Flying in The Goo : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The term, "goo", is used in Naval Aviation to refer to weather conditions (be they fog, rain, clouds, whatever) that prevent you from seeing where you are, where you've been or where you're going with your own eyes. I'm not sure how common the term is in the other sectors of aviation, but I'm certain that the meaning of, "flying in the goo" is clear to any aviator.

For those of you who have never experienced driving an aircraft during sightless flight, let me attempt to describe it. It is a lot like how we are now traveling toward Y2K. Of primary concern, is the fact that since you can't see forward, you don't know for sure what you might encounter ahead. You must rely on the reports of instruments made and maintained by others and on who's accuracy and reliability your very life depends. Some aircraft have better instrumentation than others. Some have all the bells and whistles, including on board radar and some have none. The objective is to get where you're going and land in such a way that you can walk away.

Obviously, if your instruments fail, or if you haven't any, things are a lot more intense. They are never relaxed, regardless of how many instruments you have or flight hours you have logged. If your instruments function, but you can't or don't trust them, the screws get tighter. "The Goo" is always a different world than the "normal" one and none of your "normal" concerns count for much.

The worst thing that can happen to you in the goo (except for hitting something) is to get lost. If this happens, it means that your instruments haven't helped you or are not working, and your fate is in your own hands and those of God. Surviving even a single such incident forever alters you.

You may experience these things, unknowingly, as a passenger. That doesn't count. You don't learn anything.

DGIs are passengers on the Y2K flight.

GIs are crewmembers or observers who are plugged in to the intercom on the Y2K aircraft.

There is no human pilot. This aircraft is called Western Civilization and it's on auto-pilot. The destination is the 21st century and we don't know for sure if the runway lights will be on when we arrive. We're not sure if we'll be able to communicate with the tower when we get there and we're not sure if Air Traffic Control is telling us the truth about conditions enroute. Weather conditions at touchdown are unknown. Maybe we'll get an update on that and maybe we'll trust it. Maybe we won't. We won't really know until we get there.

We're fast approaching the point were we will turn "onto final approach and are commited to land. Just like the Space Shuttle, there are no 'go arounds.'" (thanks to PNG for the quote)

The only certainty is that it is far too late to get off of this flight.

-- Hardliner (, January 26, 1999


There is no human pilot. This aircraft is called Western Civilization and it's on auto-pilot. The destination is the 21st century and we don't know for sure if the runway lights will be on when we arrive.

HARDLINER: you got it!!! How did you write that ?? THAT IS WHY I'M NAMED 'RUNWAY CAT' (great minds think alike ?) What's going on here ??


-- Runway Cat (, January 26, 1999.

Great analogy!

-- ---Afraid of Flyin', Other Lisa (, January 26, 1999.

Nice analogy Hardliner. In all dangerous endeavors, wise men fear their own ignorance.

-- Puddintame (, January 26, 1999.

Good one Hardliner!

Another question to ask "Is the landing gear working?" Or is it "stuck" due to poor maintenance?

Will it be a hard or soft landing? Are the runway lights on, or not? Will the little one's still be able to say "goo-goo" afterwards?

"Fasten your seat belts ... It's going to be a bumpy night." (Said in a gravel-like Betty Davis voice).


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 26, 1999.

Cool. It's too bad John Koskinen is the stewardness.

-- BigDog (, January 26, 1999.

Brilliant, Hardliner, but I would add one more thing in this Y2K analogy:

There are a few parachutes available, not enough for all on board. Jumping will avoid the outcome of the flight, but will surely entail some risk (and ridicule if the landing turns out just fine).

-- Jack (, January 26, 1999.


Unfortunately, one cannot exit all aircraft in flight and survive, even with a parachute.

Besides, civil aircraft carry no parachutes at all. Can you imagine an American Airlines stewardess demonstrating use of a parachute during rollout?

I'm afraid that we're all going to have to ride this one all the way to the deck.

-- Hardliner (, January 26, 1999.


You are a poet-warrior in the classic sense.


-- E. Coli (, January 26, 1999.

You forgot to mention the pilot is the squadron legal officer, who has helped the XO put several of the maintenance crew in the brig for fighting on several occasions - the very same crew grinning and giving the thumb's up sign as the pilot takes off.

-- Airedale (, January 26, 1999.

Well, OK, Hardliner, then thats where your analogy breaks down (as most do if you really start hammering at them).

It is still possible, today, to set yourself up in a rural environment, with your own well water, electric generator, with stored food, etc. (a la "parachute"). And that is the point that I was trying to make in your airplane example. (So, like, pretend that you can parachute out, OK?)

-- Jack (, January 26, 1999.

Jack, actually the analogy stands intact: the plane is, in his words, Western Civilization itself, rather than all the people that comprise Western Civilization. WC being a construct, not an object.

-- lisa (, January 26, 1999.


I heard about a guy once who punched out over the Croatan National Forest because his Crusader flamed out. He claimed that his instruments said he had lots of fuel but the bird didn't burn on impact. There was an interesting coincidence though, about a week before, he had given his Crew Chief a real hard time about brass and haircut, etc.


Your point (that it's still possible to take precautions and make preparations that will enhance your chances of survival in the event of a crash) is well taken. Where you are and what you are doing at the time of the crash, along with the severity of the crash itself is determinative as to individual survival. FWIW, in the crashes that I've seen, the tail section is most likely to remain in one piece. . .

-- Hardliner (, January 26, 1999.

This post is so cool I can't restrain myself from double-tapping another answer ...

There is no human pilot. This aircraft is called Western Civilization and it's on auto-pilot.

This is quite true, but what we don't seem to focus on is that we are subject to other "autopilot" flights right now. For example, our whole planetary system. Another example, our internal organs, for the most part. But these things don't get under our skin as much as y2k. Guess the (assumed!) time-scale makes all the difference.

Sakyamuni said: "the world is on fire with suffering." y2k is just a flame in that conflagration.


-- runway cat (, January 26, 1999.

Hardliner -- call the tower, make sure there aren't any cows on the runway.... or bomb craters...

-- Tom Carey (, January 26, 1999.


I think the most important point you made was that just surviving an incident like that forever alters you. And gaurenteed no matter how we come out of the end of the 20th Century we all will have been forever altered. I have a vision where alot of people die in the great tribulation, and then the survivors go back to where we left off. Think about it folks, civilization hasn't been that bad. It's just had bad motivations. If we could temper all our new found technology with some wisdom we would do great. And remember no matter how proud of this new world we created, we as a human race are still just infants in the technological world. Think of Y2k as a good dose of common sense, and then a redo on the way things have gone so far. I can see a great new world on the horizon for all mankind. If your strong enough.

"Things fall apart, the center does not hold" -Yeats

-- (, January 26, 1999.


Tower is up UHF (line of sight) and will be over the horizon until late March. Same story with VHF and FM. The only folk we can raise right now are Air Traffic control. I've asked about the runway conditions at destination, and the reply is, "Runway 00 clear and dry at this time, conditions at your ETA unknown but expect some delays." All I've been able to get on the HF is Voice of America with some story about how efficient American Social Security is and occasionally some station that idents as "Fruitcake Resistance League".

-- Hardliner (, January 26, 1999.

Chuckles Hardliner!

The "Fruitcake Resistance League" or FRL is currently operating on ham radios. The question is, are they cured ham or smoked ham?


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 26, 1999.

Horrible memories from your analogy, Hardliner.

All I can see is the reflection of the landing/taxi lights in that grayness and the occasional waterdrop whipping along the windscreen. It's so bad I can't even see the glow from my own anti-collision lights, located down on the intakes. And I know that out there, there are hills and mountains that are near my courseline, right at the TACAN margin of error, extending several thousand feet above where I am.

Lots of faith and self-control needed for those kinds of operations. Hope all of us can come up with the equivilent skills to get through this mess. Who knows, maybe we'll break-out of the bottom of this with enough hieght and distance to make some usable last-second corrections before whatever touchdown awaits.


-- Wildweasel (, January 26, 1999.

My idol has done it again...*stares at the screen in lost admiration* ;-)

"FWIW, in the crashes that I've seen, the tail section is most likely to remain in one piece. . . "

As in "stay far back as the herd goes over the cliff"?

"some station that idents as "Fruitcake Resistance League"

Hey! Didn't know you recieved FRL over your ham, you never let on. You should communicate with the members once in a while ;-)

-- Chris (, January 26, 1999.

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