Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Lessons learned from 3000 hours in the air with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE and another unit
While I never reached Malcolm Gladwell's magical 10,000 hours of experience to master my skills as a COMEVAL, I did learn a few things in my years flying with VQ-1 and some other guys. Here is a short list of a few things I learned (not listed in any particular order):
1. Never break the code.
2. Always pre-flight your parachute.
3. Every Sailor has a job to do. Let him/her do it.
4. Make sure your mission bags have all the tech manuals that you'll need.
5. Where you started may not be where you end up.
6. Don't ever mess with the Flight Engineer. Payback can cost you more than you may be able to afford.
7. Your Petty Officer in Charge doesn't need to be the senior petty officer. CTI3 Neil Gagnon proved that point about a dozen times.
8. Not all Lab Ops are created equal.
9. Malibu Al brought his surfboard along for a reason.
10. Don't use "Fire Feet" on a particularly cold flight unless you know how to put out the fire.
11. Sometimes 5km means 50ft.
12. "10.0 or we don't go" isn't my favorite slogan.
13. Post mission reporting continues until the EWMC is completely exhausted, regardless of how tired the rest of you may be.
14. "0200 show for 0400 go" gets old faster than you would imagine.
15. Empty your flight suit pockets before you get home. It's a long way back to the base at midnight or 1 a.m.