Tuesday, September 16, 2008

San Diego trip

So I just concluded another week long trip. This time to San Diego California. The training course as a whole was really good but there were a few things that I would definitely change.

The first thing that I whole heartedly advise is don't fly to an airframe structures design and analysis class. I found myself getting on the plane to come back and looking at the wings and fuselage in a different way. Granted ever since completeing my undergraduate classes in aerospace engineering flying wasn't exactly the fun thing it used to be but after this class I became even more aware of the underlying structure in the wings, fuselage and tail sections. It also didn't help that on Friday we watched a short video of a MD80 ( the same plane I was flying out of SAN the next day) falling apart on landing. The pilot miscalculated the maximum descent rate and was coming in about 80knts too fast and when he landed the gear completely disintegrated under him and the tail literally fell off. Granted this is one of those landings where you think ouch because you know the pilot realized it as soon as it happened but still didn't make me feel any better.

The class as a whole was very informative. The problem was it focused solely on fixed wing aircraft and never ventured in to the world of rotor-wing. The nice thing about it though was there were about 10 people in their early to late 20's that I was able to go and do stuff with outside of the class. The problem became once again that I was the only woman in the class. And flight especially still being a good old boys club made it hard to fit in at times. Most of the guys at first look seemed to think that there was no way I knew about any of this kind of thing. On the first day we had to go around the room and introduce ourselves including where we worked and back ground. Well most everyone's jaw dropped when I said that I did airframe design and analysis and was getting a master's in rotorcraft systems. later in the week I didn't have very many questions but I was able to add some input into how Army aviation handles things such as anaysis and repair of basic structures.

Another thing is what is so surprising about me playing hockey. I got almost as many stares about that as I did my major. Tuesday night a local ice rink had a 16 and up adult skate so I brought my skates and planned to go. On the way out of the hotel I got stopped by at least 4 people regarding why I had skates. I even ran into a couple of guys Friday night when I was headed up to my room after grabbing my skates from the trunk of my car. The looks were just of amazement and I just can't help but laugh at it all.

the hotel arrangements were just annoying and I left a long complaint card in my room about all the issues I had. First off they charged you $10 a day for internet. The problem was it never would work in my room. So if I wanted to access the internet I paid for I had to go downstairs to the lobby. The other problem was one of the people in the gift shop. I went in there one day twice during the training to get a drink each time and with company policy paid with a credit card. The second time I was there she asked me why I refused to pay with cash. Well it was really none of her damn buisness so i ended up filing a complaint with the front desk. It was just ridiculous that why i paid with a credit card was any of her concern.

I did get to do a couple of things that were fun though.
1.Go to in and out burger for the first time. W was right that place was the shiznit.
2.Skate in a different rink. Of course I now know to bring shin guards after bruising both my knees really well.
3.play a game of beach soccer with the guys and then going for drinks afterwards
4.meeting another woman that plays hockey and works for the same parent company.

But in the end its best to just get back home. I've missed my boys and am now not looking forward to the hockey tournament next weekend. I've been gone long enough. I'm ready to be home for a few months before I travel again! Now onto playing catchup with homework and spending time with the family.

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