Saturday, June 19, 2010

Flowers at the FARP

If it’s not too late at night when we’re flying around, the pilots will often stop at the FARP to get “hot fuel.” However, the FARP closes down at night, so sometimes they have to get “cold fuel” upon completion of a mission. I had heard the terms before this deployment, but wasn’t sure I knew the difference.

“Hot fuel” means the aircraft is running, the rotors are spinning, and passengers (PAX) and Crew Chiefs need to exit the aircraft during the refueling process. PAX go wait in a holding area at some distance from the helicopter, while the Crew Chiefs stand by while the refuelers do their thing. “Cold fuel” means the refuelers come to the aircraft which is not running.

At one point during a daylight flight, we stopped at the FARP to get “hot fuel.” In accordance with the Standing Operating Procedure (SOP), I exited the aircraft and moved over to the PAX holding area while the plane was being fueled. I noticed some lovely flowers blooming there, amidst the gravel, and paused to try to capture some of their beauty with my camera.

I love my job!

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ
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