noun: gear monkey; pl. noun: gear monkeys
- One who sits in the right seat of an airplane and doesn’t touch anything unless directed to do so by the Captain, and whose sole job is, upon command, the raising and lowering of the landing gear.
I never really set out to be a pilot. I kind of fell into it as a way of avoiding something else I had thought I wanted to do. It suited me well though and I’ve been lucky enough to turn it into a career. At the time I started learning to fly I had a blog going that pontificated on the finer points of unimportant things such as the weather, what I had eaten that day, and random things I had read on the Internet. Figuring that writing about something was better than writing about nothing, I started to document my path into aviation.
Those blog entries appeared in fits: multiple posts one month and then nothing for several months after that. Over time though, there was a steady and consistent shift from documenting the day to describing an event or series of events. The entries were short–in the 500-word range for the most part–but more descriptive in nature and less documentative.
After eight years with one company, flying the Candadair Regional Jet (CRJ), I moved on to a new job, 2500 miles away. My motivation to blog stayed behind. It wasn’t the time or place in my life for me to be writing about aviation.
After a seven-year break, I went back to some of the entries from the past and started working to expend the 500-word posts into what became 5000-word essays, possibly for publication or possibly for my own gratification. A side effect of doing this was a rekindled desire to write short-form snippets from everyday flying. I switched aircraft types in 2020, and in an attempt to capture some of my wonder and excitement about a new plane and new destinations, I started blogging again.
This is the result.