the first place.

I have learned that at each airport, who you ask about how/where to park your plane is pretty critical. At another airport, I phone the airport operator prior to departure, to prearrange a few nights tiedown. It was spring, so I expected soft ground. I asked for tiedown on the paved apron. I was told to park on the grass. "Are you sure?" I asked, to express and confirm that the grass area would be firm enough. The person who answered the phone on behalf of the airport operator assured me of his instructions. Okay, I called, I asked, I was told, I will do.

I taxied to the appointed parking spot, and sank it up to the axles. Its a taildragger, with the prop way out the of the way, so no harm to the plane, but I sure ruined the grass! A half hour later, we had it pulled out with a truck, and I was offered parking on the paved apron. (I may have left some mud!).

I ask the most authoritative person I can find for my question, and then trust their answer - which could be "I can't answer that." - no problem! But, when I get an answer which is a "yes/no/ or over there...", I'll follow it....
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by Blakey » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:07 pm

Agreed. Also, if it is a smaller field, with a single operator on site, I am surprised that the person, if it was indeed their reserved cord, wouldn't just poke their head into the hangar and let you know that they needed "their" cord. I am very proud that aviation seems to be the last bastion of honest gentlemen who conduct themselves in this way. It is possible that the person was just a self important dicksmack who thought his need was greater than yours so he just took it as he was, obviously, far more important. These people do exist in aviation but, thankfully, they are rare.

I'm not sure what else you could have done. The DOM usually has dominion over things such as parking spots and extension cords if they are in close proximity to his maintenance organisation so I would also take his word that I was OK to use it. If you don't accept that, you pretty much have to canvas everyone at the airport to see who has control of it.

Try not to let it sour you, it was probably just someone having a bad day or there was a misunderstanding of some sort.
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Last edited by Blakey on Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by J31 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:34 pm

Justified or not it was a dick move unplug another aircraft. Most people are good but there are always few AS#H@LES around.
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by rookiepilot » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:01 pm

a first world problem
The world is full of inconsiderate people. Not a new story. Not life altering, either.
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by PilotDAR » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:55 pm

Not a new story. Not life altering, either.
Very, very true! We, in aviation, lead a charmed life, even if it is not perfect. So someone unplugs my plane, and it won't start as I go to leave at the end of the day. 'Worst is that I have to cab it to a hotel for the night, and warm it up to start it to go home the next day - livable.

But, I would never want to have anyone think of me as being thoughtless, as I thought of whomever unplugged my plane. Hopefully, they think just a little further on, as to the outcome of their action. If they'd left me a note saying: "Hey, when you unplug to go, would you please plug in C-GABC beside you, so it's warm for the morning", I certainly would have done that.... My solution does not need to be someone else's problem either!
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by corethatthermal » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:55 pm

Here is a little something to chew on . The "other" day I had a conversation with a very experienced water bomber pilot who would fly out of our airport , empty, with full power and full prop rpm, in a C-185 , waking up even the worms 30 feet underground ! He is a wonderful customer and very helpful person. According to Cessna and Continental etc , he is doing the right thing and I agree 100% with him BUT I did offer a possible alternative for noise reduction and better community relations ( Full power and 2700 rpm ) As I played the devil's advocate, I knew that the practiced procedure of reduced rpm departures are safe ( under conditions ) BUT, I also knew that everyone knows that full power take-offs are what is the norm in aviation concerning the Cessna 185, WHO can fault either argument? ( We all know that full power take-offs are required for ALL airline operations right ? )
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Re: Just a little miffed - preheating

Post by PilotDAR » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:40 am

I agree that we pilots have an obligation to reduce the effect of our planes on the community when doing so places no burden on us. I reduce RPM as early as possible during, or after takeoff. For the record (and I have done the testing to prove it), a C 182 amphib with a 550, will be 60 feet higher 2km from brake release at 2700 RPM than it would have been at 2500 RPM, all other things being equal. That's all, 60 feet higher. That extra RPM makes more noise than climb. So yes, unless you're climbing directly toward the mountain, pull the RPM back a little - I do.
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