Category Archives: Rants and Raves

Personal Opinions

Asiana 214 – A View Into the Cockpit

If the title of this post is black and/or you see the fighter-pilot header, click on the title to view the featured-image header and continue reading. Header image credit: Justin Sullivan via On May 27, 1977, a collision between a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 747 and a Pan American Airways 747 entered the record as the deadliest tragedy in the history of aviation. And to call it an accident, which we commonly do, is a gross misrepresentation of what happened. The primary cause was a classic case of pilot error in which the KLM Captain ignored the cautions from … Continue reading

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The Pointy End of the Sword Gets Duller

An ex-USAF pilot friend of mine sent me this with an introduction from the personal experience of the Operations Officer of an F-22 squadron, who said a couple of years ago that he had more airplanes than pilots, and most of his pilots were leaving when their commitment was up. Their primary reasons for return to civilian life were being overworked and having to put up with a constant barrage of nit-picking requirements that have nothing to do with being at the pointy end of the sword in the cockpit of an F-22. I don’t have the time or inclination … Continue reading

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Texting Arrives in the Cockpit

This article appeared today on “An accident synopsis from the NTSB identifies the pilot’s personal texting as a contributing factor in the Aug. 26, 2011, crash of a Eurocopter AS350 B2 helicopter near Mosby, Mo., that killed all aboard. The flight was operated as a medical services mission flown in VFR conditions, carrying three crew and one patient. It crashed due to fuel starvation “about 1 nm short” of its planned refueling stop, according to the NTSB. The NTSB says that “the pilot missed three opportunities to detect” the aircraft’s low fuel state and was engaged in texting before … Continue reading

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Swiss Army Invades!

If the tile of this post is black, click on it to view the featured-image header and continue reading. You’re probably aware of the recent proposed change to TSA procedures allowing knives to be carried on board commercial airliners. Like everything else going on in this country, this has stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy. I carry a knife everywhere I go as a matter of convenience and with the knowledge that should the situation arise, I can defend myself at least to some degree. I can put it in checked baggage (and probably never see it again), or … Continue reading

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When Foul Winds Blow . . .

. . . Not Everyone In DC Runs For Safety . . .

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How Far Does a Good Guy Go?

Imagine yourself as a British soldier standing in a line with your mates, all of you wearing bright red coats, while the colonials are concealed in the forest with their long guns picking you off one at a time. What a cowardly thing to do. The rebels should come out and fight like honorable men. Would the American Revolution have turned out any differently if the British generals had taken the time to jettison their stuffiness long enough to question why in the name of the King should they be standing there at the wrong end of a shooting gallery? … Continue reading

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A New Word

Language lives, breathes, morphs over time to reflect changes in culture, religion, technology, among other things, and, of course, politics. Here’s a new word making the rounds, and I predict that it won’t take long for it to be recognized as the most accurate descriptor for what America has become. (Click on the image for a larger view and use the back button on your browser to return to this page.)

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Common Sense Obituary

(Source photo for header image taken by Matt H. Wade. If you’re looking at the fighter pilot header, click the post title.) An Obituary printed in the London Times: Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain Why the early bird gets the worm Life isn’t always … Continue reading

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I Hate Apple

Well, it’s official, as if I have finally seen the worm. (Image credit to My loss of faith in Apple as a corporation began when I bought an Apple TV2 so that I could stream Netflix programming. As chronicled in previous Rants and Raves Logbook posts, I had taken a huge swig of the advertising Kool Aid telling me how wonderful it was going to be. It didn’t take long to experience the truth of the matter, which is that only on rare occasions could I watch a movie from start to finish without frequent pause/buffering problems. Without going … Continue reading

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Institutionalized Reduction in Force – The Big RIF

During my 20-year USAF career, the threat of a “RIF” ebbed and flowed with America’s need to use its military power as an instrument of national policy and influence events within the international arena. It might come as no surprise that the ebbing and flowing seldom occurred in sync with requirements. The pendulum was simply too ponderous to react quickly enough to match supply with demand. As an aviator, I never felt seriously threatened by talk of a RIF because even though the leading edge of the sword may become dull in peacetime, the ability to sharpen it in a … Continue reading

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