Number 5: Am I going to be sick? Honestly, I have never been motion sick, air sick, height sick, etc. But, I have also never been a passenger on a helicopter, especially not a Chinook (haha). I’m really not sure what to expect. I mean, I have imagined what it will be like and I have heard stories (good and bad) about the sensations, but I think it’s one of those things that you just won’t know how it feels until you are actually feeling it. We shall see.
Number 4: Will I be able to understand the radio transmissions? I know this is sorta weird and random, but sometimes I feel that I have a problem understanding “radio speak”. No, not the words like “niner”…hmmm….how do I explain this one? If you have ever been on an aircraft and tried to listen to the transmissions (or listened from the ground, or post-mission), you probably know what I’m talking about. Radios are not super clear, and I can imagine the problem gets worse on a 50,000 lb two-rotor system helicopter. Maybe it just takes practice.
Number 3: How will my Diabetes hold up? Basically this one is just a barrage of unknown questions. Will my blood sugar hold steady? Will I be able to detect when/if I go low? How will the adrenaline affect blood sugars? Is it easy to test blood sugars while onboard a Chinook? Which pockets of my flight suit will best hold all my D-crap? How will the pump handle constant, hours long vibration? Can I take care of myself without freaking Dave out? Etc….
Number 2: Will I be hot or cold? Admittedly, not that important. Everyone says I will be hot sitting under the transmission (possibly being leaked on by hydraulic fluid…although as I have been told, this is not bad since it means the aircraft still has hydraulic fluid…..GREAT!). But, I’m worried about being freezing…Delaware at altitude in October….hmmmm…
Number 1: Will it be everything I have imagined it to be? Will I have an increased sense of pride for this great country? Will it be exhilarating, exciting, scary as hell, all three at once? What will I remember most about my first flight as a flight test engineer?
I can’t wait to find out the answers to these questions, wish me luck next week!
PS: I hope Dave doesn’t read this until after we fly…I’m afraid he may try to ensure that the “scared as hell” feeling surfaces. Haha. But seriously….