Chapter 188

Sunday afternoon was hot so we took the jet skis out onto the ocean and rode the waves. Sunday night with it still hot, we went back to the beach to watch the moon on the ocean again.

The media had been speculating about a not so secret satellite launch from NASA’s Wallops Island launch site. The payload was the secret, another military intelligence satellite to replace a failing one.

We were sitting facing the ocean, making small talk when all of a sudden there was a loud roar followed by the unmistakable rumble of a rocket lifting off. I had heard that sound many times in the sand box. The people that were always in the know often told us that rumble was the result the thrust of the rocket on the surrounding superheated air at the base of the engine.

I couldn’t help but feel a little pride as we watched the rocket keep climbing and the flame of the engine getting smaller as it went out of sight and over the horizon. What followed was a beautiful make-out session on the beach. We had brought extra very big beach towels so there was plenty of overlap.

The warm sand, the sound of the waves, the surf and the salt air made our intimate time a lasting memory. I had made love to another girl in some unimaginable places, but this was the first on the beach and with 5 girls that I truly loved. I would cherish this forever.

Tuesday was more of the same, an early breakfast, then fishing and taking in the sun on the beach until noon. After lunch we went jet skiing for a while then dune riding in Uncle John’s dune buggy. After supper it was back to the beach to watch the sun go down and the moon beams on the ocean.

Wednesday morning we went fishing one more time. Then we cleaned Uncle John’s beach house from top to bottom. All the sheets, towels and pillow cases were washed and the beds made with fresh sheets.

We made a trip to the supermarket and replaced all the canned food we had eaten and left some extra – just because. When we arrived there were a few beers in the spare refrigerator on the porch. I left a full case of each three different brands and a case of wine coolers.

I made sure the dune buggy and the jet skis were also filled to the brim with gas. Then we made one more walkthrough just to make sure we had missed nothing. We took Dad’s pickup with the beach access tags for one last ride on the beach. Then, with heavy hearts, we headed home.

We promised ourselves we would do this again and again before the summer was out. Heck it was only a three hour drive. Marcy was writing down realtor phone numbers on houses that were in the same area as my Uncle’s house.

We made it home after dark. To get back into the routine, we went over to the gym to have an update meeting. Everyone had honored our request to not be bothered while on vacation, unless it was an emergency.

There was more good news than bad. Things had gone remarkably well in our absence. The help-wanted ads had been posted on our website and in the local papers in the respective college areas, and applications were coming in. The job requirements were the same for all areas – except for Rochester – to make things easier for us. The Rochester exception was for multi-language; a job plus.

Frost Borough was already staffed and Rochester was in the works; Warrington was going to be next. For me every night was going to be reviewing applications and verifying the order that Jason and Roseanne had them in order of preference for interviews.

Mark and Cindy had left me a pile of notes. The final two cars for Rochester were to be delivered by the up-fitter tomorrow. Lawman’s supply was delivering the uniforms and vest by noon.

Jamie had put all of them through the weapons class and the shoot don’t shoot course. She had signed off on all of them for carry permits. The request for permits had been sent to the state and the feds for our national security firm license.

Jamie had left a note of her own. “I used 10,000 rounds to get this group to your requirements. There is very little left in the ammo safe. Please order more for the next group. You need 10k of 9mm, 1k of 5.56, and a case of 00 buck. The Glocks to be issued to this group are in the gun safe along with the officer belt, holster, pepper spray and tazers.”

Mark’s note included a copy of the construction contracts with Bill Lamar, along with copies of the approved permits for Altoona.

Lorrie’s mail was not so good; airport issues were growing. There was a registered letter from the County Commissioners. There were noise complaints from nearby residents. That in itself was one side of the surprise. There was a hundred yards with several tree lines for noise abatement on the north side of the airport, then a dual lane highway, and then a row of businesses, then the industrial park.

On the east end there were more trees, a single lane highway, a large park and ride, then a shopping center and large parking lots before any residential homes.

On the south side of the runway were the airport hangers, a highway, an open field and a woods line before any homes.

On the west end, the runway stopped 100 feet from the Chesapeake Bay. It was four miles of open bay water.

We flew only jets or turbine powered prop aircraft. All landings were at low or no power glide, and 99% of the takeoffs were over the bay. The noise complaints made no sense.

To further aggravate the airport problem, they were not going to have any jet fuel for at least a week. Someone claiming to be from the county airport commission had called the supplier and cancelled all fuel deliveries for this week. That was 16,000 gallons of fuel.

No one at the airport noticed the fuel situation until the low fuel alarms went off. It takes a week to get from placing an order to a delivery of fuel in the tank. Lorrie, as well as the rest of us, was pissed to put it mildly. Another thing that set everyone off was they sent it in a letter instead of calling and alerting people. The tank was empty by the time the letter was received.

Even though we were a fixed base aviation operator, the airport authority had insisted we use their fuel supply farm and their truck. If we had leased our own truck we could have had a little more working room on the fuel issue.

A tandem axle jet fuel truck would have given us 4000 gallons of extra fuel to work with, and the possibility buying a load of fuel from the Easton airport authority or BWI. Our own mechanics could refuel on our terms not the counties. This was one more thing to investigate.

There were a dozen flights scheduled in the next seven days. After landing, our jets would have to be flown to BWI or Easton and refueled, then flown back to the island airport for passengers. That cycle of flight and landings would cost a thousand dollars each time for the pilot’s time and wasted fuel.

Jenny, with Jason’s assistance, wrote a scathing letter to the commissioners. “Tampering with the aviation fuel supply could be considered terrorism and or a violation of federal law. Interfering with scheduled flight service was also a federal violation. We the corporation are going to demand an immediate state and federal investigation,” it said.

The letter was going to be delivered by registered courier tomorrow morning. Additional copies were going to the FAA and the State.

Next Tuesday the 50 seat passenger plane was going to be at Easton for our inspection. All of us plus Jack, the next inline senior pilot, and our certified mechanics were going to inspect it and the records before we accepted it on a lease purchase agreement.

I reviewed all the notes on the daily logs that the trainers had kept for me. The defensive training had been done by a couple of the “I can’t tell you what I do guys.” They had some time off between assignments and wanted part-time work. The notes were very descriptive, with strengths and weakness, and the training they had done to correct the weaknesses.

I liked the way these two men operated. They would be here in the morning. I wondered just how much free time they would have over the next two months.

Edit by Alfmeister

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