(Pilot/aviation geek stuff ahead!)
I have never had to do a missed approach for real (only in training) and the other night I almost broke that 20 year record. ATC dumped me on to the approach at 6000 feet...4000 higher than I needed to be. And 7 miles closer than I needed to be. I lucked out...the ceiling came up and I made it in.
BUT...I did have to do something I have never had to do for real (only done it in training). I had to use an emergency gear extension procedure on the C-421 on Friday at Portland. Damn thing froze in the wheel well and, after cycling the gear three times, I committed to nearly staying in Portland until Monday. I pulled the emergency gear handle, rammed hundreds of psi of nitrogen through the system, and slammed the nose gear down.
To take off again, the plane has to be jacked up, the circuit breaker reset, the nitro bottle refilled and the gear inspected. No one could do it on Friday...but Monday was just fine! Yeah.
So, my 2:50 flight out of PDX to RDD left at 4:30. I read nearly half of my 400 page book.
Spent my last 6 bucks on lunch. (Half a pastrami on light rye and a Mr. Pibb!)
What pisses me off the most is this happened once before in this airplane to another pilot and, even after the shop trouble-shot it and made some repairs...it happened again. Now I'll probably have to airline it up to PDX on Monday and pick up the plane and fly it home. Oh well...at least I'm getting paid!