There were a lot of rumors and or notices going around last year when we published this strip in the magazines that the FAA written test questions were going to change. Some guys were worried that everything would get harder and that all of their training materials would suddenly be useless. I kind of had to chuckle a little at those rumors. I don’t think the laws of aerodynamics will be changed by the FAA. This might just be why you should KNOW your stuff if you want to be a pilot, like Julio mentioned, and not just study for the test. It will definitely help you later. The FAR’s did get a little thicker since I started flying however and I was surprised during my latest CFI renewal process how much homeland security stuff I needed to know.
But my question to all you current flight students or flight instructors among our readers is, did the FAA actually end up changing the tests last year? I never followed up on the story …
Oh, the checkrides. Will they ever end? I don’t think I was briefed correctly when I first got into aviation because if somebody would have told me that I constantly would have to take exams just like in school, only now my job depended on it and my livelihood, I might have chosen another profession. I have had some great examiners in the past though who made the whole checkride a learning experience which in my mind is what an annual checkride is supposed to be. But after many years in aviation, I’ve also had my share of not-so-great-ones. At least I am currently only flying one make/model (as far as the FAA is concerned) which means “only” one to three checkrides a year.
How many exams/checkrides do you all have to pass in one year?
Talking about forces … is anybody else counting the days to the premiere of the new Star Wars movie? Usually, when there’s a movie I look forward to, I try to watch as few trailers and gather as little information about it as possible. But what I have seen so far all looked pretty awesome to me! And the fact that Han Solo makes a reappearance is reason enough to see this one!
I wonder how many “rule number one”‘s there are out there. In aviation, this certainly is the most important one, of course! Unless you’re not on the controls, or a passenger …
Last weekend’s Vienna ComicCon was great, by the way! I have posted a couple of images in our Facebook Group. I later found out that the girl I’m posing with on one of the pictures is a real X-Wing pilot! I wish I had known, I would have asked her for flight lessons …
Well, here we continue with the Swiss Cheese Model. I’ve hit upload before I started writing this little blog entry to go along with it, so I better be quick now. Uhm. What else can I write about this subject? Maybe that as a kid I used to live on spread cheese and liver sausage. I was not a big fan of “normal” cheese though. To this day, I still don’t eat it that much. Are there any cheese fetishists among you? If so, what’s your favorite type?
For those who have the image of a pretty blonde dairymaid bob up in their minds, who is posing with a big wheel of cheese next to a cow, in front of a beautiful backdrop of the Swiss alps, when they hear the words “Swiss Cheese model”, you are on the wrong track. In fact, according to Wikipedia, the “Swiss Cheese model of accident causation is a model used in risk analysis and risk management, including aviation, engineering, healthcare, etc.”
I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but the basic essence of this model seems to be: If you want to be safe, get cheese with tiny holes and cut it into many layers. Or something along those lines.
I have learned over the years that pilots, just like sailors, can be very superstitious people. I myself admit to it and have certain rituals I just don’t do well without. They’re not quite the same rituals that Chuck has, but then again, I have learned that there are as many ways of doing things as there are pilots.
Around the Cranes we do a lot of things we call “tribal knowledge” and some of these things may not have a scientific background and might be things pilots just started doing one day but we do them anyways.
A lot of people believe in what might be good luck and/or bad luck and I believe in not tempting faith either way. For example I have never heard of a Crane being renamed ever since I started with them even when it came out of the National Guard with a name that had no meaning to us because it is said to be bad luck renaming a vessel. And in good old Panaca Jane, nobody ever took out the fuzzy dice (maybe that is where the idea for this strip came from? wink, wink) once they were “installed”. After many years of wear and tear they finally fell apart and wouldn’t look like dice anymore so they were stashed in a little bag underneath the seat. But they were not taken out of the aircraft as long as I flew the thing 😉
Let’s hear/see some of your aviation (or other, for that matter) rituals!
You guys remember the discussions we had in the past whether to spell the instrument “gage” or “gauge”?
I think Sikorsky and my current employer must have had the same discussions in the past since all their manuals call everything an “indicator”, HAHA. I just looked it up!
And who of you has not tapped the old gauge here and there “just to make sure”? Let’s hear some stories!
What I find even funnier is our current switch from the old, what we call “museum models”, to newer glass cockpits. You won’t believe how many fingerprints I keep finding on the screens!
Are there pilots out there who are tapping the indication on the glass screens!?? Who does that!?
And, more importantly, does it actually work?
Maybe Chuck is working my cross shift! 😉
The world would be a much better place if people would listen more to each other, wouldn’t it? And that’s all I can think up for today’s blog, because I just downed a huge mug of coffee and have tons of things I want to do right now! Ah! Hyperactivity! Need to make use of it while it lasts! Cheers!
Being well prepared is much more important when you’re on a plane than when you’re in a car. After all, you can’t just stop for gas, snacks or a bathroom break. Speaking of which, I just realized that Chuck forgot to mention an empty Gatorade bottle among the necessities!