Mind – Fighter pilots call the multi-function displays prominent in the cockpits of most modern aircraft “Drool Buckets.” Today’s amazing airplanes collect and display massive quantities of information, the importance of relaying that information quickly and correctly cannot be overstated. Oddly enough, actually flying fighters is relatively simple, but interpreting information and making decisions about utilizing all of the weapons while fighting is the hard part. That is why the engineers made the airplanes fairly simple to fly. The problem with these displays is they can capture your attention for too long, in other words, rather than looking outside and checking six for bad guys, mishap pilots mis-prioritize and sit drooling while looking at the display. Of course this is an exaggeration, but sometimes 1 second is too long…unless you are a Whizzo then you have all day to drool. That zinger is for Dez and Bullet, two kick ass Whizzos who provide good office humor. They have been too quiet lately.
Spirit – From inside the Sky, by Langewiesche. “What lies outside doesn’t matter. My world and my life are compressed within these fabric walls. Flying blind is difficult enough in smooth air. In this swirling cloud, it calls for all the concentration I can muster. The turn and bank indicators, the air speed, the altimeter, and the compass, all these phosphorescent lines and dots in front of me, must be kept in proper place. When a single one strays off, the rest go chasing after it like so many sheep, and have to be caught quickly and carefully herded back into position again.” – Charles Lindbergh describing his historic instrument flying that kept him alive in his flight across the Atlantic.