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shafnutz05
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Postby shafnutz05 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:20 pm

I bet I've read that 50 times over the years and I was happy to read it again. :thumb:
Same. All-time classic.

tifosi77
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Postby tifosi77 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:27 pm

I was an air support operator in the USMC and all of our air traffic was max brevity.
It absolutely floored me to learn that Case-1 carrier ops are more or less Class D airspace in international waters. Outside of the final approach, if the aircrew initiates a call, something's wrong.

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Postby tifosi77 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:28 pm

Also, I have a Uniden Bearcat radio that's ostensibly for SHTF stuff, but I have it programmed to scan all the local aerodrome channels. So that's fun.

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Postby tifosi77 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:32 pm

I don't know why, but whenever I hear stuff like this, I always think of this story, which is one of my favorites:
There were a lot of things we couldn't do in an SR-71, but we were the fastest guys on the block and loved reminding our fellow aviators of this fact. People often asked us if, because of this fact, it was fun to fly the jet. Fun would not be the first word I would use to describe flying this plane. Intense, maybe. Even cerebral. But there was one day in our Sled experience when we would have to say that it was pure fun to be the fastest guys out there, at least for a moment.

It occurred when Walt and I were flying our final training sortie. We needed 100 hours in the jet to complete our training and attain Mission Ready status. Somewhere over Colorado we had passed the century mark. We had made the turn in Arizona and the jet was performing flawlessly. My gauges were wired in the front seat and we were starting to feel pretty good about ourselves, not only because we would soon be flying real missions but because we had gained a great deal of confidence in the plane in the past ten months. Ripping across the barren deserts 80,000 feet below us, I could already see the coast of California from the Arizona border. I was, finally, after many humbling months of simulators and study, ahead of the jet.

I was beginning to feel a bit sorry for Walter in the back seat. There he was, with no really good view of the incredible sights before us, tasked with monitoring four different radios. This was good practice for him for when we began flying real missions, when a priority transmission from headquarters could be vital. It had been difficult, too, for me to relinquish control of the radios, as during my entire flying career I had controlled my own transmissions. But it was part of the division of duties in this plane and I had adjusted to it. I still insisted on talking on the radio while we were on the ground, however. Walt was so good at many things, but he couldn't match my expertise at sounding smooth on the radios, a skill that had been honed sharply with years in fighter squadrons where the slightest radio miscue was grounds for beheading. He understood that and allowed me that luxury.

Just to get a sense of what Walt had to contend with, I pulled the radio toggle switches and monitored the frequencies along with him. The predominant radio chatter was from Los Angeles Center, far below us, controlling daily traffic in their sector. While they had us on their scope (albeit briefly), we were in uncontrolled airspace and normally would not talk to them unless we needed to descend into their airspace.

We listened as the shaky voice of a lone Cessna pilot asked Center for a readout of his ground speed. Center replied: "November Charlie 175, I'm showing you at ninety knots on the ground."

Now the thing to understand about Center controllers, was that whether they were talking to a rookie pilot in a Cessna, or to Air Force One, they always spoke in the exact same, calm, deep, professional, tone that made one feel important. I referred to it as the " Houston Center voice." I have always felt that after years of seeing documentaries on this country's space program and listening to the calm and distinct voice of the Houston controllers, that all other controllers since then wanted to sound like that, and that they basically did. And it didn't matter what sector of the country we would be flying in, it always seemed like the same guy was talking. Over the years that tone of voice had become somewhat of a comforting sound to pilots everywhere. Conversely, over the years, pilots always wanted to ensure that, when transmitting, they sounded like Chuck Yeager, or at least like John Wayne. Better to die than sound bad on the radios.

Just moments after the Cessna's inquiry, a Twin Beech piped up on frequency, in a rather superior tone, asking for his ground speed. "I have you at one hundred and twenty-five knots of ground speed." Boy, I thought, the Beechcraft really must think he is dazzling his Cessna brethren. Then out of the blue, a navy F-18 pilot out of NAS Lemoore came up on frequency. You knew right away it was a Navy jock because he sounded very cool on the radios. "Center, Dusty 52 ground speed check". Before Center could reply, I'm thinking to myself, hey, Dusty 52 has a ground speed indicator in that million-dollar cockpit, so why is he asking Center for a readout? Then I got it, ol' Dusty here is making sure that every bug smasher from Mount Whitney to the Mojave knows what true speed is. He's the fastest dude in the valley today, and he just wants everyone to know how much fun he is having in his new Hornet. And the reply, always with that same, calm, voice, with more distinct alliteration than emotion: "Dusty 52, Center, we have you at 620 on the ground."

And I thought to myself, is this a ripe situation, or what? As my hand instinctively reached for the mic button, I had to remind myself that Walt was in control of the radios. Still, I thought, it must be done - in mere seconds we'll be out of the sector and the opportunity will be lost. That Hornet must die, and die now. I thought about all of our Sim training and how important it was that we developed well as a crew and knew that to jump in on the radios now would destroy the integrity of all that we had worked toward becoming. I was torn.

Somewhere, 13 miles above Arizona, there was a pilot screaming inside his space helmet. Then, I heard it. The click of the mic button from the back seat. That was the very moment that I knew Walter and I had become a crew. Very professionally, and with no emotion, Walter spoke: "Los Angeles Center, Aspen 20, can you give us a ground speed check?" There was no hesitation, and the replay came as if was an everyday request. "Aspen 20, I show you at one thousand eight hundred and forty-two knots, across the ground."

I think it was the forty-two knots that I liked the best, so accurate and proud was Center to deliver that information without hesitation, and you just knew he was smiling. But the precise point at which I knew that Walt and I were going to be really good friends for a long time was when he keyed the mic once again to say, in his most fighter-pilot-like voice: "Ah, Center, much thanks, we're showing closer to nineteen hundred on the money."

For a moment Walter was a god. And we finally heard a little crack in the armor of the Houston Center voice, when L.A.came back with, "Roger that Aspen, Your equipment is probably more accurate than ours. You boys have a good one."

It all had lasted for just moments, but in that short, memorable sprint across the southwest, the Navy had been flamed, all mortal airplanes on freq were forced to bow before the King of Speed, and more importantly, Walter and I had crossed the threshold of being a crew. A fine day's work. We never heard another transmission on that frequency all the way to the coast.

For just one day, it truly was fun being the fastest guys out there.
Brian Shul is the Blackbird pilot that tells this story. Seek out his speeches on YouTube, as he is a remarkable human with an incredible personal story.

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Postby shafnutz05 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:37 pm

Brian Shul is the Blackbird pilot that tells this story. Seek out his speeches on YouTube, as he is a remarkable human with an incredible personal story.
I watched this earlier this year. Excellent watch, but probably wouldn't be as appealing to the non-believers ITT.



This one would be more appealing to a wider audience:


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Postby Shyster » Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:58 pm

It's more casual than I would've thought. I was an air support operator in the USMC and all of our air traffic was max brevity. These nasty civilians are chatty af.

Have you ever listened to Kennedy Steve? Do a search for that name on YouTube. Alas, he retired a couple of years ago,

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Postby Shyster » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:05 pm

American Airlines has announced that it is furloughing 19,000 jobs when federal aid expires in October. Carriers are prohibited from laying off workers through Sept. 30 under the terms of the federal aid package airlines received earlier this year. American also said its fourth-quarter capacity will be half of last year and that international long-haul flights will be just a quarter of 2019 (and many of those are probably mostly carrying cargo). The numbers are reportedly:

Pilots 1,600
FAs 8,100
Maintenance and related 800
Fleet service 2,225
Passenger service 1,275
Dispatch 150
Flight crew training instructors and sim pilot instructors 12
Wholly owned carries 3,000

Ouch.

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Postby NTP66 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:07 pm

I feel for the employees, but I won't shed a tear for AA losing money. Ever.

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Postby NTP66 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:51 am

I'm sure the pilots were calm, but holy **** do they appear to be cutting it close...

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Postby Shyster » Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:27 pm

Big pucker factor, there.

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Postby dodint » Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:44 pm


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Postby NTP66 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:58 pm

Outstanding.

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Postby tifosi77 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:34 pm

If that's one of the CalFire birds, I saw one do a drop at March ARB many moons ago.

Image

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Postby tifosi77 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:35 pm

(I mean, I guess whether or not the drop in the Reddit or YouTube clips is CalFire, I still saw the thing in 2010)

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Postby Shyster » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:44 pm

It doesn't really fly passengers any more, but it's nice that for an aircraft that had so many problems when new (including several serious fatal crashes caused by faulty cargo doors), the DC-10 is still going in freighter and specialty applications. That aircraft first flew in 1970, and FedEx is still using nearly 20 of them for cargo operations, plus another 50 MD-11s.

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Postby dodint » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:12 pm

I rode around the world on them. East Coast of the US - Kuwait route, 8 times. Military charter.

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Postby Shyster » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:23 pm

The 737 MAX recertification process is moving along. The FAA has released proposed changes for a revised type certificate, which include fixing the MCAS software/hardware issues and also making changes to the aircraft's wiring system to reduce the chance of shorts caused by wire bundles rubbing. Canadian authorities are doing test flights this week, and the European authorities will be doing test flights next month. Once approved, it will take Boeing a while to install the physical and software changes, so I wouldn't expect the MAX back in service until early 2021.

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Postby NTP66 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:32 pm

Amazon wins FAA approval for Prime Air drone delivery fleet

Amazon received federal approval to operate its fleet of Prime Air delivery drones, the Federal Aviation Administration said Monday, a milestone that allows the company to expand unmanned package delivery.

The approval will give Amazon broad privileges to "safely and efficiently deliver packages to customers," the agency said. The certification comes under Part 135 of FAA regulations, which gives Amazon the ability to carry property on small drones "beyond the visual line of sight" of the operator.

Amazon said it will use the FAA's certification to begin testing customer deliveries. The company said it went through rigorous training and submitted detailed evidence that its drone delivery operations are safe, including demonstrating the technology for FAA inspectors.


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Postby tifosi77 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:42 pm

Do not approve.

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Postby Kaiser » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:54 pm

I've started listening to KPIT ATC during the workday. It's a pretty good non-intrusive choice for background noise.

It's not as dry as it sounds, either. Pilot was approved for a touch and go and he ended up landing and taxxing back to get in line for takeoff. Fun conversation ensued. "I've been [ATC] since 1987, could be wrong, but, I've never known that to be included in the approved option."

It's more casual than I would've thought. I was an air support operator in the USMC and all of our air traffic was max brevity. These nasty civilians are chatty af.
Use IRC, noobs
For some reason I thought you were in an AA battery. Were you our go between to shoot?

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Postby dodint » Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:35 pm

I was in the DASC*. Ground troops called in their aviation support needs and we would assign aircraft if we had them, or pass the request up to the TACC for assignment.

*I spent my entire fleet time in the TACC. Abnormal career, had its ups and downs, mostly downs.

Most of my time in Afghanistan was spent deconflicting aircraft and artillery, particularly HIMARS with its 90k ceiling and steep trajectory.

When I shipped to boot camp I was supposed to be a LAAD gunner, but it got changed somewhere along the line. For which I am eternally grateful. Maybe that's what you are thinking of.

Oh, IRC. We were doing an exercise, Mojave Viper. We installed a computer on a C-130 so we could talk to the crew using IRC.

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Postby NTP66 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:37 pm

mIRC days were fun. **** Discord.

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Postby Kaiser » Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:07 pm

That clears it up. We never left the DASC channel, but some of them would go into the less sterile channels.

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Postby dodint » Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:22 pm

DASC guys think they're hardcore because the ASLT are DASC guys that are slightly more forward so they can stay in radio contact with the ground units.

In a full scale amphibious landing the DASC goes in the seventh wave and we somehow wore that as a badge of honor. Air Wing, man.

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Postby Kaiser » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:14 pm

We go in whatever wave can support a DC-10 landing.

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