The drone of another aircraft powering off the runway at Vancouver International fills the office as I stare blankly toward the mountains. I am back at the aircraft hangar after a long hiatus from the helicopter.
Usually my mood is upbeat heading into a flight week, but much has changed with the Chopper 9 project and the assignment just doesn't have the excitement or immediacy it once had.
It has been a gradual thing. The desk and ND seem to have lost the appetite or commitment to the news gathering weapon in the sky. Late last summer the writing seemed to be on the wall with the permanent reassignment of Flight Reporter Dave Kincaid. Flight rotations just have not been the same without his gifted story telling and his ability to pitch items from the sky to the show producers. With his departure, those of us left are relegated to listening to the squelch of antique scanners, praying for some breaking news so that we can launch and contribute to the shows.
Needless to say, the flight hours have been few and far between. Couple that with the spotty wintertime weather and you see how a guy can develop that "thousand yard stare" looking towards the mountains, just wishing for a flight with some meaning.