06 October 2008

Like An Old Pair of Slippers

Regular readers know it.
Newcomers need to know I probably spend more time behind a cyclic than behind a steering wheel.
Like you, I'm comfortable in a car. But I'm equally comfortable in the helicopter.
Taken for granted, when the unexpected happens, either can kill. When the red warning lights come on, it's scarier when you are 1,000 feet above the ground going 150 miles per hour. Resolving the problem will take more than just pulling over to the berm.

I've been in Destin for 9 days.
Actually, I was last in the helicopter more than two weeks ago.
That's a long time to be out of the cockpit of a complex aircraft.

Tonight, when I return to work, I'll have to get reacquainted with my flying machine.
I'll adjust my seat and anti-torque pedals, then I'll climb in and do a mental "spool-up"...
I'll simply soak it all in...
A twin-engined aircraft has lots of dials, switches, levers, instruments, and circuit breakers. When the fertilizer hits the fan, I need to be able to react with the same reflexes you'd have if you see a soccer ball bounce into the street while driving your car.

It's been two weeks.
Where is that switch to arm the fire suppression system?

It'll take a few minutes.
My life, my crew's life, and, if on board, the life of my patient depend on my instant reflexes.
It's worth a few minutes.

1 comment:

cj said...

You'd better be taking those few minutes!

And hey, let's be careful up there.