Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Ground Lesson #11

Thunderstorms again today. I've concluded that summer is a bad time to try to fly in Georgia. Mornings are usually foggy with low ceilings, and we have thunderstorms every afternoon. On the days when the weather is flyable, temperatures are in the high 90's with high humidity, so the plane doesn't fly well and the pilot loses a couple quarts of water to perspiration. I guess the bright side to this is that the weather will be getting nicer when I finish my training.

The instructor and I spent the time reviewing regulations, with focus on those related to airworthiness and equipment requirements. We went over some weird scenarios, like "If I were to cut off the tail of my plane, is there a regulation that says I'm not allowed to fly it?" Or "What if the stall-warning horn is not working. Are you allowed to fly, and if so, is there anything special you need to do to comply with regulations?" Or "Does any regulation require a pilot to perform a pre-flight inspection of the aircraft?"

Analyzing the Federal Aviation Regulations to answer these questions reminded me of playing wargames with my friends as a teenager. We spent more time trying to interpret the complicated and contractory rules than actually playing the games.

Cost: $131

You know Kris, one of the reasons I took to Regulatory Compliance is because it was so similar to RPG rule interpretation.

A friend of mine used to work for Dungeons & Dragons and when I told him that a "Tabletop Exercise" was really just a RPG without dice he nearly fell out. He confirmed what I already knew: that I had found my career.
One of the activities I enjoy in my programming career is reading a spec and trying to create a compliant software implementation. It is usually impossible, or so open to interpretation that "compliance" is meaningless.

I thought about going to law school, thinking that analyzing legal code might be a similar activity, but my attorney sister-in-law talked me out of it.
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