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Author: FrancisMeyrick




Feb
27
2017

A Blip on the Radar (Part 24E) "What did you do THAT for...?

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FrancisMeyrick

I had let it go as long as I possibly dared. Longer. I had given this Commercial Pilot every opportunity to recover. To get with the action. Hell, to blessed well get involved, even. But no... Too busy waving The Royal Wave at his buddies. Too busy doing his Grand Fly By. Too busy showing off… I could hear the blade slap. I could feel the buffeting. I could sense what was about to happen. All the warning signals were there, all the harbingers of Truth, all the Reminders of the immutable Laws of Nature and Gravity... everything was lining up, trying to flash that little amber caution light in a good pilot's mind… Remember the introduction? [Read More...]



Tags: Francis Meyrick Moggy's Musings
Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Jan
23
2017

I'm good. I don't need your help. (Part 1)

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FrancisMeyrick

As we readied ourselves for another Tuna Boat take-off, I watched my... (student?)(candidate?)(ward?) carefully. My hands were very close to the controls. I knew, in my heart, that I didn't trust him. I wanted to, but bitter experience had placed me on guard. More and more, I found the thought of his flying alone off another Tuna Boat utterly frightening. I knew I had an uphill battle on my hands. My Boss was totally determined to have this fine fellow summarily checked out, and dispatched asap to the next available open slot on a Tuna Boat. That could come any day. Our pilot turnover was high. People burned out, or got into arguments with crew and captains. [Read More...]



Tags: Francis Meyrick Moggy's Musings
Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Dec
20
2016

The Simple Stuff Can Bite You - Part 2

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FrancisMeyrick

It's the STUPID little stuff that trips you up. The routine. If I can get that point across, I'll be thrilled. Here is an example, one which does not paint me as the great Sky God. But, hopefully, it can show you how easy, easy, easy, the stupid, simple stuff can bite you... [Read More...]



Tags: Francis Meyrick Moggy's Musings
Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Nov
17
2016

The Simple Stuff Can Bite You - Part 1

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FrancisMeyrick

I have honestly tried to share with you some of the really horrible moments. Spread across Tuna Boat flying, Law Enforcement, North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Africa, and elsewhere. Sure, I didn't actually break anything. I actually never even scratched a helicopter. But maybe it was more of a "lucky near miss" than merely an "academic potential". I nearly, nearly screwed the pooch. I got so close I got to smell his damn doggie breath. I didn't like it. So I slowed down. Backed off. I accepted I was not perfect. Not even remotely. Not only was I not a brilliant pilot. I was perhaps just a very average fixed wing and chopper jockey. I needed to slow down. And watch myself... re-evaluate where I stood on Risk. It's the simple things that get you in helicopters. It's not the Green Man from Planet Yuptulia cutting you up in his convertible Flying Saucer, practicing barrel rolls. Nothing as exotic as that. It's the STUPID little stuff that trips you up. The routine. If I can get that point across, I'll be thrilled. Here is an example, one which does not paint me as the great Sky God. But, hopefully, it can show you how easy, easy, easy, the stupid, simple stuff can bite you... [Read More...]



Tags: Francis Meyrick Moggy's Musings
Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Oct
24
2016

Pilot-not-in-command; Moggy, Moggy, what DID I just do...??

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FrancisMeyrick

Accidents happen, they say. But in the helicopter flying world, these accidents can kill. It follows that the prudent helicopter pilot will always try and think ahead. To the "what if" scenarios. What if this-and-this happens? Then I will do THAT. Now you have actually thought about it. Beforehand. Maybe read something up on the subject. Seen it in "Moggy's Tuna Manual". Discussed it with a fellow pilot. You have digested it. For sure, you are now a much better pilot. But what of the sudden, cataclysmic events that you have never -ever- in your wildest dreams thought about? That happen so incredibly swiftly, that the events become almost surreal? Taking on a dream-like quality? It is to be hoped that you never experience these events. But if you stay in the world of helicopters long enough, never mind the mercurial, quicksilver world of tuna spotting helicopters.... well, you will experience these nasty surprises, my friend, believe me, you will... [Read More...]



Tags: Francis Meyrick Moggy's Musings
Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Sep
19
2016

Routine and Sudden Terror - The Rest of the Story

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FrancisMeyrick

I was lucky in some ways. Before I arrived in the Tuna Fields, my nerves had been stretched taut many times. I was -and am- a determined, pretty cool, methodical thinker under extreme stress. But lest this sound like a vain boast, or foolish self congratulation, let me quickly add my ability to cope is due to (all too frequent) practice. And let me also frankly confess to having been -too often- scared to death. When you think you are a dead man, your body reacts. Afterward, people who see your face, without a word being spoken, can often tell. It's in the pallor of the skin, the gray, and in the eyes, hollow, sunken, haunted, bloodshot, and staring. Eyes that have seen.... the approaching shadow. [Read More...]



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Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Aug
17
2016

A Blip on the Radar (Part 7) "Routine and Sudden Terror"

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FrancisMeyrick

A Blip on the RadarPart (7)  Routine and Sudden Terror:  How to crash a HelicopterIn the [Read More...]



Tags: A Blip on the Radar Moggy's Musings



Jul
22
2016

A Blip on the Radar (Part 3) "Sunshine"

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FrancisMeyrick

Of all the human beings I have encountered on this planet during the course of my little life, the proud, the humble, the kind, the selfish, the arrogant and the meek, there is one man who occupies a special place in my heart. He was more than a buddy to me. He was my brother. He was kind, gentle, funny, and loyal. We worked together for a year, and he probably saved my life once due to his unstinting dedication, not to mention his raw courage. [Read More...]



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Jun
20
2016

A Blip on the Radar (part 2) "Running the Gauntlet"

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FrancisMeyrick

It's hard to fathom how immense the Pacific Ocean is. Even looking at a globe, and studying how much of the world is in fact covered by said megga puddle, does not convey the breathtaking vastness of a world of waves. From horizon to horizon. Take that globe, and look up the islands of Hawaii. From Hawaii, go to Guam, which is another.... whole lotta miles east.... Found it? Now, with your finger, trace a line down to Papua New Guinea. How many thousand miles is that? Then, roughly half way along that line, imagine me, floating in all that water, all on my lonesome, with only my life jacket and thoughts for company. And a bunch of hungry sharks of course. Now factor in gale force winds, producing twelve foot waves. [Read More...]



Tags: A Blip on the Radar Pacific Ocean



May
23
2016

Learning to Fly Helicopters (6) "General Flight Test, and dreams beyond"

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FrancisMeyrick

The written exams were all passed. The required flight hours and training had been accomplished. There remained only the GFT. The General Flight Test. That I would be flying with the Chief Instructor and owner of the school, Floyd. If I passed, I would be a licensed Private Helicopter Pilot, and a dream would have come true. I was excited. I was mostly worried about those autorotations. The auto-tribulations. But I reasoned that Floyd had a huge amount of experience, and that he was not going to frighten me too much. I was sure he would give me plenty of warning. I liked it all... steady. Under control. [Read More...]





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