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Author Topic: How many pilots or pilots-to-be do we have here?  (Read 1459 times)
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wonderpug
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« on: September 04, 2007, 09:26:41 PM »

After hearing about kronovan training in a Skyhawk, and Interloper apparently flying commercial(?), I was curious just how many pilots we've got around on the forums.

I've got just 35-40 hours or so logged mostly in a Cessna 152, with occasional flights in a 172 or a 182.  I got up to my solo certification in the training, and was about to do my solo cross-country when a series of bad weather timing and an unavoidable apartment move left the license hanging.  I flew out of the Santa Monica Airport, which I have to say is a pretty beautiful area to learn how to fly, and the large amount of traffic you get for flying pressed against LAX's airspace gives great (but tough) experience you'd have a harder time getting with less traffic out in the boonies.

The 152 I flew in basically shoves you into the lap of your instructor:


kronovan, in his 172R, gets a tad bit more elbow room:


Something tells me we're not getting quite the same experience in our Cessnas that Interloper gets in his Embraer:


For those of you who're curious about flying but have never tried it....try it!  I'm sure prices have gone up in the past 5 years, but you used to be able to go on a demo flight at most flight schools for under $100.  You'd get to sit in the pilot's seat, have a scenic 30-45 minutes or so in the air, and spend the majority of the time controlling the plane yourself with the instructor's guidance.  It's really a great, great experience.

So do we have anyone else with some hours logged?
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kronovan
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2007, 10:23:11 PM »

Wonderpug, those are awesome pictures.
I've been pursuing a VFR license for many a moons here in the Great White North. The cost up here is nothing short of outrageous, so much so that I've had buddies take jobs in the US just to work on their licenses there. I've personally written some of the Transport Canada exams more than once as I've allowed too much time to lapse; just FYI they're about as much fun as dental work without anesthetic. It's a long road ahead, but I hope to make it before I'm retirement age.

I'm amazed that you're allowed to take photos from the cockpit, my instructors real old school -ex CDN Forces Air command pilot- and there's no way he'd allow it. I made the mistake of telling him I've flown PC flight sims, so now he often covers up the instruments to exorcise me of my bad habits. You're right about the 172 the cockpit is a bit larger and nicer, but the Skyhawk I train is far from the nicest out there.

On my training flights I've flown out of CYXX (Abbotsford), CZBB(Boundary Bay) and CYPK (Pitt Meadows); so basically the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. A beautiful place to fly, that is when the weather permits it.
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mori
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007, 11:10:53 PM »

I have a couple hundred hours. Mostly in Cessna singles but some in Piper Cherokees, Mooneys, and Bonanzas. I lost my medical 10 years ago so my pilot career ended then. But I still go up in the right seat all the time since I still work on them.
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Booner
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2007, 11:13:25 PM »

Here...

edit:
Quote from: wonderpug
I'm sure prices have gone up in the past 5 years, but you used to be able to go on a demo flight at most flight schools for under $100.  You'd get to sit in the pilot's seat, have a scenic 30-45 minutes or so in the air, and spend the majority of the time controlling the plane yourself with the instructor's guidance.  It's really a great, great experience.

Aye, I'd always been an aviation buff and my brother gave me a discovery flight as a gift. I was ready to start training 2 ft off of the the runway when the CFI made me realize 'I' was flying the plane.  icon_biggrin

Most of my time in 172s, 152s, and Arrows, but was lucky enough to get some cheap SR-22 and Bonanza time before the gas price rocketed at the beginning of 06.

I'm not surprised that your CFI is a bit camera shy Kronovan...mine was too, but he didn't inspect my flight bag before solo work. So I took mine with me every time past my initial solo.


Like my first Cross Country solo ninja


...my long cross country.


...days when the vis hit my personal minimums.  paranoid


I'm not trying to encourage you to do it, just if you do happen to take your Digicam with you....the #1 rule of aviating is still in effect. Fly the airplane first and foremost. smile



« Last Edit: September 04, 2007, 11:19:41 PM by Booner » Logged
disarm
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2007, 11:20:20 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on September 04, 2007, 09:26:41 PM

For those of you who're curious about flying but have never tried it....try it!  I'm sure prices have gone up in the past 5 years, but you used to be able to go on a demo flight at most flight schools for under $100.  You'd get to sit in the pilot's seat, have a scenic 30-45 minutes or so in the air, and spend the majority of the time controlling the plane yourself with the instructor's guidance.  It's really a great, great experience.

i went on a flight like that when i was in high school, as well as quite a few other small aircraft flights with a pilot in the family, and have been hooked on the idea of getting my license ever since.  unfortunately, i've been so tied up with college, medical school, and residency that i've not had the chance to pursue it yet.  i'm still planning on it one of these days when i have a little more time and money though...
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Interloper
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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2007, 11:28:28 PM »

I actually amazed at how many people I've met that have some stick and rudder time under their belt.  I started on a whim, I went to an airshow with a friend and paid for a ride in cessna.  He let me fly it a bit, and I was hooked.   I was taking gen ed classes in college, and had no direction for a major.  Just so happened the school had a flight program, so the next day I changed it to my major, and started lessons.  Before I knew it, I was in too deep ($) to not keep going, so I just kept moving up the food chain.  I knocked out my licenses in just under two years, and instructed for three more years while I finished up school.  I was soon flying turboprops for a small regional airline, but after a couple years of that, was let go due to 9/11.  I then did non-flying work (that paid better also) for a few years.  Flying jobs were hard to come by for quite some time after 9/11.  I debated even trying to get back into it.  I knew I'd be starting over on the seniority list, bottom of the pay scale, etc.  But I hated the daily grind, and my heart always longed to be back in the saddle, so to say.  So once more I forked out more $$ to get current, and started applying, and soon I was in the right seat of the ERJ 145XR.

I'm still in the right seat, just waiting for my turn to upgrade to the left seat.  Had 9/11 not come along, I think I'd be on the heavier metal by now.  This industry is so unpredictable and backwards, so I no longer even dare venture where I'll be even a couple years from now.  I love the job, hate the lifestyle.  It demands so much sacrifice from one's personal life, I must admit at times I wonder if it's worth it.  It's stressful, the pay isn't all that great, and actually is pathetic the first few years, and I'm away from home upwards of 300 hours per month.  The glory and glamour days are well behind us now, and they are working us like dogs, cutting our pay, cutting our benefits.  Every 6 months I put not just my job but my career and education on the line.  I have to maintain my health - every 6 months we need a mandatory first class medical.  Also every 6 months or 1 year we get run through the 'sweat box', or flight simulator.  This in turn means lots of what seems to be neverending study.  I get so sick of studying!  Flight sims look like fun, but trust me no pilot looks forward to sitting in that box.  One mistake and your career can be over.  Add to that random company line checks, random FAA line checks, myriad of events that can happen that cannot be anticipated and therefore not trained for, weather, hard schedules, lack of food, lack of sleep (!!!!)etc.  It's a tough job. 

But, like I said, despite all this, I still overall like it.  I see lots of different places, meet all kinds of people.  I get to see some really fascinating sights from the front.  There is a certain satisfaction that comes from knowing you navigated through some monster storms safely and still landed on time and got people where they needed to go (until they make snide remarks on a not so smooth landing - we just delivered you through lightining storms, heavy precip, low visibilities, and windshear conditions with a high pucker factor and they still have to get a jab in. icon_confused)  )  Anyway, like wonderpug found I do have few photos from a trip I took on my photo site in my sig.  Disclaimer:  Dont worry, all photos taken in a low workload phase.

You know what's strange though?  Looking back, the most fun I've had flying was in the small cessnas and pipers.  That is flying.  Airline flying is so rote, so regulated and so routine and procedural.  Enjoy those small ones, I miss 'em!  It swear it's a disease:  Flying gets in your blood and you just can't shake it.  FYI, airlines are hurting in a bad way for pilots.  If you ever wanted to pursue it professionally, now is the time.  The training has become so bloody expensive that the supply is quickly drying up.
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Punisher
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2007, 02:09:46 AM »

I'm not a pilot, but I play one on my PC. smile

I'm just waiting for one of those annoucements on the plane that ask if there are any pilots on board.. slywink
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wonderpug
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2007, 03:19:13 AM »

Quote from: kronovan on September 04, 2007, 10:23:11 PM

Wonderpug, those are awesome pictures.
. . .
I'm amazed that you're allowed to take photos from the cockpit, my instructors real old school -ex CDN Forces Air command pilot- and there's no way he'd allow it.

The first two are just from the internet, and the third is from Interloper himself. smile
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wonderpug
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2007, 03:35:30 AM »

Quote from: Interloper on September 04, 2007, 11:28:28 PM

FYI, airlines are hurting in a bad way for pilots.  If you ever wanted to pursue it professionally, now is the time.  The training has become so bloody expensive that the supply is quickly drying up.

It's real interesting to hear your story of a civilian path to commercial flight.  The instructors that I talked to when I was flying all really stressed to me what an uphill battle it is for civilian pilots versus ex-air force pilots, but they did say the balance was shifting away from military.

I was taking my lessons with the idea of making it a career, but when my training was cut short it was hard to get it going again, and I moved on to other things.  It's still a very tempting idea, but I think the current plan is to somehow make lots of money to be able to just fly recreationally. smile

It's alluring to hear you say that it's a great time to pursue a professional career.  Like you say, it gets in your blood; I really miss it.  Largely I really thrived on how much was going on at once.  Even in a little 152 there were so many things to pay attention to at once: looking for traffic, finetuning the throttle, the trim, scanning the gauges, monitoring the radio, adjusting the VOR, and on and on.  A busy one hour flight could leave me feeling like I just drove 8 hours, and I loved it.

I'm looking at my old flight school's website and it doesn't look like the 152 rental price has gone up too too much; I shudder to think what the fuel would cost now, though.
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kronovan
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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2007, 04:59:15 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on September 05, 2007, 03:19:13 AM

Quote from: kronovan on September 04, 2007, 10:23:11 PM

Wonderpug, those are awesome pictures.
. . .
I'm amazed that you're allowed to take photos from the cockpit, my instructors real old school -ex CDN Forces Air command pilot- and there's no way he'd allow it.

The first two are just from the internet, and the third is from Interloper himself. smile

LOL... I thought you took those 2 Cessna cockpit pictures at the beginning or end of 1 of your 152 and 172 flights.
I can't imagine in Canada that a majority of our civilian pilots have an airforce background, because umm...well...our airforce is too damn small to produce enough. I do know that there's quite a few that began as bush pilots which is quite a business here with all the rural air strips and floatplane marinas we have.
Years ago I worked in the forest service on a chopper-based fire fighting team and learned from the experience that we have quite a few US expatriates flying choppers here. We even had some ex Huey pilots that flew in Nam which we nicknamed bouncers because of their aggressive landing techniques. Unnerving shit when you're being plunked down on a minuscule alpine meadow!
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2007, 07:45:31 AM »

My stepdad has a 172 and I've flown that with him a few times when we were heading back and forth to his parents' farm.  They just have a grass runway to land there, so I let him handle that part.  slywink
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2007, 12:00:26 PM »

Never had formal training, but I've flown a Bonanza and a King Air. Both were fun, but no are no longer in the family. In fact, the pilot lost his license due to medical. (And is divorcing my mom, but that's another story.) Looks like it'll be commercial for me and missus from here on out.  icon_cry
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JuniorDan
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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2007, 05:18:56 PM »

I have hundreds of hours of flight time. I started back in "92" with quick hops here and there. It was not until "98" I was able to really spread my wings with flights between the US and Europe, Asia to Alaska, up in the bush country. Oh the good ol'days. I haven't been able to do much flying now because of compatibility issues. but oh how I enjoyed it. J piper - Lear Jets, the Concord, 747, 777, and everything in between.
Ahhhhhhhh the friendly skies...
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wonderpug
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« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2007, 05:31:45 PM »

Since I already posted kronovan and Interloper's cockpits, I guess it's only fair I post a photograph of juniordan's as well:



Kidding aside, I believe computer game flight simulators really do give you a head start when trying to fly real-life planes; I know it made a difference in my own training.  Besides just starting with a better understanding of the mechanics of how stick & rudder controls work, since games like Fly! let you interact with pretty much every button and switch in the cockpit I even started my lessons knowing which switches went to which lights and how to dial in the VOR.
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Interloper
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« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2007, 07:19:11 PM »

Yeah, the flight sims definitely help with the basics of flying, ie instrument scan, attitude flying, basic aerodynamics, etc.  They are really handy for those working on the instrument rating. I noticed a marked difference between students who had time on flight sims vs those who didn't.  But -they have very limited success in teaching workload management, decision making, flight management, etc, that actually makes up a good 75% of what flying really is.  They are definitely an advantage though. 

It's interesting how many just in this thread have been affected by medical issues.  That's my biggest concern with this career.  I could lose my medical in the blink of an eye, and sadly had a friend of mine lost his just this year, after being a captain for more than a decade and a total of 15 years dedicated to the job.  It devastated him - lost his house, went bankrupt, became depressed - it was sad.  I have no idea what I would do if I lost mine.  I really have no backup plan - I have degree, but it's in aviation, which might not necessarily transfer well into a non flying job.

Hey if any of you have wondered about certain things being a professional pilot - ask away.  Schedules, aircraft or system questions, why flying has so many delays these days, lifestyle, why we do things a  certain way, whatever (some things I'll have to be hush hush about though, for obvious reasons).   I always enjoy talking flying with people.  I'm actually leaving for a 4 day trip tonight - hate leaving the mrs behind.  At least I'll have my psp for the hotel time!
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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2007, 09:54:40 PM »

Incredibly new student pilot here...a whopping 2.2 hours of dual-received in March, and have been on hold since due to other commitments.  Those have since passed.  smile

I completed the FAA written yesterday, and am planning to fly this weekend finally.  smile

I'm training in a T-41C, which is a souped-up military version of the C-172.  It has a 210-HP Lycoming which will enable me to get a high-performance endorsement in the process.  biggrin
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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2007, 10:34:50 PM »

kronovan, and for any of you other NW'ers, let me know if you ever want to learn flying the island way.  the company i work for trains and flies seaplanes.  if you want the sim approach first, try out the named aircraft in fsx.  i could put you into contact with instruction people.

i've never had the time or money to start learning, plus they don't teach basic training anyways, just float rating. 
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« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2007, 01:30:37 AM »

Quote from: Interloper on September 05, 2007, 07:19:11 PM

 

It's interesting how many just in this thread have been affected by medical issues.  That's my biggest concern with this career.  I could lose my medical in the blink of an eye, and sadly had a friend of mine lost his just this year, after being a captain for more than a decade and a total of 15 years dedicated to the job.  It devastated him - lost his house, went bankrupt, became depressed - it was sad.  I have no idea what I would do if I lost mine.  I really have no backup plan - I have degree, but it's in aviation, which might not necessarily transfer well into a non flying job.


Yea it sucked. I wasn't flying hardcore because I was doing the mechanic thing and going to college for an adminstration degree so it wasn't devastating. I was building time for my instrument and commercial ratings. But it was a lot of time and money for nothing to show for it. I have the memories and had an experience that many want to do but never have the chance. I have an older brother that got interested in flying and went through ground training and was ready to solo before he got his medical cert. and found out he couldn't get a 3rd class. He did end up finishing the homebuilt experimental aircraft he was working on and that was the real enjoyment he was looking for but he never got the chance to fly it himself.
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JuniorDan
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« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2007, 02:15:48 PM »

On a serious note. To be a pilot, I would have had to taken up flight school at 18, instead of going for a Business Admin. degree. Back in "03" with full support from my family, and the desperate desire to change careers. I tried to sing up to go to flight school. After sitting down with the instructor, and learning that I would be paying around 70-90k for classes, full time for one year, I won't be able to have a full time job, and upon graduation my first job would land me 20-25k a year, until I can build up flight time, was not appealing.  It gets worst. The typical rookie pilots flights are those short hops. example used by instructor, "Flying a SAAB from Orlando, to Tampa to start. Then moving up to Orlando to Miami, or Jacksonville. At that point I may get a  increase "depending on the airline to about 25-30k" WTF, I at the time was making 50k retail Management, with 10+ years experience. I have an established life with mortgage, car payment, and all the other bullshit that makes up our life. So Paying 70-90k to come out been stuck at 20-30k for god knows how long was not very conceivable.  Plus the Pilot job market at the time was very hit or miss. So I am stuck with flight simulators to fill my joy.

Oh, In case you want to know, I did change Careers last year I went to a Computer tech school for 12k, and came out starting at 60k a year. I say that was very much reasonable. 

I still wish I could have had my Pilot License though. Dose the Airforce\Navy recruit people over 30, and train them to be Pilots?       
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« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2007, 02:19:32 PM »

When I was about 8 I got my first taste of piloting.  I was an airport rat, and a guy offered to take me up in his piper cub and let me fly it for awhile. We made a couple of laps around Zamboanga with me at the stick. I didn't get to pilot again for another 8 years, when an instructor let me land his plane.  That was my last taste of driving a plane.
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« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2007, 03:20:38 PM »

I grew up in a household where my dad was a pilot with a private plane so our vacations were always in his plane.  Flew cross country from Indiana to California and had a blast just the two of us while I was in high school.  I've flown myself a few times but don't have a license.  I've also flown gliders but stopped just short of my license there as well.
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« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2007, 11:38:04 PM »

Quote from: JuniorDan on September 06, 2007, 02:15:48 PM

On a serious note. To be a pilot, I would have had to taken up flight school at 18, instead of going for a Business Admin. degree. Back in "03" with full support from my family, and the desperate desire to change careers. I tried to sing up to go to flight school. After sitting down with the instructor, and learning that I would be paying around 70-90k for classes, full time for one year, I won't be able to have a full time job, and upon graduation my first job would land me 20-25k a year, until I can build up flight time, was not appealing.  It gets worst. The typical rookie pilots flights are those short hops. example used by instructor, "Flying a SAAB from Orlando, to Tampa to start. Then moving up to Orlando to Miami, or Jacksonville. At that point I may get a  increase "depending on the airline to about 25-30k" WTF, I at the time was making 50k retail Management, with 10+ years experience. I have an established life with mortgage, car payment, and all the other bullshit that makes up our life. So Paying 70-90k to come out been stuck at 20-30k for god knows how long was not very conceivable.  Plus the Pilot job market at the time was very hit or miss. So I am stuck with flight simulators to fill my joy.

Oh, In case you want to know, I did change Careers last year I went to a Computer tech school for 12k, and came out starting at 60k a year. I say that was very much reasonable. 

I still wish I could have had my Pilot License though. Dose the Airforce\Navy recruit people over 30, and train them to be Pilots?       

Screwed up isn't it.  That's also contributing to the current shortage.  High training costs coupled with pathetic starting wages is driving down new applicants, and even chasing some current people off.  Luckily, I did my training over a decade ago, when it was much cheaper, was young when I started, and I'm finally doing ok money wise.  But it was no doubt difficult the first few years.  Eventually it pays quite well, but it's rough keeping a family together up to that point.

One of my chief complaints is that most bases are in horrible big cities.  If you happen live in said city, your one of the lucky few.  For the rest of us - it's hard to move a life and family away from your lifelong home, only to be gone all the time, leaving your wife/family alone in this new big city, all while making low wages initially.  So here you are missing home, friends, and family, with a wife or girlfriend stuck alone in this new city while you're out on a trip all the time.  That's messed up.  So, most of us 'commute', or live anywhere we want, then use the cockpit jumpseat on airliners to get to work for free.  The price you pay for being able to live where you want is even more time from home though.  You still have to get to work on time, so time spent commuting is your own time off, unpaid.  It can easily take up to a full day to get to work before a trip, then back again.

For example, I commuted from salt lake to new york for some time.  Normally I fly 4 on, 2 or 3 days off.  Well, I'd lose two days just getting to and from work.  The flight itself was 5.5 hours.  So I'd get up at the crack of dawn, on my day off, to try to catch a flight to ny. If it was full, I was SOL.  So I'd have to wait for the next flight.  If it was full was cancelled or whatever, I was SOL.  Sometimes I have to two or three leg-it to work, ie jumpseat SLC to Houston, to NY.  All on my day off, unpaid.  And if I don't get to work in time - well I'm screwed.  But like I said, most of us do this.  It's a very hard way to live.  I currently moved to my base as the commute got so stressful - and I regret it.  We miss family, friends, cannot stand where we live, are lonely, etc.   We are going to move back and I will resign myself to being a commuter.  Ugh.  I've decided if I lose my job not getting to work in the commute, I'm done for good.  Good job (after your first few poor years), POS lifestyle.   

Ah well I'm rambling now, time to go relax  icon_cool
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