Check your underwear

The checklist is in my left hand. “Oil,” I say.

“Check,” says Rio.

“GPS,” I say.

“Check,” says Rio.

“GPS battery,” I say.

“Check,” says Rio.

“Clean underwear,” I say.

“Check,” says Rio.

No, we’re not getting ready for landing. I’m a good enough pilot that no one needs a clean underwear check as part of routine operations. Instead, we’re packing for our trip to the first air race of the season, and we’re running through the “checklist” to make sure we didn’t forget to pack anything important. Like the keys to the plane. Actually, that’s not on my checklist, but I think I’ll go add it right now. I can think of nothing worse than driving to the airport at four in the morning for a daylong flight and discovering that you forgot the keys to the plane.

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 10.48.19 AM

As we have a long journey in a light plane, we can’t take much with us. The solution is a ground crew, who will actually leave a day ahead of the plane and meet us in Nacogdoches, Texas. The ground crew will carry everything we need at the race, and everything we need to get home again, saving us weight on the flight out—which in turn allows us to carry more fuel, which allows more time between fuel stops, which gets us to our destination faster. After the race, the ground crew will (hopefully) carry all those heavy trophies back home for us.

:-)

This checklist is simply my way of figuring out what goes in Debbie’s car for the long drive to Texas, and what goes in my car for the short drive to the airport.

“Sun screen,” I say.

“Check,” says Rio.