Knowledge in Flames!

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‘Tis the eve before Christmas, and I’m not in the house,
I’m not at all sleepy, nor is my spouse,
For three months I survived, on 5 hours per night,
I now need recovery, the flames cleansing might!
The sparks all are kindled, and burning quite bright,
My Talon, my OTSMAN, my mind not quite right…
To the fire I thrust them, one at a time,
Those two worn out volumes, so full of grime.
The fire grows brighter, now fueled by each page,
But more than just paper, it swallows my rage.
I gaze at the embers, all glowing and red,
Just ash now, and flying, quite out of my head.
My training stays with me, and more skills I’ll learn
I’ll grown in my wisdom, and watch stupidity burn!

Preparing to Learn to Fly

At the Air Force’s Initial Flight Screening (IFS) Pilot and CSO candidates learn to fly and are given the opportunity to fly the Diamond DA20. Before that happens, though, each young officer must memorize the all important “BOLDFACE” and “Ops Limits.” The fine folks at DOSS, who run the IFS show, provide a fuzzy, pixellated version of the BOLDFACE and ops limits in their welcome package. The characters are still mostly legible, and might be sufficient for committing the 33 DOSS-required figures to memory. But my squadron requires aspiring CSOs, like myself, to memorize an additional 53 figures. That’s a total of 86 operating limits and ranges. Fuzzy characters can become quite an eyesore after a few minutes, and this sort of memorization takes hours.

I couldn’t stand staring at those unnecessarily pixellated characters as my brain slowly absorbed numbers like “Max. permissible bank angle for steep turns (in degrees)” (60) and “Propeller approx. minimum ground clearance (inches)” (10). To ease my suffering, and hopefully help my memorization progress more quickly, I recreated both documents with crisp, clear lettering. My versions match the official documents character for character, but mine are easier to read and customizable.

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