When our runway lights went out, I called Flight Service to place a Notam. (A notice to airmen.) But after dealing with the Feds, I soon discovered that America’s Governmental system is fraught with dark holes.
My Four brief phone conversations went something like this: “I need to place a Notam — all our runway lights are out,” I explained.
He said, “Okay, I’ll place the Notam until 5 p.m. tomorrow evening.”
“I haven’t even got hold of the electrician yet,” I explained. “I need more time.”
“Just call back tomorrow,” he said. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“I guess not,” I sighed, wondering why a short time frame had been placed on the lights.
Within the hour, I received an unusual call from Flight Service. “It says here that you’ve placed a Notam on your runway lights.”
“Yes, they’re All out,” I explained again, and that I needed more time to repair them.
“That’s not my department,” she announced.
Shortly thereafter, I received yet another call from Flight Service inquiring into the runway lights. I once again explained that ALL the lights were out. I began to wonder what the problem was with this Notam — return phone calls from Flight Service are rare.
When Flight Service called yet again, I was a little disturbed, so I asked, “Do I have to report outages?”
She said, “No, we’re not the police. It’s just to let the pilots know. I guess they can find out when they get there.”
“Great idea,” I commented.
Not to be sidetracked, the woman asked, “Which runway lights are out? We have new rules we have to follow here.”
“ALL the runway lights are out. Every single one,” I said, smiling.
“I need a better explanation. I don’t have a box for ALL,” she explained. “So is it the edge lights or the end lights?”
“Pick one,” I said, laughing. “They’re ALL out.”
“How about the edge lights?” She questioned.
“Yes, mark that box!” I suggested.
“Do you want me to mark any other boxes?” She asked.
“No,” I said, wanting to conclude this bizarre rash of calls. “God Bless you and have a great evening!”
Needless to say, I have yet to call back and report the continued outage. However a frequent flyer flew in this morning, and said pointedly, “The other night I flew over here for fuel and found out you haven’t reported your runway lights.”
I nodded. “It’s a long story . . .”
And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest!” Psalm 55:6