Thursday, April 5, 2012

TLA's and then some

When I worked for the USFS, my favorite day in the field camps was AFF or acronym-free Friday. The gubment has a ridiculous amount of acronyms and they just get to be too much. "For today's TSS(tailgate safety session) we're gonna discuss ST+F's (slips trips and falls.)

Acronyms are a language all their own. They save time when a group of like-educated folks talk about things and want to save time or make the new guy feel like he don't know shit. Stand in one of those circles and you'll quickly get a list of stuff you need to learn after the meeting cuz the last question you asked got a serious eye roll. "BVI is British Virgin Islands, geez." People end up using acronyms so much that they forget what they abbreviate.

So the FAA is no different. There are many pages of acronyms listed in the back of the FAR/AIM. You need to know how AGL differs from MSL and TA. Well, look at the map. See that spot? It's 5003' MSL but only 748' AGL. So if you hit a MSL, AGL is how far you'll fall.

On a typical flight, I check the CHT, VSI, and ASI(airspeed indicator, now that doesn't tell me whether it's TAS or CAS) on a regular basis. I went for a flight last night and as I got close to MUE, I keyed my mike seven times to turn on the VASI so I could see the runway.

Acronyms also come in handy as study aids. I memorized the taxiway layout at KOA by making up my own FLA, DKCL (Dad killed Chicken Little). Silly yes, effective, yes.

Spinning circles over landing areas, I ask myself how I WOTFEEL. If I use my compass to get from here to there I recheck math ANDS play UNOS. If I fly too high, I run the risk of oxygen deprivation or HASH. How do I know if I have it? FISHRIB obviously.

The FATFOID is, I don't have to report that to the NTSB. As long as I don't have LOSA (lack of situational awareness) none of those will occur.

Soon I'll be a commercial pilot and certain privileges come with that, namely FBCAPTPIWEP. But the real goal while I earn hours working on the commercial license is to become a CFI (certified flight instructor). And we all know a great CFI has ASSPADS.

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