Saturday, February 25, 2006

New found appreciation for WWII fighter pilots

Coming back from our holidays in Ireland this month I was very lucky to be able to fly in the cockpit with the pilots. It was a real buzz I can tell you and I feel very priveliged to have had such an enlightening experience, especially in this post 9/11 era.

It was about half way through the hour or so flight and after the co-pilot had gone through what all the controls were that I realised just how much control both the pilots and traffic control had over the aircraft. They had GPS, three artificial horizons ( two digital and one traditional) aswell as countless gauges and readings for every element of the plane. One of the devices even detected and communicated with any other plane in a 12 mile radius and told the pilots whether to climb or descend, Amazing!

This really gave me a new found appreciation for WWII fighter and bomber pilots and just how much skill it took to fly the planes let alone survive a dogfight with the enemy. With no GPS, collission detection or digital readouts must have a meant a extremely high level of concentration was needed to survive in the skies.

No comments: