I had a strange dream last night. Mostly it’s unusual because I still remember it – usually when I wake up, I can feel any memory of my dreams slipping away and by the time I stumble to the bathroom it’s totally forgotten. This time I remember the last part of it.
I was taking some sort of exam. For reasons I don’t remember, I showed up an hour or so after everybody started, but didn’t think that would be a big problem because I was so awesome. Anyway, they handed me an exam booklet and I went upstairs to do it because exam room was too dark. Again, they probably let me leave the room but not the other test takers because I’m so awesome. So I was sitting at an outdoor picnic table looking at this problem that shows two cartoon like IFR standard terminal arrival route (STAR) charts. The charts were all full of bright colours with different VORs and airways in different colours, and the runway shown was longer than most of the airways. The problem had something to do with if you exceeded the minimum crossing height on this one VOR by 1500 feet on the first chart, how much would you exceed it by on the second chart after they moved the VOR and changed the airways around. I don’t remember being puzzled by what sort of wierd problem it was, but I also don’t remember answering it. But just then a bright red two seat aircraft pulled up, and 6 people got out. Don’t ask me why, but in the dream the plane was a “Robin Reliant”, which if I recall correctly is a strange little three wheel car from England. I overheard one of the 6 people saying that next time they could bring along a seventh person. Then I looked down at the exam book and there was a question about how badly they’d exceeded the gross weight and center of gravity envelope for this Robin Reliant, and I’d realized that the plane taxiing in was actually part of the exam (no, I didn’t ask how they’d done that for me and not for the other people who were still downstairs as far as I knew – maybe only I got the demostration because I was so awesome?). So I started looking through the rest of the exam book. Most of the exam book looked like an issue of Trade-A-Plane, with hundreds of classified ads and a few display ads on each page. So I was scanning each ad in vain trying to find out information on the weight and balance envelope of this plane, plus how much each of these people had weighed.
I guess that’s when I woke up. I can sort of understand the weight and balance thing, because last night Vicki and I and our neighbors had been talking about taking a flight up to Ottawa and I had discovered that the president of my flying club has managed to book the Lance for every weekend between now and August, and doing the trip with the Dakota with 4 people means giving some thought to baggage weight. But I have no idea where the airway thing came from. It’s certainly nothing like real world IFR flying.
Update: I wrote “the runway shown was longer than most of the runways” when I obviously meant “longer than most of the airways”. That’s fixed. Also, I wonder if the “Robin Reliant” is a reference to Big Red, a large Stinson Reliant at the Pinckneyville fly-in. It’s no two seater, though.