I venture to say that nobody here will be surprised at the fact that Chuck doesn’t look at his gauges and probably doesn’t even know what all he has on his dashboard. In his defense though, he does fly a bunch of different makes and models. That does make it tough to stay current in everything throughout the year. I can vouch for that from experience. Luckily, I am currently only flying one make and model.

For those of you less aviation versed wondering what a RadAlt is: it is an altimeter that reads the aircraft height above the terrain mainly by sending out radio waves and timing the return. The “regular” altimeter determines altitude above sea level by means of reading out side air pressure.

I actually rely on the Radar Altimeter quite a bit throughout the summer. We have different long lines with different size water buckets and it is nice to double check your height above the ground here and there in order not to run the 10 ton bucket (when it’s full) into anything during firefighting operations.

Also, I have to admit, I sometimes feel like Chuck when a fixed wing guy tells me all about the latest features in his corporate or airline jet. I have never flown corporate or anything newer than 20 years old, so I have little clue what all fits on the dash of a modern jet. Most things I fly/flew are all from the steam gage era. And of course, all these new fancy electronics have abbreviations as well, so even after the guy tells me what the letters stand for, I still don’t know what he is talking about most of the time, LOL.