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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White Sand and a Black Tower

Pensacola Lighthouse at Sunset

I’ve been around, and seen a lot of sand, from Maine to California and Mexico to Japan. When I announced I was going to Pensacola everyone talked about the wonderful white sand beaches in the area. Now, I know that sand comes in a plethora of shades and textures. The sand of the Arizona desert, for instance, is sort of tan and chunky. The beaches of Puerto Penasco have sand which is a bit finer and lighter colored, while the sand at Acapulco Bay is somewhat coarser and gray with a rainbow of speckles throughout. Still, sand is sand, or so I thought.

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