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Wow, RW landing in major x-winds today at KDCA

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Took the DELTA Shuttle MD-80 from LGA to DCA today and wow, was it windy on descent and approach. During decsent from cruise, captain announced winds of 35 mph gusting to 60 mph on approach to DCA and I got the willies. Lower down, we got bashed around quite a bit from wingtip to wingtip as we approach the Potomac river. Final approach was nose down to the fence at very high speed over raging whitecaps, a beautiful flare, and excellent touchdown, firm but not "heavy landing" on one of the short cross runways at DCA. I was really impressed and feel that the DELTA crew earned their pay in abundance for this performance.It's been a long time since I felt heavy winds like this in a medium jet and I still don't know how the drivers manage the LOC and GS as well as they did today. When we got home, a table outside had broken from the wind and there was quite a bit of tree damage around our area. I really didn't think any pax jet could approach and land safely in such weather.Shame on the whole cost and operating structure of the airline industry these days: pay those folks up front a decent living wage, I say -- our lives are in their hands and they deserve it.JS

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hi JS, i'm in S.C. and it was VERY windy here today. as i was driving up the interstate near the airport i was watching as jet was coming in on final approach and he was being "rocked" alot! glad i wasn't in there. i saw another a few months back under more severe conditions coming in on final and didn't think he would land seeing how rough it was but land he did. gotta give it to those guys. william

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>Shame on the whole cost and operating structure of the airline>industry these days: pay those folks up front a decent living>wage, I say -- our lives are in their hands and they deserve>it.With average pilot pay at bankrupt Delta Airlines still nearly $150,000, I fail to find it within myself to feel all that bad for those guys. I think six figures is still WAY past a "decent living wage." The unions need to stop their crying and realize how much money $100K a year really *IS*.And for the record, THEIR lives are in their hands, too. The pilots are the first guys to reach the scene of a crash, so it's in their own self interest to have their act together.CheersBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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Hey John!Tell me about it, I found it interesting to watch the water moving back and forth in my toilet bowl because the wind is buffeting the house.Good thing we live in a new subdivision, the few trees that they planted are only a few feet tall so not much chance of a branch coming down onto the roof :-lolAnyway, glad you made it in safe. Still have to get together for a beer on fine DCA day.CYA

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Hey Mike:Thanks for your post and good wishes. I have to say, I had seriously considered AMTRAKing home today, but then I decided, "real men" fly into KDCA with heavy gusts ! My wife was speechless from 10,000 feet down, stricken with great anxiety, like many others on board.Saw your write-up on the 707 and really enjoyed it. Good piece.We'll do that drink -- eventually! Happy New Year.JS

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Anyone who thinks we make too much money doesn't understand what we do. Please do not post innacurate figures from a biased and ignorant media without due dilligence. In a professional position 100,000 dollars isn't that much money anymore. If you think we make too much money I doubt youv'e ever piloted a large airliner into a marginal runway with 150-200 folks riding behind you ASSUMING YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING. Its about liabilty, responsibility, experience, and abilty. If everyone could do this it wouldn't be the job that it is. Im tired of this attitude we get paid too much. Just ask the folks who got off my plane in Atlanta today what they think. Sheesh. Buying into the media's socialistic banter about things they know little about shows a lack of intelligence IMHO. Labor is not the answer to Airline company woes, it never was and it never will be. I fear safety will suffer, but I will do my part to see that it doesn'tHornit

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Thanks Hornit. Couldn't have said it better myself. How anyone can say flightcrews don't earn their money day in and day out is beyond me. I'm just a dispatcher, but I feel good about the interaction I have with my crews, and the role I play in safety.Just last week one of my flights experienced a gear disagree with a jammed gear handle and unsafe indications. It was only through the professionalism of the crew, and with a little help from SOC that everything turned out ok. At least 70 people knew who to thank that night.Keep up the good work, Jim.Nick

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As a pilot myself, I absolutely understand what pilots do. And I also understand that there are many, many professional pilots around the globe and in the US doing the same job for a lot less than we are still paying pilots in the US major airlines.I cannot accept the idea that piloting a large jet with 200 people aboard is somehow more difficult than piloting a business jet or commuter plane. I've done both, and a pilot operating an all-glass CRJ or Gulfstream is operating a jet at least as complex as a B-767, operating at the same speeds and into the same runways...but they're generally earning a lot less doing it. Why? Because of the union excesses over the last 25 years that have helped to wreck the industry. Because of the union rules that kept major airline wages inordinately high by effectively preventing job market competition and which promote an economic caste system where the poor sluggos in the commuter lines earn next to nothing while some major airline captains were pushing the $300K/yr mark.Due to union manipulation of the industry work rules, we place the most experienced pilots into the safest equipment...aircraft with lots of power margin, automatic and redundant systems, operating into the best developed airports. And we put the youngest and least experienced pilots into the most challenging and potentially dangerous planes. An engine failure at V-1 on a B747 departing off a 11,000 ft Cat-II runway is a WHOLE lot different animal than a similar failure on a Jetstream 200 departing out of a poorly lit short runway in the Allegheny mountains. If experience *really* makes that much of a difference and safety really was job one, you'd think that we'd put the most experienced pilots into the aircraft where their experience might make the most difference.Yet the pilots unions continue to advertise the notion that major airlines are statistically safer largely due to their experience. Does experience make a difference? Yes, to a point, but we have 25-year old kids wearing captains bars in the left seat of a C-17 operating...safely...at night into unimproved fields in combat conditions, and some of them have less than 2000 hours of flying time.Do I think major airline pilots are overpaid? Yes I do, and I offer it as an informed opinion based on my hands-on understanding of what it takes to get the job done. Some folks really need to look around and realize how much money $100,000 a year really is. Nobody is feeling sorry for a guy that's still making that kind of money. A significant majority of the US population would not agree that "100,000 dollars isn't that much money anymore."Market forces will prevail. It's time for some of these guys to climb down off the cross they're on, use the wood to build a bridge, and get over it.CheersBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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I think Jim already explained the difference between an MD-88 driver and a Lear 21 pilot flying cancelled checks around in the middle of the night...RESPONSIBILITY and LIABILITY. Both fly jets, both have two throttles in their hand, but they're on completely different levels.I'm sure its not lost on you that pilots are primarily decision-makers. So I'm curious how you can justify paying a 600hr bridge-pilot new-hire the same as a 12,000hr ATP with 9 years left seat in-type? Are they really equal in your eyes?Do you now, or have you ever worked for Jonathan Orenstein? He doesn't seem to think very highly of pilots either. Yep, there should definitely be a salary cap for pilots...is $50,000 enough? How about $30,000? Exactly who in their right mind is going to pay a combined $70,000 to get a degree and complete flight training, to qualify for a job that subjects them to unwarranted TSA scrutiny every day, to living out of a suitcase in hotel room in Harrisburg, to being guilty until proven innocent by pissing in a cup, to fly 8 legs a day, to be junior-manned by scheduling, to be extended to 15 hours, to be put on reduced-rest, to have to arrange for your own transportation to the hotel while the company considers you "on rest", to miss your family on every holiday while you sit ready-reserve in PHL, and all for the handsome reward of $30,000 a year? I think you should stop and realize that $100,000 is NOT a lot of money these days. Not when airlines are throwing union contracts out the window so they don't have to pay your pension.

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I still think pilots deserve a "living wage" and that they should also be able to pilot a jet with 50 to 500 people to safety without worrying about whether their pensions (actually, promises made by their employers 30-40 years ago and reaffirmed every single year since then) are going to be scrubbed. I don't want my captain thinking about his cashflow as he is fighting a 30 knot x-wind on approach over raging, freezing waters!Cheers! for DELTA once again yesterday as far as I am concerned.JS

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I'm not talking about Learjet pilots flying cancelled checks. I'm talking about the guy flying an ERJ-145 or CRJ for a regional, or a cargo B-747 that carries no pax but which can make a really big hole in your local neighborhood. Major airline pilots haven't cornered the market...there's plenty of responsibility and liability to go around.And I'm not talking about a 600-hour hey-diddle-diddle rating factory graduate. But a 5000 hour ATP with 1500 hours left seat in-type flying for a regional is not a significantly different animal than your 12000 hour guy, and the safety stats will bear that out.No idea who Orenstein is. I actually do think highly of pilots, but I also think the guys flying for the majors are overpaid, often at the expense of the grossly underpaid guys flying for the smaller outfits.>Exactly who in their right mind is going to pay a combined $70,000>to get a degree and complete flight training, to qualify for a job >that subjects them to unwarranted TSA scrutiny every day, to living >out of a suitcase in hotel room in Harrisburg, to being guilty until >proven innocent by pissing in a cup, to fly 8 legs a day, to be >junior-manned by scheduling, to be extended to 15 hours, to be put >on reduced-rest, to have to arrange for your own transportation to >the hotel while the company considers you "on rest", to miss your >family on every holiday while you sit ready-reserve in PHL, and all >for the handsome reward of $30,000 a year? Well...there sure seems to be a lot of people willing to do just that. When there aren't, then something will have to change, but there's no indication that will ever happen. I'd like to see market forces drive things so that those commuter guys get paid more at par with a more moderately compensated major airline pilot workforce, and for the union to stop circling the wagons every time an airline tries to shift some of the work to its more cost-efficient RJs. Nurses and teachers are among the many who willingly pay for their education and certification for the honor of holding a job that doesn't pay so well. And they don't get to fly jets.Clearly $100K isn't a lot of money to you. But lots of us look at a guy making that kind of money and crying about it, and just shake our heads, because there are lots of hard-working people...people with Ph.D. degrees, our teachers, our policemen and military troops putting their lives at real risk on a daily basis etc etc that would be in heaven to have a chance to complain about their measly $100K paycheck.Bottom line, if $100K isn't enough for the truly awful lifestyle of the airline pilot, then please go do something else. I guarantee there'll be a replacement already waiting in line to fill your seat.RegardsBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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"If everyone could do this it wouldn't be the job that it is."Hornit, don't mistake scarcity of positions for an increased level of required skills. You had the same skills that every other ATP and Comm pilot in this country has at one time. The difference is that you were hired by an airline that subsidised your training, giving you the very narrow and specific skills to operate the aircraft that you were hired to fly at the time. You could pluck anyone with an ATP off of the street with no airline experience, put them through a type specific course, and you'd have an airline capable pilot.Tim13

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I dont mistake anything, the difference is I was hired by Delta not a regional or a charter outfit. At the time Delta took great pride in hiring the best out of the military and the few civilian pilots who could get in the door. American was the other carrier who most pilots vied for. Its simply the truth, it was very competitive and while I acknowledge the skill level is equal the experience levels are usually not and the liabilty is FAR greater than in the smaller aircraft. I would submit to you that that guy you pluck off the street is not anywhere near ready to excercise the judgement and decision making skills we require day in and day out, its simple really and it all has to do with EXPERIENCE. The truth is that it is the one of,if not the most,coveted position in piloting as it affords those who can get there the bestpay and working conditions. In order to attract top notch folks to that,the pay has to be commensurate with who you want. Lately it doesn't seem to matter anymore to the bean counters and I will predict that over the next few years as those of us who see the handwriting on the wall leave, the safety factor will come into play due to a lack of experience. Its a whole different level,flying one of these things into a busy hub at night and in bad weather. The bottom line is there is a reason that there is a pay hierarchy here for a reason. It means quality pilots who are loyal and reliable for the long haul and are proud of what they do and who they are. Itall adds up to money in the bank and a safer operation period.hornit

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>the liabilty is FAR greater than in the smaller aircraft.Honestly, I don't follow this. What do you suggest it is that makes the liability "FAR" greater? > The truth is that it is the one of,if not the most,coveted>position in piloting as it affords those who can get there the>bestpay and working conditions. In order to attract top notch>folks to that,the pay has to be commensurate with who you>want. Lately it doesn't seem to matter anymore to the bean>counters and I will predict that over the next few years as>those of us who see the handwriting on the wall leave, the>safety factor will come into play due to a lack of experience.>Its a whole different level,flying one of these things into a>busy hub at night and in bad weather.It's coveted because it's a rare example of extreme overcompensation. Six figures for working 80-90 hours...a month?? It absolutely was one of the wonders of the working world. I can understand how emotional it makes people to see the caboose at the end of the gravy train passing by the station.The lifestyle alone is still attracting high quality people in more than sufficient numbers. We're talking about flying jets for a living. Lots of folks are happily, loyally, proudly, and reliably doing just that right now for a lot less...which is really my point. I remain unconvinced that all the good guys will leave and safety will be degraded. You want me to believe that the same guys that served with me in the miitary and avoided every office duty they could in order to stay in the cockpit are now going to flock from flying to become real estate salesmen? C'mon, it doesn't make sense. That might sell to someone who's never been in the culture, but I'm buying none of it.> The bottom line is there is a reason that there is a pay>hierarchy here for a reason. It means quality pilots who are>loyal and reliable for the long haul and are proud of what>they do and who they are. It>all adds up to money in the bank and a safer operation>period.Yes, there is a reason...but it's completely arbitrary and it's spelled U N I O N. It's that way because the unions got away with making it that way in their decades long reign of excess. But if a pilot can't be proud, loyal and reliable for the company at $75-100K a year, then he or she is neither loyal nor reliable...at any price. And that's not something to be proud of.CheersBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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>>Yes, there is a reason...but it's completely arbitrary and>it's spelled U N I O N.>Cheers>>Bob Scott>ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300>Santiago de Chile>>J.O.'s gotta love you. You take the cake for being the most ignorant person here.

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>>>>Yes, there is a reason...but it's completely arbitrary and>>it's spelled U N I O N.>>Cheers>>>>Bob Scott>>ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300>>Santiago de Chile>>>>>>J.O.'s gotta love you. You take the cake for being the most>ignorant person here.Apparently after you've carved out the biggest piece for yourself. Bob makes some very valid points here. Tim13

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You guys all really need to do some simple research. We get paid by the hour which is correct, but for the 7 hours or so of flight time I put in today, I completed a duty day, from sign in (in my uniform) until I finished my trip in ATL, of just about 14 hours. My three day trip was worth about 15:30 total hours pay. I actually worked just a bit less than 40 total hours. You see while Im doing the walk around, the preflight planning, etc I consider that work, its just traditional that we get paid by the flight hour, not the hours we are "at" work. If I fly five three day trips in a month Im working a whole lot more than any of you thought I'd guess. You cannot consider yourself "off" when changing aircraft at a hub or babysitting a maintenance problem in the aircraft. As far as the liability goes, ask any lawyer buddy you know which has more, the 777-200 with 250 folks on board or the ATR with 60? It has to do with equipment size and dollar amounts for the hardware and the number of people carried. I don't see why you are having trouble with that, it makes perfect sense to me. A lot of the airlines have standards which go above and beyond the FARS. Our safety record here in the US is second to NONE, there is a reason for that. Think it through. You get the best folks by compensating them well and making the job tough to get and very competitive. By doing this you ensure a level of skill and judgement you don't tend to get in other aviation jobs. The top airlines here in the US get to cherry pick from the most experienced and qualified folks who make it through the application process. I'm not saying we have a "lock" on this, but our record speaks for itself. I see the argument as one of jealousy and sour grapes, just because you couldn't attain the position you can't seem to understand it's worth. Sounds a bit like Communism to me, last time I checked we don't have that kind of system here. Look, I'm a mature individual and I realize we are at a crossroads in this industry. I don't like it, but I'm not gonna whine about it. I'll do this job mostly because I love it, and I'm very good at it. It's been very rewarding for me. The bottom line is that I have other talents and skills and they just may turn out to be more lucrative than this job in the long run, that remains to be seen. I'm already working on other things as this industry may never turn around and even If It does, this job will likely never be what it once was, nor command the pay it once did. The bottom line is that it's not our pay which is bankrupting the airlines, never was, and never will be. It is corporate greed, avarice, ineptitude, and unethical behavior which is driving the losses, period. I've seen it from the inside out, you have not. Hornit

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I can't believe you actually think that an RJ is more cost efficient than a larger aircraft! Could you show me the math on that one? We have pretty much proven here at Delta and the connection carriers that nothing could be farther from the truth. Wonder why they are parking those things now huh?Hornit

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>>>Apparently after you've carved out the biggest piece for>yourself. Bob makes some very valid points here. >>Tim13Like what? Like we only work 80-90 hours a month? The only time we get paid is when the brakes are off and the plane is pushing back. Everything else that we do on duty in association with getting the brakes released is gratis. Our duty day by law is limited to 16 hours. And we work right up to that limit very often. Buddy, we work 320 hours a month and get paid for 80-90 of those. That statement right there about 80-90 hours is pure and utter ignorance. I'll bet you even think we all make $200,000/yr per the USA Today. How many guys on a seniority list do you think actually make that much?There is no U N I O N either. There is no union hall in the airline industry. Each pilot group is a separate entity. The RLA keeps all pilots divided by law. There is no union hall. There is no union. Each pilot group is too busy keeping other pilot groups from taking their jobs away. That is no union. ALPA is merely an association that provides funding and expertise support for each individual little group of pilots at each airline when it comes time to negotiate a new contract. All it means is that they help a little when your local "student body" leaders go negotiate a salary on behalf of you. That is all. And a monthly magazine. There is no U N I O N in the airline industry. That is the absolute last thing pilots have...unity. Your comments about U N I O N show exactly how shallow your knowledge of our profession is.And you say you don't know who Jonathan Ornstein is. Wow. Now, once again, tell me who the ignoramus is.You and Bob go enjoy your Ignorance Cake.

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Kevin, it's always easy to tell when you're winning on the merits of an argument when the other guy starts tossing personal insults...a defense mechanism generally used when one can't get any traction with a weak argument.Hornit--RJs are more efficient on low density routes. Certainly I wouldn't suggest that a CRJ can compete with an MD-88 on the same route and at the same load factors. For the significant part of the population that doesn't live near a major airport, the regionals are a good thing. And of course that's RJs, regional turboprops like the ATR, Dash etc which are going strong. And of course the airlines are prevented from using the RJs to their potential because the unions do everything they can to impede their use.You make a point on work hours...but I still have to observe that my buddies who've been at this for 10-15 years are still averaging half the month--12 to 15 days--away from work. Slice it how you want, but few occupations offer that kind of free time. Now for those who choose to live away from their hub and commute...that bill is on them.It's really not about jealousy and sour grapes...and it's somewhat arrogant to assume that everyone wants your job. I don't. I certainly had the opportunity more than once, and I chose intentionally not to go down your path, as I also chose to back out of the stock market tech sector well before it crashed, and as I choose now not to buy a home in one of the many extremely overpriced markets in the US (like DC). I'm VERY comfortable with the choices I've made. It's all about risk management, and for a long time I've felt that airline pilots are paid far in excess of their market value.You guys can take this all personally, but in all honesty it's not meant that way. Except for Kevin. I hope that he's gassing Pipers while swatting mosquitos at a North Dakotan FBO in his...ummm...retirement. OK, I really don't hope for that. But the mere thought does entertain...perhaps it would teach him some manners.Kevin, I looked up Ornstein. Chairman of the Mesa Group. Now why would the CEO of some piddly little commuter outfit be a household word outside the airline industry? I think maybe you're too busy simmering in your own stew of self pity to realize that the entire world does not revolve around the airline business. Far from it.Anyway...Hornit...thanks for some objective discussion. Surely we don't agree, but I do understand your side of the argument a bit better.RegardsBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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>Kevin, it's always easy to tell when you're winning on the>merits of an argument when the other guy starts tossing>personal insults...a defense mechanism generally used when one>can't get any traction with a weak argument.>>>You guys can take this all personally, but in all honesty it's not >meant that way. Except for Kevin. I hope that he's gassing Pipers >while swatting mosquitos at a North Dakotan FBO in >his...ummm...retirement. OK, I really don't hope for that. But the >mere thought does entertain...perhaps it would teach him some >manners.>>Kevin, I looked up Ornstein. Chairman of the Mesa Group. Now>why would the CEO of some piddly little commuter outfit be a>household word outside the airline industry? I think maybe>you're too busy simmering in your own stew of self pity to>realize that the entire world does not revolve around the>airline business. Far from it.>>Regards>>Bob Scott>ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300>Santiago de ChileAnd thank you for addressing my points about the work hours and the state of the union. This has been a very enlightening exchange with you as well, Mr. Scott.BTW, a short personal insult does not mean somebody is out of arguments. It means it is almost 11pm and somebody has just done 5 legs in the northeast US where the winds are blowing at 40 miles an hour on the ground, with 30+ knot crosswind components on the landings, a go around because of a gpws windshear warning, having to take over the approach from an FO who is in way over his head, having to play flight instructor and counselor, and having to fight gate agents trying to overload your plane. Thinking to myself as I got out of my car "man they don't pay me enough for this $h!t" and then 20 minutes later reading the trash that you wrote, what else would you expect from me?I appreciate your sentiments that us RJ types are grossly underpaid, however the rest of your sentiments are, with all due respect, wrong.

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Kevin, here's how you started your part of this discussion:>J.O.'s gotta love you. You take the cake for being the most >ignorant person here.Now you want me to have a rational discussion with you on the ideas you have interspersed into your ad-hominem trashing? Nope, sorry, you don't rate it. Go discuss it with yourself.Bob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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>Now you want me to have a rational discussion with you on the>ideas you have interspersed into your ad-hominem trashing? >Nope, sorry, you don't rate it. Go discuss it with yourself.>>Bob Scott>ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300>Santiago de Chile>And you go "off" yourself as well. Have a good life.

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>And you go "off" yourself as well. Have a good life.Why thanks for the kind sentiments. I'm having a great life. And living well really is the best revenge against those who would wish you ill.Bob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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>Why thanks for the kind sentiments. I'm having a great life.> >>And living well really is the best revenge.>>Bob Scott>ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300>Santiago de ChileI didn't know you're in the process of taking revenge. It's not good to be like that, you know. What happened Bob? Why did you have to leave?

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