The Little Voice – What’s it Telling You?
Lest this seem fanciful, this was the exact scenario reported by flyer and writer Earnest K. Gann in his excellent book “Fate is the Hunter.” (This book and others by Gann and Richard Bach are required reading for anyone who wants to be called a pilot.)
Gann was flying from Honolulu to Burbank, California in a DC 4 shortly after WWII. The vibration was slight, and intermittent. On landing, engineers found a quarter inch bolt missing from the elevator hinge. Only massive luck prevented the elevator from “unporting” which would lead to a non-recoverable dive into the Pacific.
In order to take in data, all the senses must be turned on. In the early days of portable music, people were flying all over America listening to 8-track stereo and not their engines. Now the gear is smaller (and better) but the pilot who can’t hear their aircraft because of a deafening blast of Metallica is losing a valuable safety tool.
Of course, the subconscious mind is not infallible. Anyone who has ever flown across Bass Strait, vast remote areas or at night knows about how an engine can develop some truly horrendous sounds. At first the subconscious mind, always a worrier, picks them up and then the conscious mind follows. In fact engines have a multitude of bangs, knocks and rumbles all the time. But they can cause major concern if listened to intently. This is a phenomenon called “Auto Rough” when flying over tiger country.
The subconscious mind gets more finely tuned as it gains experience over the years. But even early on, “Common sense” is very valuable.
So, listen to that little voice in your head. It could save your life.
N.B. Russell has the Gann book, most of those by Bach and numerous others (some donated by Alan Rundle) which are available for loan.