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Ritual and the Helicopter Pilot

Every time we preflight, we take a fuel sample to ensure there is no contamination. We pump about a liter from the sumps of the tanks, ensure there’s no water or particulate matter present, and then discard it.

It’s not that huge a waste, tossing an extra liter of fuel from a helicopter which burns through that much every eight seconds, but it somehow offends my sense of frugality. What’s interesting is if I imagine it as a sacrifice to appease Master Caution, the great gremlin god of rotorcraft, the sense of waste vanishes entirely.

I’ve never thought much about the origins of pagan ritual, but I can’t help but wonder now how much of it evolved from a similar mental redirection.

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1 Comment

Comment by Rourke Mac OS X Mozilla Firefox 3.0.1 Subscribed to comments via email
2009-08-18 21:34:38

Interesting theory. Sounds resonable.

 

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