Mind – Poacher’s poopy suit story must be told. We were about to deploy for our very first time which meant flying across the Atlantic. Crossing the pond requires wearing bulky and uncomfortable anti-exposure suits previously described in the Poopy Suit post. The front access zipper is known as the jaws of death because of its rigidity and sharpness of the teeth located in close proximity to the groin. For the most part the zipper is useless, especially when flying in fingertip formation through the weather at night…standard conditions for crossing the pond. In order to overcome this limitation some genius came up with a “Texas Catheter”, which is nothing more than a hose and collection bag hooked up via a condom with glue on the inside. I won’t even discuss the removal since it is too horrific. Once fully dressed with the all the gear required, the Michelin man looks down right anorexic compared to most pilots, especially Poacher, a big twelve sandwich eating Norwegian from Minnesota. Not more than 20 minutes into the flight Poacher decided to try out his new-fangled device connected to his Anthony Weiner. Imagine being in total darkness, dense fog, and 3-6 feet away from the wingtip of another airplane in flight when you hear a loud cry of despair. Poacher had just discovered the principle of siphoning, or lack thereof. Being a guy that does everything with vigor Poacher decided let the dam break, and unfortunately for him the feedback he needed was a little late. Instead of filling up the collection bag, he filled up the inside of his suit…with 12 hours remaining until we landed. What’s the lesson? Execute with vigor, but if given the time and luxury, caution is sometimes warranted.
Body – Sports Day
Wingman/Flight Leads/Instructors/Weapons Instructor Course
Squash, Racquetball, Tennis
Recipe of the Day
Lisa’s Chicken Enchiladas
3 cups cooked chicken
8oz of cream cheese
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
4oz can of chilies (if you have roasted hatch chilies use these)
1/4 cup of milk
1 tsp of cumin
1/4 cup of chopped yellow onion
8 flour tortillas
12 oz Monterey Jack cheese
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix chicken and cream cheese. In a separate bowl combine cream of chicken soup, chilies, milk, cumin and onions, mix well. Fill tortilla with 1/8 of chicken and cream cheese mixture, then drizzle soup mixture in and sprinkle with cheese. Fold tortilla together, lay into a greased pan. Once all the tortillas are in the pan, pour the rest of the soup mixture and cheese over the top of enchiladas. Bake covered for 20 minutes, uncover for another 20 until slightly toasted on the top.
Spirit – Psalm 139:23 “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
© 2013 by LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT. All rights reserved.
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.
Mind – Think about a tumbleweed blowing in the wind with no direction, affected completely by the forces surrounding it. Hapless tumbleweeds blown onto the road are smashed to bits, such can also be the fate of tumbleweed fighter pilots. Tumbleweed is a communication term that means you have no idea what is going on, for example, “Bozo 04, tumbleweed!” Most of those in the formation already know the ill fated individual is tumbleweed and would recommend shutting up, staying visual, and saving the air time for those with higher situational awareness (SA). My friend Poacher would probably say tumbleweed is navigator standard, for those platforms that use navigators. Wives and girlfriends might say that’s how all the men in their life drive. The problem though is you have to have enough situational awareness to know that you are tumbleweed, and most of the time if you are tumbleweed, you probably don’t realize you are tumbleweed. One of my favorite quotes, “You have to have SA to know that you don’t have SA.” Fortunately I can laugh about the times I have been tumbleweed and that merely led to some good stories in the bar. Usually all it takes to immediately recage your gyros is well-timed radio call or tally-ho of the bad guys or some ground reference. Hopefully we all have good enough wingman and friends that help fill us in when we have no clue.
Mind – I am currently behind the power curve. This is a term pilots use to describe a position of energy disadvantage. In other words, it doesn’t matter that the throttle is in full power, at the current conditions, the motor will not produce enough thrust to recover. It is also a slang term that means…trying to catch up. I just started a new job, so I have a lot to learn, hence, I am behind the power curve when it comes to sending out the blog. Another term we use to describe this condition is “hanging off the trailing edges.” This also means everything is happening so fast, rather than sitting in the cockpit, you are 6 feet behind the aircraft. Sometimes this does occur, but I have always found the best way to avoid this condition is proper preparation. Dedication to the mission is required, and putting in the time when others will just let it slide separates the professionals from the amateurs. Anticipating when things will go wrong or become intense is key to being prepared. Clearly I knew I had this new job coming up, but as we discussed yesterday, shit happens. This is when hopefully you can rely upon experience, but if you have none, this might describe a learning moment. If you find yourself behind the power curve, take your lumps, egress the fight, learn what you can, then buckle down for the next mission.