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PhilDernerJr
08-29-2007, 05:52 PM
As some of you know, I've been employed by an airline for 10 months now. I am a ground supervisor for an airline that does mostly military charters. That means that aside form my local ramp work, I fly with the planes as well to manage operations in stations where we do not have employees. The job is tough and tiresome, but as fun as could be for an enthusiast like myself.

I will now be changing positions within the company and the amount of flying that I'll be doing will decrease drastically. So, I checked out my stats on FlightMemory.com. This site is absolutely AMAZING.

I took my first work flight in January, and in less than 8 months, I've acquired the following stats:

Flights: 91
Airports: 33
Total airborne time: 15.7 days (over two weeks in the air!)
Miles: 184,674

Longest flight: 13 hours, 55 minutes, 6,331 miles.
Shortest flight: 47 minutes, 156 miles.

http://www.nycaviation.com/hosting/usmap1.jpg

http://www.nycaviation.com/hosting/worldmap1.jpg

Ask questions if you have. I'll answer what I can without sacrificing privileged information or national security.

In a couple weeks, I'll be sharing photos from my trips. ;)

Nonstop2AUH
08-29-2007, 06:08 PM
Fascinating. For those who don't recognize some of those destinations that, um, aren't exactly served by commercial airlines, and in the event Phil is unable to elaborate, there is usually good info about many of them on:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/

T-Bird76
08-29-2007, 07:23 PM
This site is very cool! I haven't counted exactly how many flights I've taken this year but I do log the miles and so far for 2007 I've done 173,547 real miles flown. So what do you get for flying this much....well..I'm AA Gold, Star Alliance Gold, Avis First and Hilton Honors Diamond VIP.

So far this is what I've done for 2007

http://www.nycaviation.com/hosting/Tomsbiz%20flights.jpg

http://www.nycaviation.com/hosting/Tomsbiz%20flightscanada.jpg

mirrodie
08-29-2007, 08:40 PM
Phil, I can't wait to see the photos.

Question: Could you shed some light on the overall experience? What will you remember most? What won't you miss? Can you shed light on some in-flight experiences?

PhilDernerJr
08-29-2007, 09:50 PM
Mario's dug a hole for me and now I'm ranting. lol

Being away for 5-6 days at a time can be tough sometimes. But when you're flying alongside men and women who have been away from home for a year and a half escaping death every day...it makes my grievance somewhat petty. It's much easier being an enthusiast, looking at it as a camping trip on a widebody airliner.

As an enthusiast, the coolest things were the ferry flights probably. People talk about how they were on an airline flight with only 30 people on board...and it was like having the plane to themselves. I've had long ferry flights with only two pilots and a mechanic sitting in the cockpit, and a 247-seat widebody....literally to myself. I'd put on my iPod and walk up and down the two aisles singing to myself, to use seat cushions to build a bed or a mini-office. Serving myself a Coke, and maybe have a bag of pretzels....or seven.

Some of the memorable things for me will always be what unfortunately many other took for granted. I would go to Qatar and pick up troops that were only days out of fighting in the streets of Baghdad, on their way home to their families for the first time in 12-18 months. Some were tired, some excited, but none looked depressed. I spoke to many who said they lost friends, some still in shock by some things that had happened. But all were proud of their own efforts and what they did.

To sit next to these brave people and talk with them, to fly over Iraq, to stand in desert sand, talk with Generals, hold a rifle that has killed enemies.....it's beyond words. Perhaps one day a grandchild of mine will ask me about 9/11 and the wars after it....and I'll have something to say in regards to having been present where history was being made.

Specifically, I remember standing on the ramp in Kuwait when I had a few minutes to myself. It was nighttime, 107 degrees, but actually very comfortable without a sun beating down on you and with little humidity. I turned around a few times to look at the airport, kind of taking it in....thinking that just 16 years ago, 11 American soldiers died to take back that very airport from Iraqi troops who had invaded this "small and helpless ally" as George Bush Sr. once said. And there I stood, an American, now very safe in that foreign land. Were bullets whizzing by where I stood? Am I standing where a body once laid?

I remember standing at the door of one of my planes in Norfolk, VA. The man counting pax siad we were missing one person, and I walked up the jetbridge to see if he was on his way to the plane. I got to the beginning of the jetbridge and saw that it was a SHE that I was waiting for. A mother, saying goodbye to her husband and child who was no older than 2. She was crying and was having a difficult time saying goodbye. She turned around and finally started to walk towards me. She looked me in the eyes with tears rolling down her face and I felt my own tears matching hers. It took everythign in me to not wrap my arms around her and hug her.

Not to sound corny, but you see these cities, walking around the streets of former Soviet states or what have you, and you see the value of our country. You develop a true understanding of what freedom is. You see people who live in a class system, and accept it because they know no other way of life. People who look unhappy, and don't even know they are miserable because they don't even know what happiness is. Their time is spent trying to get enough food to feed their families or not get mugged or killed in the process. In other words...survival.

Then, on approach to JFK, I see the skyline and I know I'm almost home. It's night, but everything is lit up OF COURSE. I go through Customs, which is pretty strict and actually secure. I see people from around the world in the international terminal who have desired to come here. They are smiling, too. I take the subway home, a tiny example of our strong infrastructure. I take the 10 minute walk home from the subway at any hour of the night....safely. I sleep in my comfortable bed that doesn't break everyone's bank to buy. I wake up and can have food available to. If I miss a meal, it's because I'm too busy having fun or earning a reasonable paycheck. I turn on the computer and access information that I have complete freedom to read and learn from other ideas without being jailed or hung...

...and I see people whine and bitch about our country who have no clue how good they have it.

That is what I've gotten from my experience. Great pride, and sadness from society.

LGA777
08-29-2007, 10:16 PM
Awesome and INSPRING post Phil, thanks for sharing !

LGA777

stuart schechter
08-29-2007, 10:31 PM
Phil,

I sat in silence reading your post and it all sunk in like I was being injected with it. It was just the reality of it is that you have seen what some people say is the worst thing we have done. And why can they say that? What they say is wrong(the war), is why they can say that. Very inspiring and it was really meaningful. Have you ever thought of a line of work as a philosopher? By far one of the best posts I have read to date on NYCA.

cancidas
08-29-2007, 11:57 PM
...and I see people whine and bitch about our country who have no clue how good they have it.


well said!

PhilDernerJr
08-30-2007, 05:01 PM
Thanks guys. Sorry about the soapbox.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask more. I've been pretty silent about my job for a year now. lol

Winglets747
08-30-2007, 06:02 PM
Phil,
Thanks for sharing your incredible experience. It was very inspiring and interesting.

nwafan20
08-31-2007, 01:26 PM
Wow Phil, that story was just awe-inspiring, thanks for posting, if it's OK with you I think I will share that story with some friends of mine.

Alex T
09-05-2007, 12:44 PM
Phil--


Excellent story about it all. Really makes ya think also.

Here is my travel Map.

http://maps.flightmemory.com/inland/us3 ... 966118.png (http://maps.flightmemory.com/inland/us343531188966118.png)

AAGold
09-09-2007, 08:37 AM
Great post Phil. Tells us a lot about the world we live in and the kind of person you are. I, for one, am happy to call you friend (and son).

Art

Informant
09-11-2007, 09:51 AM
Do ground service reps travel as much,or at all?

PhilDernerJr
09-11-2007, 09:38 PM
That's what I am (was). The position had several titles. So yes, we did fly a lot, as you see.