The Ares I... in trouble?

It seems to be that almost every spaceflight site on the Internet loves to publish that NASA's next launch vehicle, the Ares I, is in "trouble." That is... every place except where actual Ares I hardware technicians engineers exist.

Is the Ares I in trouble? Currently- the answer is "yes" only on the keyboards where the ineffectual arm-chair self-proclaimed spaceflight experts exist. You see the fact is that the Ares I launch vehicle is only troubled in cyber space. You see, cyber space is the playground where the children who actually hate... yes... HATE this launch vehicle, romp. They seem to get their little rocks off by generating all sorts of factual sounding, yet hollow expressions of the vehicle's short falls. Yet when one tries to pin them down by asking them to show you actual numbers or to provide documented, first-hand proof of what they claim, these arm-chair critics quickly scurry down the foggy path to Internet obscurity. You see, it is far more easy to post cyber venom as if scrolling on the wall of a stall in a public restroom than it is to actually build and launch a new vehicle. I like to refer to these ineffectual arm-chair self-proclaimed spaceflight experts simply as "Stall-wallers."

The problem is, that too often these stall-wall cyber critics are seen as actually having true credibility. Let us take a moment and look at that credibility. The first sign that you are reading the rants of a stall-waller is to look at where you are reading the rant. If it is on some "forum" someplace, look first at the poster's number of posts to date. If that total is four figures or more, and the person is not the site owner or a moderator- it should be a dead give away that you have a stall-waller. Ask yourself this, who has the time to sit and post on one or more forums that many times? Think about it- do the math, or let the forum do it for you and look at the poster's posts per day. What sort of a person, other than the one who actually runs the forum, has that kind of time? Certainly not someone who is involved in engineering launch vehicles for a living, nor someone who is managing a complex flight program. Instead you have some arm-chair dweeb who is using the Internet to make themselves look and feel important. The next test to see if you have a stall-waller is to simply ask for complete numbers, sources and documents to support their rant. When you get, instead, a wide ranging and foggy re-write of their original junk, ask again. Soon will follow the personal attack on you and the "well who are you to ask ME this?" retort. Stall-waller! Another great method for uncovering the stall-wallers is to watch for their "key" words and terms. The use of the term "Kool aid drinker" or any form there of, is a dead give away. Repeated use of " sources tell me..." is another term that is a dead give away. Additionally people who talk in all knowing terms, yet later ask dumb questions that should be solved by common knowledge is another give away. Lastly, watch for Herding- because these jerks like to run in packs and often need cover from others wearing the same style tin foil hats and thus will come to one another's rescue with the same unsubstantiated dribble.

That said- the rubber hit the runway this week in the halls of Congress when the Augustine Commission met with the people who actually will have genuine influence as to where the future of the United States space program will be. Apparently, those people in Congress haven't spent any time hanging out on Internet space forums... because their attitude toward the Ares I, and I-X was polar opposite of what the stall-wallers would have you believe.

It was a "cold shower" day for the Ares I haters.

It seems- as I've said all along- that the Ares I is only really "In trouble" on the Internet. The members of Congress were speaking largely in favor of Constellation and the Ares I. They seemed ready to reinstate the $3Billion dollars annually that was cut from the NASA budget and would make the Program of Record (Constellation) work again. They spoke, not in terms of Gap reduction, but in terms of gap elimination. It has been stated as fact by the stall-wallers that the Ares I has all sorts of "Show-stopper" technical issues- Augustine testified that his commission "...found none of this." Additionally, the stall-wallers have argued that the "sunk costs" of $8billion already spent on the Ares I did not matter at all when it comes to decision to cancel their hated vehicle and switching to one of their pet boosters (pick one- there are several). Yet the weight of sunk costs was a very big factor in the hearings.

I mentioned the fact that the Ares I and I-X were in trouble, was simply a figment of cyber space- while I was on one of the comment sections of NASAwatch a few months ago. The site's owner- who is normally level headed except when it comes to Mike Griffin or, apparently, the Ares I- told me to go and post that stuff on my own blog, because HIS "sources inside the Augustine Commission" had told him that the the Ares I was in deep, deep trouble in the commission. Gee... I just watched 2 days of hearings, and saw no indication what-so-ever that the Ares I was in "deep trouble." In fact I saw just the opposite. Augustine himself said today that there would have to be a very compelling reason to cancel the vehicle and right now there was none. Additionally, when asked about the I-X he stated flatly, "I think we should launch it." Gosh... his remarks do not sound to me like someone who has sat on a commission where a launch vehicle was in "deep, deep trouble." Apparently, all of the doom sayers exist only here in cyber space and not on the Augustine commission or in the halls of Congress... just like I said on NASAwatch.


091409 klyde morris


Why 9/11 cannot be repeated

Although the current idiots in power in DC are doing a really fine job of resetting the nation into a position that terrorists can easily use to hit us once again, the bearded cowards from sandland will never be able to use airliners to do so... and here's why...

The reason why they were able to successfully use airline aircraft to accomplish the 9-11-2001 attacks is very simple and now very gone. What facilitated the plot hatched by the bastards that day was the worst kept secret in airline security called "The Common Strategy." This was a plan that was taught in EVERY airline training course- including the private ones where some of these creeps paid to learn how to fly 767s- and it could be effectively titled "How to get hijacked." It was cooked up by the FBI, the FAA and some professional terrorist negotiators. The rules for the flight crew were very simple- in flight: do whatever the hijackers tell you, on the ground: make the aircraft into a building. Additionally, there was a saying: "If release is offered- take it, if escape is possible- make it." In short- you were supposed to be 100% non-confrontational and stall for time, because time was the FBI's best weapon. "Wait 'em out" is what we were instructed to do. "Don't be a hero." was stressed. That even went as far as surrendering control of the aircraft if the terrorist said that they were going to fly it... which is exactly what all four flight crews did on 9/11- because that is exactly what they were trained, many times, to do. We were told to keep this plan a "secret"- yet thousands of crews were given this secret in training- from the new-hire regional flight attendant, to the sliver-haired major airline captain who'd seen it once a year for their whole career. Needless to say- it wasn't that much of a "secret." Somewhere along his path of hate Mohamed Atta or someone near him learned of the "Common Strategy" and used it to put together the perverted plan that killed 2,974 Americans.

The moment that we saw the second aircraft strike the second tower, every airline pilot instantly realized that "The Common Strategy" had been used against us in an unthinkable manner. At that same instant, we all said to ourselves, "SCREW THAT, no one's getting my aircraft ever again." Screw the negotiators, screw the experts, screw their training- I'll get on the F&%king P.A. and tell the passengers to fight back with their lives and I'll pull so many G's that those bastards will find their teeth in the carpet- and if they do get through the door they'll be wearing my crash ax between their eyes.

Thus- a repeat of the 9/11 attack can never take place again using airliners from civilized countries. All the TSA passenger searches and assorted nonsense is little more than show. The real security is in the cockpit, and it has been that way since the moment the second aircraft hit the World Trade Center. This all means that the bearded bastards from sandland will have to hit us in another way- and at this moment they're plotting on how to do it.

091009 klyde morris



Last night, at the President's address to a joint session of congress, a Republican Senator shouted "You Lie" while the president was at the podium... lying. Now there's a big soundbite whoop going on over the event.

Frankly, yelling "Yer's a lier" in the Congressional halls is the same as yelling "Yer' a cheesehead" at a Packers game.


090709 klyde morrus


090309 klyde morris


Heart Ache

So, you're an aviator and you're sittin' around the ops. room tryin' to read some article in USA Today and decide if it's written by an actual journalist or just by someone who was recently fired from the Springer show's writing staff, and suddenly you realize that Don Johnson's only charted song from the 80's "Heart Ache" keeps running through your brain and you can't stop it... does that mean that death is stalking you?

From my years of aviation experience, I'd say... probably not. You see, when things are frustrating, weird, crummy or all of the above, you're the most likely to be on the right path in aviation. It is only when you think you've got it made, or you've hit the jackpot that you are really about to be cast into the pit of aviation excrement.

As I recall, the day I got hired at my first regional airline, which happened to be the second highest paying regional in the nation, I really thought I had it made. Sure, they were making us pay for training, but it was in the middle of the hiring slump of the early 1990s and everyone was being forced into PFT to get any job anyhow- so why not be happy at recouping my investment a bit faster at a higher pay-rate? You bet I was a happy camper. Three months later, however, when I was furloughed with severance pay and stuck with a five figure debt, I felt a bit different.

Of course I should have known better- when I was a CFI I'd always wait for my students doing dual cross-country flights to get about 5 miles from our home airport and then ask them how they thought the flight had gone. They'd smile and say "Terrific" and I'd pull the engine on them. The lesson being to never let down your guard, because that is the moment when the big hand of aviation is going reach out and give you a karmic wedgie that you'll remember.

Thus the lesson is, that when you are sitting around ops. and you are pondering the fact that you decided not to send in that matchbook cover application to the Southern Georgia School of Truck Drivin' and instead ended up at your current aviation company that sucks so bad- you're probably safe to go flying. On the other hand, if you've just gotten engaged to a super-model and you have a winning lottery ticket in your pocket plus your current company actually DID take delivery on those new aircraft that they promised would be "coming soon" while ground is being broken for a new terminal... instead of flying, you may as well just go out and crawl into a big black ziplock bag and wait for the end to come- that way there will be less of you spread around for the NTSB to pick up.