Tuesday, 13 January 2009

More Aeronautical Silliness

Rules of piloting:

1. Every take-off is optional, every landing is mandatory.

2. If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the
stick back, they get smaller. That is, unless you keep pulling the stick
all the way back, then they get bigger again.

3. Flying is not dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!

4. High speeds are not dangerous. Coming to a sudden stop is dangerous!

5. It is always better to be down here, wishing you were up there, than
up there wishing to be down here!

6. The only time you have too much fuel on board, is when you are on fire.

7. The propeller is just a big fan in front of the airplane, used to
keep the pilot cool. When it stops, you can actually watch the pilot
start sweating.

8. When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No one has ever collided
with the sky.

9. A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. A 'great'
landing is one after which they can use the airplane again.

10. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to
make all of them yourself. (NB This applies also to novice car drivers!)

11. You know you have landed with the wheels up if it takes full power
to taxi to the ramp.

12. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle
of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and
vice versa.

13. Never let an aircraft get you somewhere your brain didn't get five
minutes earlier.

14. Stay out of the clouds. The silver lining everybody keeps talking
about, might be another airplane going in the opposite direction.
Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide out
in clouds.

15. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the
number of take-offs you have made.

16. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing.
Unfortunately no one knows what they are.

17. You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience.
The trick is to fill the bag of experience, before you empty your bag of
luck. (NB Another one for the novice car drivers!)

18. Helicopters can't fly. They are just so ugly the earth repels them.

19. If all you can see out of the window is ground that's going round
and round, and all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger
compartment, things are not as they should be.

20. In the ongoing battle between airplanes going hundreds of miles per
hour and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.

21. Good judgement comes from experience. Unfortunately, the experience
usually comes from bad judgement.

22. It is always a good idea to keep the pointed end going forward as
much as possible.

23. Keep looking around. There is always something you've missed.

24. Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It is the law. And it's
not subject to repeal.

25. The four most useless things to a pilot are altitude above you,
runway behind you, air in the fuel tank and a tenth of a second ago.

26. Lastly, always check the runway number; then double check!

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

These are supposedly actual logged maintenance complaints by QUANTAS pilots and the corrective action recorded by mechanics. (Supplied by Mechatronics Technician Mr F, who will naturally be on the side of the mechanics and their subversive use of language!)

P stands for the problem the pilots entered in the log.
S stands for the corrective action taken by the mechanics.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except autoland very rough.
S: Autoland not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back order!!

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200-fpm descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what they're there for!

P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windscreen.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing. (note: this was for a piston-engineered airplane; the pilot meant the engine was not running smoothly).
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed radar with words.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

It is amazing that someone almost completely paralysed after a stroke, and able to communicate only by moving one eyelid, should nevertheless conceive, compose and dictate this memoir. Jean-Dominique Bauby found himself in a completely alien situation but still managed to convey to us his love of life and family as well as his sense of humour. He dictated the book letter by letter by blinking whenever his assistant reached the appropriate letter in the alphabet, so the whole book was planned and edited in his head. By the end of this book, which is just over 100 pages long, you will feel you really know the author, so well has he conveyed his personality. It is a tragic yet also uplifing work.

Here is the website of the film which has been made of the book.

Day 97; Book 96