Eat Your Carrots

Aviation is full of aphorisms and acronyms meant to nudge busy brains in the right direction, and most of these are applicable to other activities in life.  “Know Before You Go” is a good rule for flying and driving too:  it’s always best to study the driving directions to your destination before wandering around on strange streets, and that goes double if your route takes you within a turn or two of a bad part of town.  The acronym HALT is another good thing to keep in mind generally.  If you’re Hungry (or deHydrated), Agitated, iLL, or Tired, don’t go flying.  Don’t fly into an argument with a loved one either.  Fix HALT problems first.

Yesterday I heard an aviation aphorism that isn’t generally applicable.  “Eat the carrot.”  Say what?  Well, a windsock is usually a long orange cone.  The pointy end points the way the wind is blowing.  When you take off or land you should roll into the wind with the pointy end of the local wind sock pointing at you as you roll by.   And everybody eats carrots starting with the tender tip.  So always make sure to eat the carrot.  It’s silly, easy to remember, and a hell of a lot better than inadvertently making a downwind takeoff or landing and wrecking the aircraft-!

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