Thursday, November 08, 2007

I Am Being Held Captive---Send Help!

Okay. Here's what happened.

I flew my little airplane up here to Auburn, Washington so the guy could put the Garmin GNS430W in the panel. September 4th. He said he was "shooting for the 12th" and then the 17th, and then the 26th. Of September. September came and September went. No airplane. The install did not take place.

Went to Italy (see previous posts). Returned from Italy (see previous posts). October came and October went. I returned on October 29th and called the avionics guy. He said, "Hey, when are ya gonna come up and get your airplane? I need to get paid." I tell him that Monday the Monday the 5th of November (no, not September because that had come and gone; not October for same reason), but November.

So I got a guy to fly me up in his beautiful Cessna 180 with 300 horsepower P-Ponk conversion. Yeah, I know. Can you believe that? Dave says he'd be glad to do it. It would be a great day to fly.

On Sunday evening the avionics dude calls and asks if he can have one more day. I ask him again (as I had already done)---"Is the airplane DONE?" He says, of course, it's done. But the kid is sick and the wife is sick. I tell him it has to be Monday. No room to budge. Got plans Wed/Thurs and am working overtime on Tuesday. Has to be Monday. He acquiesces.

Dave and I call prior to departure from the beautifully sunny Oregon coast. The avionics dude asks if we've checked the weather cuz it was foggy "up here in Auburn." We tell him we have checked and that the weather will improve by the time we get there. It had. We landed.

Avionics dude walks up to me as I get out of the plane and says, "Damn. I goofed. I have some bad news. I cut the number two com wire by mistake." I ask him how bad that is and can I at least leave because I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT AT 3 O'CLOCK IN CORVALLIS. He says, "Oh. No way. You can't leave." I go look at the airplane. Not only is it not done, but it has never BEEN done. There are empty holes everywhere. Wires dangling everywhere. I feel sick to my stomach. Dave and I look at each other. I say some words to the avionics guy. I have to restrain myself because he still has my airplane.

Dave and I leave. I pay the 171 dollar fuel bill (at the cheapest place in the state right now, Newport, @ $3.99/gallon). I call my appointment and tell him to go ahead and bill me for the missed appointment.

Avionics dude says he will have the plane done "in a day; it will be ready tomorrow." Tomorrow, at that point, was two days ago---Tuesday. But I had to work.

By some miracle (thoughts become things!), the weather was still good on a November day when we normally pull down 18-22 inches of rain in that single month. Sunny day. Beautiful day. I call the avionics guy and confirm our appointment. He says he has one thing to do that will take about a half hour. One hour and 16 minutes later (GAWD, that 180 goes fast!), we land in Auburn, Washington. The plane is not done.

The avionics guy says "I have to do this, and that will take about 10 minutes. I have to do that and that will take about 10 minutes. And then there are these things to go in. So, it should be done in two hours."

Two hours? Dave can't wait two hours. He and I were going to fly back together. I was going to take off first and see how long it would take for him to pass me. He was going to help me push my plane into the hangar when we got back.

Dave took off. I sent him on his way. We landed at 2:15pm. I took off last night at 7:15pm. But the weather had deteriorated and the weather dude on Flight Watch at the frequency of 122decimalZEROzero said conditions are IFR along the route, VFR not recommended. There is a saying: "There are old pilots and there are bold pilots; but there are no old, bold pilots." I returned to the airport.

I love the Auburn Days Inn. My room faces the airport and I can look right down the runway. There is free coffee and belgium wallfel action in the lobby. And get this: Internet is free. FREE!!! I was expecting them to charge me 7 Euros for one hour or 4 Euros for 10 minutes (like that one place in Florence).

I called my friend, Tom last night and cancelled our fishing outing planned for this morning. I called Cindra. I called Juniper. I called Dave. I callled Bob. I called Don. Now I will call Logo and Lime.

It is foggy here. Very, very foggy. It is supposed to lift.

I want to go home. And I can't. And I don't like that. But it is a great little spot I have found and I know I will return some day. Albertson's is right across the street. I am going to go buy one of those huge pomegranates and make lemonade. Well, you get the point.

No change in the fog and it's 10:05am.


At Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 11:30:00 AM PST , Blogger the grumble said...

Please tell me you didn't pay that fothermucker.

At Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 1:59:00 PM PST , Blogger lime said...

avoinics guy needs a wrench where the sun don't shine. he sounds not only irresponsible but i'd question is competence.

At Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 2:20:00 PM PST , Anonymous cindra said...


I didn't read this whole post cos' I've been living this experience with know my thoughts.

Good news is that I got a text from you as you were flying toward the river and you ought to be home by now! Let me know...


At Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 2:48:00 PM PST , Blogger Sarah said...

...too bad this didn't happen, in, say, warm and sunny Verona, or someplace equally as exotic. Hope you're home, Gawpo!

At Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 7:29:00 PM PST , Blogger Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

Oh MY God. Would I be pissed? That doesn't even begin to describe. You know, if I had been with you then, I would have had to walk over to avionics man and tell him what I planned to do with the rachet in my hand!~
He's lucky I wasn't there. My latino blood likes to yell first and ask questions later. Had I saw the dash torn apart and not worked on...he'd be such a goner. You know....he did make out like it was DONE and hence you flew up there? Is the guy a total and complete IDIOT???? Gawpo, you showed incredible self restraint. I am proud of you.
I am so pissed.

At Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 7:53:00 PM PST , Blogger Sheila said...

My daughter does get her knickers in a twist. BUT she's not joking, ask her to tell you about the girls on the bus one time..!
The guy sounds like a knob, I hope after all the B/S he did a good job. I guess you won't be recommending him anytime soon. Hope you are home safe now.

At Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 8:31:00 PM PST , Blogger Scarlet said...

You need to pick me up in Miami and we'll show him who's boss. That won't happen to you twice!

At Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 10:21:00 PM PST , Blogger Gawpo said...

GRUMBLEBERRY: Well, yeah. I did pay him, but I deducted the 171 bucks for the first trip, the 75 buck no-show fee for the missed appointment and shaved off 29 bucks for the car gas to get to and from the airport on Monday. He, in turn, did a TON of extra stuff for free, including throwing the $400 install fee for the second radio. I am going to charge him for the motel by deducting that from what I owe him on the other radio I bought. I am a sucker for nice. And he is very nice. But has ZERO business savvy. He isn't a shucker and jiver. He's just clueless about how long it takes him to do stuff.

LIMERS: He came highly recommended from two other pilots who told me he is "top notch; the best out there." Oh, he's out there, all right. lol!

CHEENDRUH!: Yes. I made it. I am home. It was a bit of a pucker along the route, but the ceiling minimums were there to make it safe. I just hate the worrying along the way. Thanks for the love-call on the phone. It hung up just as I answered. I didn't even hear it ring. I was picking the phone up to call the Astoria AWOS for a weather report.

SARAH: Perzackly! That would have made it better. But NOOOOOOO....
I am home and ready to try out the new GPS.

BLUE TSG: Wow! I love that Portuguese verve. You definitely have my back. I love what MOB says about getting yer knickers in a bunch. Yeah, I was a bit perturbed, to put it mildly. I felt like I was in Wonderland, looking for Alice.

SHEILA MOB: Oh, it's twist. Not bunch. Same difference. Yes, she gets that from you I would guess?

He did do a very good job. But puh-LEEZE! How bizarre was that wasted flight on Monday? Thanks for the tons of support from the MOB/TSG contingent.

SCARLET: Coly HOW! Between your Latina ire and Blue's, I could take care 'o some bid-nidz pronto. I had fun speaking Spanish to the housekeepers at the motel. See? Something good comes from everything. I made people smile. That feels great. I got a big "Le vaya bien" and a hearty "andale, pues!" from one gal. Made ME smile, to be sure. :-)

At Friday, November 9, 2007 at 12:29:00 AM PST , Blogger Bazza & Wifey said...

So, will you use him again?

At Friday, November 9, 2007 at 6:17:00 AM PST , Blogger mindy said...

when life gives you pomegranates..make lemonade... then throw the lemonade in avionics dudes eyes. :)

At Friday, November 9, 2007 at 9:20:00 AM PST , Blogger Gawpo said...


MINDANCE: Oh. So cold. So decisive. So stern.

I love it!

At Friday, November 9, 2007 at 10:02:00 AM PST , Anonymous cindra said...

yeah, well, thanks for letting me know you landed, butthead! You always forget.

Go vote at TGQDC, and listen to hubby's song at my blog. Oh, and you won't be able to go to Corvallis tomorrow? They play till ten. You could get the second part. Juni bug is coming!

At Friday, November 9, 2007 at 11:23:00 AM PST , Blogger AnnieElf said...

But you are never NEVER going to use that guy again for repairs, right??????

At Friday, November 9, 2007 at 11:47:00 AM PST , Blogger Gawpo said...

CHEENDRUH!: (uh-oh..... :( ...)

If I left at 8pm when I get off work, I could be there by 9:04. Hmmmm.....

ANNIE FROM TURLOCK: Well, Annie---it wasn't repairs, actually. It was an installation. But now that we're on the correct term, the answer is: NO WAY!

At Friday, November 9, 2007 at 4:22:00 PM PST , Blogger Claire said...

Geez, what a goofball. Between the extra gas and motel bills that was one Expensive install. Amazing that he could ever get anybody to say he was 'top notch'!

At Saturday, November 10, 2007 at 2:53:00 AM PST , Anonymous quilly said...

Gawpo -- the very least I would have done was put the guy's name and business out there -- as in does good work but only use if you don't want to see your plane again for six months .... You are too nice.

At Saturday, November 10, 2007 at 10:39:00 AM PST , Blogger Diesel said...

Have you noticed that the frequency and vehemence with which someone claims something will be done at a particular time is inversely proportional to the likelihood of it actually getting done at that time?

What a wanker.

At Saturday, November 10, 2007 at 11:22:00 AM PST , Blogger Gawpo said...

Oh, CLAIRE: 1) The moment I saw you, I swear. 2) Yes. Goofball. That's what they used to call certain pills back in the William Bendix movies. 3) The "top notch" came with the post traumatic caveat that I wish I'd gotten prior to signing on with the guy.

QUILLY-POOH: Ok. Well. I am thinking about doing just that by word-of-mouth. Maybe you're right. At least people will know.

DIESEL: Ha! Perzackly. That's something only you could conjure.

This was so not cool.

At Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 11:21:00 PM PST , Anonymous Brooke said...

Okay, finally getting around to commenting on this... I noticed you called everyone else in the world but ME when you were killing time... lol


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