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  (bad) happened to someone. Usually by someone not paying attention or not thinking lo suficientemente por delante (far enough ahead). Procedural cautions and notes can prevent something bad from happening to our sensitive body parts (lindas nalgas). Not only do rules, restrictions and notes keep us safe from obstacles, but following them makes our actions efficient and predictable. With tens of thousands of instrument procedures around the world being flown by tens of thousands of pilots, we must all agree to update our pubs on schedule and before we fly them to review each for applicability, authorizations, restrictions and changes. If we miss a critical note, or we fly a procedure that is not authorized, the Feds may take a razor strap to our nalgas.
“Turbulence Facts, Fiction and Fairy Tales”
Many nursery rhymes express fear, suffering and disaster. Perhaps for us valiant aviators, this was a childhood primer to the potentially traumatic and unforgiving effects of weather. The list of atmospheric monsters has lengthened since we were kids, and pilots can’t outgrow or ignore them. No lon- ger a fairy tale, turbulence demons live in the heart of our flying territory. From our pilot perspective, few things are as impressive as a 200-knot jet stream, a fire and brimstone producing thunderstorm, the kidney-rupturing lenticular clouds over a mountain range, or the roll cloud in front of a microburst – if we’re on the ground looking up, that is. When airborne near these turbulence-producing phenomena, stay far away, radar on, eyes wide open and your tail tucked between your legs. It will likely add a couple of minutes to your ETA but may save you from a fairy-tale-like demon.
Rings for Anybody
“B-737 Decisions, Disasters and Disclosures”
The Boeing 737 Max crashes garnered worldwide atten- tion not only because of their commonality, the perceived culpability of the manufacturer and implied pilot train- ing deficiencies, but because aviation crashes remain the modern-day version of a train-wreck. Passengers are at the mercy of the 10 million manufacturing and design decisions that were made years before they ever boarded the plane. Those that pilot the 737 and its variants have been peppered with questions from inquiring minds that want to know, “What do you think happened? Why didn’t they turn off the system? Would you feel safe flying the Max?” The executive summary is this: Engineers created a “background” system using a marginally reliable, non-redundant probe/sensor. The crews didn’t recognize the failure mode. And yes, I would still fly the airplane. By the time you read this, we will have some answers and a solution will be in place. Probably new software, additional AOA sensor input, system activation annunciation and additional aircrew training. However it
unfolds, when any failure rears its head in the airplane, it will be your training, experience, determination and judgment that will prevail as you demonstrate some of that pilot-stuff.
June: Come Help Me – Six Geese are A-Laying!
“Mayday, Mayday, Mayday”
Misbehaving AOA sensors have now invaded GA and pre- cipitated the grounding of yet another fleet – the Cirrus Vision Jet. May’s MCAS article seems to have prophetically provided a plausible prologue for a story about requesting traffic prior- ity if our own plane presents us with a pickle of a problem. “Mayday, mayday, mayday” is itself an alliteration-like- three-peat and thus perfectly personifies the preparatory paragraph. We practice hair-raising scenarios in the simula- tor not only to rehearse the procedures but to help override our human nature to be afraid, to fight or flee, and also to negate the perception of time compression. Hopefully, this story desensitized you to the use of the repetitive mayday, mayday, mayday radio call, which can add adrenaline and make it seem as though we are overreacting and overstating the seriousness of our problem. Your cool, calm use of the mayday, mayday, mayday call will certainly carry, carry, – the, the, – day, day. Is there an echo in here?
July: Say What! Seven Swans Never Drink Alone
“Aviation Memories: Poignant and Playful. (And Sometimes Rated “M” for Mature)”
Aviation humor is a dialectal minefield for a writer and can easily poke an eye out if misused. But a tactful, taste- fully presented and good-spirited bit of humor (or sarcasm) can help information and lessons stick in our memory bet- ter than IMSAFE, GUMP or Identify, Verify and Feather. It can also counterbalance the effects of the life-sucking, joy robbing ordeal of Part 121 aircrew scheduling in a thunder- storm infested, 737 MAX grounding, post 9-11 era. Mature metaphor alert: children look away.
Stories such as this one with grown-up humor, even when honest and sensitive, are an opportunity for fallout, and I’m thinkin’ this story may need to be stashed in the unmention- able drawer with grandma’s bloomers. But like that morning flight with the “stiff-one” offer, I hope my use of humor to make pilot-y points will help you to remember what are often painful lessons for some other schmuck – even the pilot-y points that were rated PG.
August: Year of The Fighter – Milking Fun from OSH Without Eight Maids
“There are Only Two Types of Aircraft: Fighters and Targets”
In 1972, my hair was shoulder-length, shoes were platform, pants were bell-bottom, and I did not yet have 100 hours flying time. I ventured to Oshkosh that year with six
                  APRIL:
The Tempestuous
  Troposphere – The Four Calling Birds
 Should Stay on the Ground
                    MAY:
 Max Mania – Not Five Golden
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