Mind – Fighter airplanes have a phenomenal control system, known as HOTAS (Hands On Throttle and Stick), with about 16 switches and buttons that do hundreds of things depending on aircraft mode and display. The engineers were brilliant when designing the system because each button feels a little different and moves in the correct manner in relation to your hand. Pilots love it and the controls are easy to operate by muscle memory. On every flight pilots warm up their fingers by performing the “piccolo drill,” in other words they flip all the switches and buttons. Each finger has an operation to perform; so flying a fighter with missing fingers might prove a little difficult. One finger is considered almost useless in flight though—the left pinky. In an F-16, a single engine aircraft, I tell my students to consider the left pinky missing, except in an emergency, literally. The left pinky does nothing except actuate a mechanical cutoff that allows the throttle to move from idle to off when the throttle is rotated out and aft, another safety mechanism to prevent inadvertent engine shutdowns. Sometimes, like in an emergency engine restart, pilots may actually want to shut off the motor in flight, but 99.99999999% of the time, that finger is dead to us. Remember the callsign post on 8 February? One of my students got a little excited one flight, and in a moment of pinky epilepsy managed to operate the cutoff…and shutoff the motor. Fortunately he quickly realized his mistake and rotated the throttle back on, and the motor quickly restarted like it is supposed too. The only damage done was a severely bruised ego and a callsign hard to get rid of—“Chilly!” As in really cold. For the rest of us get to the gym and use that pinky.
Body – Mobility/Flexibility
Weapons Instructor Course
90 minutes bikram hot yoga
Recipe of the Day
Spinach with Chickpeas and Fried Eggs
Bon Appetit October 2012
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more
4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced, divided
8 cups spinach, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed
5 canned whole tomatoes, crushed
3 cups (or more) vegetable broth
4 large eggs
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add 1 garlic clove. Stir until beginning to turn golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Add spinach to pot. Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted but still bright green, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside. Wipe out pot.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in same pot over medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion and 3 garlic cloves. Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened, 3-4 minutes.
3. Add cumin and paprika; stir until cumin is toasted and fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add chickpeas and tomatoes; stir to coat. Cook until tomatoes start to caramelize and chickpeas begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add 3 cups broth; bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, occasionally mashing some chickpeas with the back of a spoon or a potato masher, until sauce is thickened, 15-20 minutes. Fold in spinach; simmer for flavors to meld, adding more broth by 1/4-cupfuls if too thick, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Pour oil into a large heavy skillet to a depth of 1/8″ (about 1/4 cup). Heat until oil begins to shimmer. Crack 2 eggs into hot oil, spacing apart. Using a large spoon, carefully baste whites (not yolks) with oil until whites are set and edges are crunchy, lacy, and golden brown, 2-3 minutes (do not turn). Season eggs with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining 2 eggs.
Spoon chickpea stew into bowls and top each with a fried egg.
AJAX note, top with Sriracha hot sauce.
MackNBee rating, 3 out of 4. AJAX gives it a 4/4 due to taste and ease of prep.
Spirit – Mathew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
© 2013 by LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT. All rights reserved.