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!
Paperwork and aviation, my favorite topic! 😉
The company I used to work for had a whole library full of helicopter log books and that was only for a few helicopters they owned and a few more for helicopters they maintained. On top of the maintenance logs you have log cards for each critical component. A log card is kind of like a birth certificate for the component, when it was born, when it was installed, removed, overhauled, reinstalled … you get the point. And as you can imagine, there are many “critical” components on a helicopter.
My favorite part was when we overhauled and US certified aircraft that came in from Japan. Some of the logs were in Japanese, some in English, many in some strange language hybrid in-between. On top of that, getting the dates right was more complicated since some of the logs used a Japanese calendar. We had many people involved in this with mountains and mountains of paperwork. So, not only would the aircraft not take off, in some of them you couldn’t even physically put all of their paperwork inside of them and still close the doors.
This seems something that wasn’t mentioned to me when I first became fascinated with aviation. 😉
Oh, and in other news! We’re having a contest! Check it out HERE!
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!
Now this is some Karate Kid style training going on here again! Chuck will turn into a veritable Mr. Miyagi at some point. Must be because he’s hanging out with Nobu so often …
I think us humans are the only species on this planet which creates scenarios and imposes self-invented rules upon itself where it’s not allowed to relieve oneself for hours at a time. Granted, we’re also the only species that can comfortably take a dump while travelling at 900 km/h at 30,000 feet altitude, so I guess we’re cursed and privileged at the same time.
However, I think we all have been where Jason is in this comic. Are there any people out there who do not go quiet in a situation like this? I think that’s pretty universal.
I think when I was a kid, I was a bit like Jason in this comic strip. In fact, I still am a bit like that today. The only difference is maybe that it’s not so many questions, but rather the fact that I can’t get a particular question out of my mind until I have it answered. Thank god for universal internet access and Wikipedia. It certainly makes my life more bearable!
I’m pretty much a radical when it comes to freedom of speech. I say, let everybody speak their mind, even if it’s mindless extremist garbage. At least I know where that person is coming from and who I’m dealing with. It is everybody else’s right of free speech to shame and ridicule that person then, of course. The line should only be drawn when somebody tries to incite violence against somebody else or a group of people. Oops, sorry, drifting off into philosophy and politics again here …