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Show Time!

(Some practical tips on passing the flight test with a CAA examiner.)By Walter Waldeck

Flight tests are stressful events for candidates, no matter what their level of experience. Even now, thirty odd years after my initial ATP test I still get a little surge of adrenalin every time I know my performance is about to be scrutinized in the A340 simulator.And likewise I know my peers will experience the same surge when I’m in the clever seat. It’s called performance anxiety and examiners are mindful of this condition and its effects. No matter how good you are, you’re always going to feel a few butterflies before a performance. After all, you’re going on stage!

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When Knowledge Alone Is Not Enough.

To begin with: an apology to Gary, Belinda and Mike for being such an unreliable contributor. No excuses really. Just a little writer’s block and some Attention Deficit Disorder (Kids, wife, dog, mother in law etc.)  Scully Levin cornered me in the corridors of SAA recently to remind me once again that an article for Aviation & Safety was long overdue. With such men as fans of one’s scribbling; how could I decline? So here it is Scully, hope you like it.

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Once Upon A Dark Night

When your very survival depends on the helping hand of a stranger.

Anyone who’s ever been lost in an aircraft will tell you it’s not a pleasant experience. But at night – it’s positively hair raising! And I’m not talking about being “temporarily unsure of one’s position.” I mean well and truly LOST! During daylight there are all sorts of options to salvage your wounded pride; like a square search. (Yeah – like that ever worked!) Or a precautionary landing; to enquire one’s whereabouts from a friendly farmer. (I’ve done this a few times, but there’s usually a price to pay.) “Kyk vir hierdie doos, hy weet nie waar in die hell hy is nie!” Then the predictable belly laughs from the entire farmyard – livestock included. It’s a humiliating solution, but very effective nevertheless.)

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The End Of Innocence

Nothing prepares you in life, to face death. In my previous articles I’ve tried to show how quickly and innocently mortal danger sneaks up on the unwary in aviation. Even if you’ve had the best training in the world, it’s experience that develops that invaluable ‘sixth sense.’ That ‘inner voice’ that’s saved countless aviators and their passengers from premature doom. The trick is, living long enough, (without making too many serious mistakes,) to be able to gain the benefit from that experience. And that is precisely the reason learning from other people’s mistakes is so vitally important in this job! It sounds morose, and maybe it is – but if you stick around long enough in this business, you are going to lose a few friends. That is inevitable. But that’s life. Aviation, like motor racing, by its very nature is almost unique in this regard. Particularly general aviation.  After awhile you cynically come to expect it. You even start wondering who’s going to be next! Will it be me? This is a morbid way to start a story, but indulge me awhile. If you’ve ever had the unpleasant experience of witnessing an aircraft crash, you’ll know where I’m going with this.

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Interview

Wally Waldeck is a senior captain on the A340 for SAA. Apart from being a very good author for us and a highly experienced and capable member of our team that we are truly blessed to know. He is also a partner in Flight Training College at George a very good flight training establishment. We thought it was high time to hear a little more about this fascinating aviator.

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