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  Astronauts Llewellyn and O'Leary piloting issues

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Author Topic:   Astronauts Llewellyn and O'Leary piloting issues

Posts: 792
From: Messina, Sicilia, Italia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 07-16-2013 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for carmelo   Click Here to Email carmelo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From WalesOnline's obituary for astronaut John Llewellyn:
"Astronauts had to be supermen back then," said his 67-year-old brother Roger, who’d grown up with him and their other sibling David in the Adamsdown area of the capital.

"They'd black-out the cockpits and you'd have to rely on some sort of seventh sense about whether or not the plane was losing altitude, and if that didn’t kick in you'd be in trouble."

"My brother didn't have that instinct, but what he did have was a brilliant talent for chemistry and that’s the reason NASA gave him a job in the first place."

Was the same problem for Brian O'Leary?

David C

Posts: 80
From: Pasadena
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 07-16-2013 12:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not wishing to disrespect anyone, but in order to avoid any myth-making, he's talking about instrument flying. No mysterious "seventh sense" involved. Taught techniques, hard work and the self discipline to ignore the powerful but erroneous signals from one's body. It's not for everyone.

It's thirty odd years since I read O'Leary's book, but I seem to recall that his problems were at a different stage. Reading between the lines of his own words; he had a serious attitude problem that no doubt hindered the development of whatever aptitude he had. I stand by to be corrected.


Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 07-16-2013 07:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by David C:
No mysterious "seventh sense" involved.
I agree. IFR flying is what was called, "Flight School 101" in the "Space Cowboys" movie, and rightly so.

"Hood" or blind flying has been a staple of IFR flying since before WW2 and several missions proved it to be a valuable skill set. It's like asking to be sponsored to go climb Mt. Everest when you have problems going up a flight of stairs...


Posts: 555
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 07-16-2013 09:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I recall correctly — and it's been about four years since I read O'Leary's book, but I did a quick check to jog my memory - part of his difficulties came from being one of two civilians in an 80-person Air Force flight training class, and to say that could be "awkward" is probably a fair assessment. O'Leary not only had issues with the hard-driven military-style instruction, but battled airsickness early in his flight training. If I read his book correctly, O'Leary quit the program after his second solo flight.

I used to not be a fan of Brian O'Leary, in part because of the "flying isn't my cup of tea" line, but reading his book a few years ago helped me understand, and I actually felt for the guy a little.

All times are CT (US)

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