Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I feel like the poor dumb slob of a pilot in this cartoon, except that my "plane" never leaves the second floor of the training center, the woman with the bullhorn is my instructor (Terry), and all I can hear after the first three hours is wa wa wa wa wa..., like Charlie Brown listening to his teacher. Thanks to T. McCraken for the cartoon. Hope doesn't mind me using it. His great website is:

I'm about to go out for the last day of aircraft systems ground school. There will be a big review. Questions will fly like miniballs at Shilo and I will look dumb and say, "Ahhh..." and shrug. My stick partner, John, will do the same, and after it's over Terry will fold up his teaching guide, look frustrated and say, "You guys will do fine."

He'll be talking about the "SKV." That means Systems Knowledge Validation. It's the 100 question written test you have to pass before they let you fly the big simulators. They used to give that test orally while actually inside the training simulator. The examiner would point at a switch, button, or instrument and ask what it was, what powered it, what it indicated and what you would do under various failure modes. That was good stuff--pilot stuff. But United has replaced it now with a multiple choice test you take on a computer. Why? To save money of course. Any way, I'm scheduled to take the *&$!*^# thing Friday, the day after my days off--of course. Sounds like college, doesn't it.

Reminds me of the call I got from Rusty at Troy a few weeks ago. He said he had a big bad exam next day and was lost in the course and there was no way he would pass. I asked if this call was a course failure warning. He said yeah. Figured he'd get a softer landing if I was forewarned. I told him to cram like he never had in his life and try his best. The boy did, and passed. Guess I've got to take my own advice now.

Yes, Brad this is the place where you turn left. I can see the "Marrow of the Earth" from the training center during those precious few seconds a day I get to look.

T-Boy out.


scockrell76 said...

Wow. I'm so glad I am not in school. If I was there. I we would go out hand a some ice cold beer to take the edge off. I would by of course.

bradcockrell said...

Forewarned failure by the R... a tactic I used several times at the UofA. Hang in there pop!

LarryParker said...

No pain, no gain. It gets harder to remember those new things when you get our age. Good luck on the test Friday. I'm sure you'll do fine.

hollis said...

Thanks for sharing the journey. It makes dealing with teens a piece of cake. Sounds like 3 mo of AF qual pushed into 20 days!