Monthly Archives: July 2016

Task Saturation

By lex, on January 23rd, 2010

Three priorities are drilled into every fledgling naval aviator’s head from the day he starts flight school: Aviate, navigate, and communicate – in that order. The first and eternal priority is to maintain control of the aircraft and try to keep it in the middle of the sky, staying clear of all the edges.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Flying, Naval Aviation

Marching to the New Jody

This was posted by one of the Lexicans at the F/B page. Apparently the Russians have taken a liking to…..Spongebob Squarepants

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Aerial Ethics

By lex, on January 17th, 2010

‘Twas two hops yesterday down at the customary, the first being a multi-generational affair with pops paying for Grampa Art to fly against his very own son, Amon y-clept and an ostensible 8th grader, the whole passle of them but recently ridden in from Tuscon. I say “ostensible,” for just like the carnival we have certain age and height limitations that are in effect, and if Amon was an 8th grader his grampa may have been named Art but Bob was his uncle.

Or maybe they don’t feed ‘em, much, in Tuscon.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Flying, San Diego, Uncategorized

Last Shootdown

By lex, on January 10th, 2010

Just ran across an interesting anecdote in the November Pacific Flyer that I just had to share: It turns out that the last German plane to be officially shot down in the ETO was a Fieseler Storch.


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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, History, Uncategorized

Grad Hop

By lex, on December 28th, 2009

One of the bennies promised by CFI Dave as he lured me into the world of tailwheel aviation was that, at the conclusion of my course of instruction in the mighty 7GCAA Citabria, I would be offered a flight free of charge in his 1947 Stearman.


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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Flying, Uncategorized

Flying Parker

By lex, on December 26th, 2009

Just the one flight today, a sixty-minute learn-to-fly. On the dogfights you pretty much know what you’ll be getting, an adventurer or someone buying a present for someone they believe to be an adventurer. But there’s no telling what you’ll get on one of the learn-to-fly hops.

It wasn’t until 1230, so I had the morning mostly to myself. We five are here at home, but only one of us could remotely qualify as an early riser. Toodled on down to the aerodrome at a leisurely pace, which was prolly just as well: You can tell that the state is getting serious about its budget crunch from the number of CHP hiding in any likely spot. Everywhere, pretty much.

Termites ain’t in it.

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Language Barrier

By lex, on December 19th, 2009

So, ’twas down to the aerodrome early-aye-o for to sign up with yet another flying club, one such as has a broader stable of unobtanium than does t’other. An hour’s worth of having to listen to one pilot intersperse flying stories with club by-laws followed by another pilot – the safety officer, as it turns out – telling tales over the course of the second hour of those who’ve balled up otherwise airworthy craft through one means or another. None of which were particularly edifying, your host being familiar with the requirement to maintain an adequate supply of go-juice in the machine and keep her more or less tracking down the prepared surface. The cruel hardship of which was, ourselves being aspirants, like, manners prevented us from one-upping.

Bitter beer indeed.

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The Enemy Within

By lex, on December 12th, 2009

No, it’s not the latest crewe of knuckleheads crossing the seas to wage war on their countrymen. They are a blip lost in the noise band of extremism, and at least they were romantic and foolish enough to eschew domestic terror to fight in the field. If they hadn’t gotten swept up by the Pakistani authorities before they could wage jihad, they would very probably have been treated more or less respectfully by the graves registration detail before being shipped home in caskets.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Best of Neptunus Lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Neptunus Lex

The Mask Slips

By lex, on November 10th, 2009

The political calculus of the president’s health care agenda is revealed:

ObamaCare serves the twin goals of “making the United States a more equitable country” and furthering the Democrats’ “political calculus.” In other words, the purpose is to further redistribute income by putting health care further under government control, and in the process making the middle class more dependent on government. As the party of government, Democrats will benefit over the long run.

This explains why Nancy Pelosi is willing to risk the seats of so many Blue Dog Democrats by forcing such an unpopular bill through Congress on a narrow, partisan vote: You have to break a few eggs to make a permanent welfare state. As Mr. Cassidy concludes, “Putting on my amateur historian’s cap, I might even claim that some subterfuge is historically necessary to get great reforms enacted.”

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Uncategorized

Not That Handle

By lex, on November 3rd, 2009

The first time flyer in a Navy tactical aircraft will receive a stern admonition from the qualified pilot he goes up with: Don’t touch anything, especially anything painted yellow and black. Cockpit controls that yellow typically jettison something – drop tanks, emergency weapons  release, hydraulic flight controls (in favor of manual back-ups). Controls painted yellow with black stripes jettison critical items such as the canopy or even, in the case of the ejection seat handle, the aircraft itself.

A few years ago, back when dinosaurs the F-14 Tomcat darkened graced the skies, a squadron CO thought it would be a good and proper thing to take the commander of his strike group’s air defense cruiser on a flight at Fallon. Show “Whiskey” what it looked like from the air, rather than across the pixellated screen of his Aegis weapons system. A short flight for the blackshoe captain, as it turned out: Once airborne and on their way to the air combat range, the nose gunner rolled the beast inverted for to do a negative g check. Now, the negative g check prior to actual air combat maneuvering is a good thing to do, for if anything is adrift in the cockpit – Skilcraft government pens, wrenches, yesterday’s lunch – has been left in the darker recesses of the contraption, it will float up in a controlled fashion for to be secured rather than at an awkward moment such as pushing over to a guns finish in a flat scissors with the adversary 1000 feet in front of you.

As useful as the negative g pushover can be, it definitionally results in, well: Negative g. A phenomenon almost entirely alien to the cruiser commanding officer fraternity. If your man isn’t buckled in nice and tight – and in some aircraft, even if he is – then he’ll float loose in his straps in what could be a disconcerting way to the uninitiated. So much so that a disconcerted captain might temporarily forget his preflight admonishment, reach down between his legs and pull on something to get him back in his chair.

Which, in this particular case, worked quite well, since the captain pulled the ejection handle, causing the leg and thigh restraints to retract, the canopy to jettison, the rocket motor to fire and hisself to be catapulted into the air, chair and all. No great harm done, apart from the appalling repair costs and the ever-lasting embarrassment all the way around – the Tomcat driver wisely set up the ejection sequencer to ensure that a rear seat ejection would not automatically cause both seats to fire after the programmed delay. With the top down and the back seat gone, the pilot had the solitude (if not the silence) with which to get a search and rescue effort organized for the now aerially suspended cruiser CO and his story straight for the mishap board.

In aviation, as in sport, anything done once can be done again:

As the plane rolled into another stomach-churning maneuver, the passenger was probably wishing that he was somewhere else.

Then, just like that, he was.

The man, a civilian joyriding with his air force pilot friend, accidentally grabbed the eject lever while trying to brace himself.

He was instantly fired through the aircraft’s perspex canopy and blasted 320ft (100m) into the sky by the rocket-powered chair.

He then floated down to the ground with a parachute that opened automatically.

Experts said he was lucky to escape unharmed from the bizarre accident last week in South Africa.I gather that the pilot, a member of South Africa’s Silver Falcon flight demonstration team, may have some ‘splaining to do.

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