Life-Long Learning: Controlled Crashes

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"Why is the recommended tire pressure for the airplanes half as much on land as it is for landing on the ship?"

My one question pales in comparison to the many questions my dad always asks at a museum. But it was the only one I had at the moment. We were aboard the USS Midway. The man in the yellow hat happily explained that the additional pressure is required because of how hard planes hit aircraft carries while landing. "It's more of a controlled crash," he smiled. That wasn't the first time I'd heard that phrase that day. I was getting the impression that a "controlled crash" was the most accurate description.

Even more interesting was listening to one of the guys explain the Link 11 system while we looked at a radar type interface. He talked to us about how CNN was their only source of military intelligence when the TV behind us had been hastily soldered into place. He gave us his take on the IR655 incident. He told us about the successful use of the HARM missile to take out enemy radar which allowed us to fly in without fear of enemy fire.

Link 11

Museums wear me out quickly, and I tend to prefer my information presented in a more crafted form (be it a great book or movie). But getting an account of something from a person who was there is another experience altogether. Assuming, of course, the person is well-spoken and knows their stuff.

Otherwise, the controlled crash can quickly become a crash and burn.

Do you like museums? What was the most interesting thing you've learned about while visiting one?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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