Mind – A lot of people are curious about what pulling Gz feels like. For my readers that don’t know what G-forces are, 1-Gz stands for 1 times the force of gravity, and while reading this post you are at 1-Gz. High performance aircraft are capable of sustaining acceleration forces greater than 9 Gz. In plain terms, if the pilot weighs 200 lbs., then at 9 Gz he weighs 1800 lbs.
The odd feeling about pulling Gz is that the forces act on all of your guts, blood, skin, everything. Although I love pulling Gz, hanging out at 9 Gz just plain hurts, and it is also exhausting. Fitness and strength training are the best ways to counteract the effects of G-forces. Fighter pilots also use what we call G-Suits, or “speed jeans”. G-suits kind of look like modern day cowboy chaps, except the suits have a hose that connects to the aircraft and enables the legs and abdomen area of the suit to inflate and deflate with air. The suits do this to allow the pilots to strain and flex their lower extremities in an effort to retain elevated blood pressure and keep blood flowing to the brain and eyes. Failure to properly perform “G-straining” results in G-loss of consciousness, or “G-LOC”. Clearly in a high performance aircraft G-LOC is a bad thing, and in a single seat aircraft it can fatal. Sitting through the Pentagon’s sequestration briefings recently made me wish I was G-LOC’d, but that’s too good a fate for any poor fighter pilot stuck at the five-sided puzzle palace. I’ll leave it with a funny story illustrating the fantastic motivation of our young Airmen.
I was giving an incentive ride to a maintenance weapons loader in one of our 2-seat F-16’s. This kid was fired up and he looked like an NFL middle linebacker. Once we go into our assigned airspace I asked him if he wanted to fly, “Hell yeah!” was his response. Most people are fairly timid when they take the controls for the first time, which is good because the stick only requires finger pressure for control. Not this kid, nope, he yanks full aft and slams on 9 Gz and puts his lights out, hell he nearly G-LOC’d me. When he woke up I was taking him back home because he didn’t look so good. “Hell no!” he responded, now aware of what was going on, he wasn’t ready to go back. I conceded and turned him back into the airspace and gave him the controls again, and you guessed it, he did it to himself again. We finished the flight with instruction on how to take it easy after that. So take it easy, hit the gym and have a great weekend.
Body – Sports Day
Wingman/Flight Leads/Instructors/Weapons Instructor Course
Recipe of the Day
Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano by Gwyneth Paltrow
3/4-pound (3/4 box) spaghetti
1 1/2 cups finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3–5 tablespoons of pasta water, to thin
Handful fresh basil leaves (from 4 leafy stems)
Boil the spaghetti in salted boiling water, according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, using a micro plane, grate the zest from the lemon into a large mixing bowl. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl (I like to use the grater as a strainer—one less thing to clean). Add the 1 1/2 cups Parmesan, pepper, and a pinch of salt, and mix in the olive oil to form a wet paste.
When the spaghetti is perfectly cooked, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the cooking water to the lemon and cheese mixture. Add the spaghetti to the bowl and toss thoroughly, adding another tablespoon or 2 of pasta water if necessary so that the sauce coats each strand. Roughly tear in the basil leaves.
Serve each portion with a sprinkle of coarse salt, a fresh grind of black pepper, and a few gratings of extra Parmesan.
Spirit – From the book “Primal Leadership Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence” by Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee. “Emotions may spread like viruses, but not all emotions spread with the same ease. A study at Yale University School of Management found that among working groups, cheerfulness and warmth spread most easily, while irritability is less contagious and depression spreads hardly at all. … Hearing laughter, we automatically smile or laugh too, creating a spontaneous chain reaction that sweeps through a group.”
Take it easy and laugh. Cheers