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{ Category Archives } what i learned at work today


It’s my birth month, which means that like every other Army aviator on their birth month, I went in yesterday to get a flight physical. It’s a pretty comprehensive exam, but they run through it quickly here; they get lots of practice. It’s not difficult or particularly painful, but still nobody looks forward to it; [...]

formation flight

It turns out to be surprisingly difficult to properly fly in formation. The big challenge is altitude control: you need to stay within about +- 10 feet of the altitude of the person ahead of you. If you go too low, you run into their downwash and get to deal with problems ranging from turbulence [...]

true fact

A sufficiently small bird will be invisible until it has disintegrated into a smear on your windshield. Enjoy your holidays!

Task: Arrange military funeral honors for your retired service member

Conditions: Your service member left the military under honorable conditions. Their funeral is to take place in Alabama, north Florida, west Georgia, or eastern Mississippi. Standards: Contact the Casualty Assistance office no later than 36 hours before the funeral. Provide them with the correct date, time, and location of the funeral; the name and rank [...]

classing up

Right now, I’m in a bubble. This is just one of those inexplicable absurdities of flight school: as flight training is very expensive and very perishable, one would expect to be rushed through as quickly as possible. Instead, there is a mandatory, months-long wait between finishing primary and beginning training in your advanced aircraft. It’s [...]

True Facts about the UH-60

I picked up the miniaturized version of TM 1-1520-237-10 yesterday. It’s a book, two inches by six by eight: the operator’s manual for the Black Hawk. Today I’ve spent a little time browsing through to find interesting pieces of information. The rotor system shall not be shut down in winds exceeding 45 knots. Presumably, in [...]

change of command

We got a new company commander recently, and today he delivered his in-brief. He spent five minutes talking about his command philosophy–in essence, Do The Right Thing and Everybody Will Be Happy–and then settled down to the important issue: the Ultimate Frisbee league that, starting tomorrow, everybody in the company will be participating in twice [...]

user generated solutions

Today in the academics portion of training we were learning about close air support systems. In passing, the Lt. Col. teaching us mentioned this nugget: “The Army spent a few million dollars for a custom computerized battlefield orders management system. It can handle hundreds of detailed orders per day, and coordinate them with the rest [...]

things i was thinking about today

I may not want to be a cartographer, but I may not have the choice; it seems to be an integral part of tactical helicopter flight. Zombie lady! Might actually be real! I am going to a waterpark tomorrow. It should hopefully be more fun than the last carnival I was at. After two months [...]

the blinkenlights in the dashboard are not just there to look pretty

Today was a pretty decent day to fly. There was some instances of heavy turbulence–at one point, I got a sudden descent of more than 1000 feet per minute for about ten seconds–but I thought things were going well. I was on short final, getting ready to land and switch out, when the “Main Gen [...]