||Jul 1 2002
This hilarious look at flying will have pilots and pilot wannabes of all ages rolling with laughter. The book also includes a history of helicopter flight, a look at women in aviation, and a lesson in how to fly a helicopter.
Barnes & Noble.com
KISS the Sky: Helicopter Tales
This is a humorous look at life in the Army's aviation branch. Whether you fly fixed-wing or rotary-wing, or you know someone's second cousin twice removed who flies kites, this collection of short stories will amuse pilots and pilot wannabes of all ages.
Jan Hornung, award-winning humor columnist, is also the author of This Is The Truth As Far As I Know, I Could Be Wrong.
from Chapter 16
Everything I Need To Know, I Learned From Flying Helicopters
I learned these lessons from flying a helicopter. Although they apply literally to flying, they make nice philosophies on life as well.
You’ll never run out of fuel at an inconvenient time if you take the winds into consideration.
Let someone else always know where you’re headed, in case you don’t arrive there.
You can fly anywhere.
Getting paid for something you love to do is the best feeling in the world.
Attention to details can save your life.
Others may call you courageous, however, you know that you sometimes have no other options but to be brave.
Non-pilots look at pilots with awe and wonder – live up to that if you are a pilot.
Some things you do may scare you – learn to know when it’s OK to be scared and when that fear is a little bell warning you not to do that thing.
Wear a nametag on the back of your helmet so that people sitting behind you will know who you are.
Wear a helmet if you’re doing something where you might injure your head if something goes wrong.
Something will always go wrong. Be ready for it.
If you feel woozy, check your altitude.
You can sing in a helicopter, and the rest of the crew won’t hear you.
Look people in the eye when you give them a safety briefing.
Let children know that they can do anything they want to do – even fly.
Check out strange noises.
Never assume someone else has done a preflight for you.
Never assume that yesterday’s preflight is still good for today.
Always do a postflight.
Never let anyone else navigate for you.
If you are following someone, pay attention to the route anyway.
Smile at your passengers – it makes them relax.
Smile at your copilot – it makes him think you know what you are doing.
Don’t wear bikini underwear under a flight suit – the panty line is not attractive.
Looking good in a flight suit is important.
Don’t chew on the mouthpiece attached to your helmet.
Don’t call everyone Bubba. Guys named Bubba don’t like it.
Find something good to say about folks who you think are not operating at full rpm.
If you don’t know where you’re going, all the flight plans and aerial maps in the world won’t help you.
Always have a flight plan.
Always study the map before taking off.
Always carry a map.
Make sure your maps are current.
If you don’t know where you are, you can’t figure out where you’re going.
If you use mnemonics, you can memorize large amounts of superfluous material.
Don’t try to memorize large amounts of important information, write it on your kneeboard.
If you don’t know the nomenclature of something, draw a picture.
Be nice to your crew chief.
Don’t pretend to be smarter than you are.
You will perform a task exactly as you rehearsed it.
Learn to listen more than you talk.
Learn to listen to several radios at once.
Don’t talk over, interrupt, someone else on the radio.
Know what the little lights on the dash mean.
Never trust a cow.
Pay close attention when someone is telling you how he or she survived an emergency situation.
Ask questions of those that have more experience than you do.
Don’t brag to those you have more experience than.
When you are fatigued, find the time for a nap.
Don’t try to be a hero – if you are one, you can’t plan it.
Be a mentor.
Have a mentor.
If you are lost, never admit it. You will lose everyone’s trust.
Learn a little history about your job. It will add to your wisdom.
Never criticize someone else for being FUBAR; one day you will be fowled up beyond all recognition.
Don’t talk while chewing gum – it’s rude as well as distracting.
If you have twenty-twenty vision, it will not last.
If the weather is good, it will not last.
A fire takes precedence over everything else.
Always take an overnight bag with you – you never know where you’ll actually end up.
Women can fly.
Think about what you’re going to say before you say it.
Have your compass re-swung from time to time.
Don’t cheat death with wild maneuvers.
Teach your crew chief to fly and navigate.
Let your crew chief teach you about engines.
Encourage everyone to take a helicopter flight at least once in his/her life.
When life goes awry, remember that once upon a time you flew high above the trees, with the eagles, into the clouds.
Don’t fly into the clouds on purpose.
Don’t fly into a flock of birds on purpose.
Don’t fly into the trees on purpose.
Always take a little cash with you – not everyone accepts credit cards.
Pack a lunch – you never know where you may end up.
Just because the sun is shining here, doesn’t mean it’s shining there.
You can always get there from here.
Take a book with you wherever you go – you may be there longer than you thought you would be.
Learn to sleep anywhere you have to.
Watch out for wires.
Learn to swim.
Memorize the cockpit instrument limitations.
Practice blind-cockpit drills so that you know where buttons and toggles are in the dark.
Take time to appreciate the scenery.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Eat right – watch your weight.
Don’t smoke in flight – don’t smoke at all.
Keep it simple.
Tell the truth to the flight surgeon.
Don’t drink alcohol 12 hours before you fly.
Visit the control tower, and meet the air traffic controller in person.
Judge your success on your happiness not on your income.
Make time for your family.
Get a pet – someone who loves you whether or not you fly.
Integrity is important.
Say please and thank you to everyone.
Encourage others to follow their dreams.
Never give up on your own dreams.
Inner beauty lasts.
Make a positive difference in someone else’s life.
Get right with God.
Thank God that you fly.
Former pilot KISSes the Sky with latest book.
Former U.S. Army helicopter pilot Jan Hornung knows how to dream and carry it through. In 1985, Hornung trained at Fort Rucker, and began flying UH-1s — completing one of two lifetime goals.
“I had a list of things to do in my life,” she said. “One was flying
helicopters and one was writing a book.”
Hornung completed that mission, too, with the release of her book entitled “KISS the Sky: Helicopter Tales.” The book came out in June and is filled with humorous stories about being in the aviation field in the military. Many of the stories in the book are of her time spent at Fort Rucker during flight school.
Hornung said being a woman in the field had its challenges.
“I talk a lot about Fort Rucker in “KISS the Sky,” she said. “Out of a class of 70, two of us were women. At that time, it was difficult. We were all tasting a dream. We all wanted to be helicopter pilots.”
Hornung said she tried not to think in terms of how being a woman effected her job. For most of the pilots in training, she said, if they didn't make it, they had nothing to go back to. Hornung, herself, turned down numerous job offers to train as a pilot. In her book, she finds humor within difficulty.
“I tend to see the humor in things,” she said. “What might not have been funny for some, was funny for me. I tried to laugh, probably to keep from crying. But I have really good memories from the experience.”
Hornung said even today, there is a small percentage of woman pilots. She said being a woman in the military opened her eyes. She began o understand that women have different experiences. The seed was planted for her work in progress entitled “Angels in Vietnam: Women Who Served.” The book is a
compilation of stories and poems about the impact women had during the Vietnam War.
“I met vets who had flown in Vietnam, and they talked about the nurses and Red Cross workers. I thought, “I don't know if I'd met a woman who served during Vietnam. But we all probably have. That's what put the idea into my mind.”
Before becoming an author, Hornung received a master's degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She was also a writer/editor for a military newspaper in Germany where she earned several writing awards. She wrote a humor column for the paper, in which her book “This Is The Truth As Far As I Know, I Could Be Wrong” is based upon.
Hornung has dabbled in many fields, but finds the most pleasure in giving people something to smile about.
“The most rewarding thing is when somebody tells me they've read my book and
it made them laugh,” she said. “I love to make people laugh.”
For more information about “KISS the Sky and other books by Jan Hornung,
visit www.geocities.com/helicopter tales.
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