New Year’s Resolutions
Resolutions don’t work because they imply that you’re not ALREADY trying to accomplish them. A healthy, well-balanced, successful life should be the standard every day of every year of your entire life. It should never appear out of the blue as a random resolution on some special day. It has to be a lifestyle. They also don’t work because they’re focused on outer superficial things that you have no control over. Losing weight is superficial. Being a healthy person is foundational. Values are much more powerful than goals. Goals are superficial. Values are fundamental. Goals are directional. Values are the drivers. If you have a goal to lose weight but don’t value health and vanity, I promise you failure. Did I say vanity? I meant just health. People dieting and “trying to lose weight” aren’t skinny—at least they don’t stay that way for long. Healthy people dedicated to respecting their bodies are skinny. What does all the mean? I’ll have a beer and think about it!
Good resolutions are:
Lose weight, exercise more, eat better
Make more money, save more money, spend less money
Find meaningful work, work less, take more vacations. Don’t use the same excuses for not working you used this past year
Stay the course or change course
Read more books, listen to your favorite music, and attend live performances
Volunteer, get involved, contact your elected officials and express your views
Take up a new hobby. Consider procrastination. OK maybe later.
Realize that God loves me, and that beer is the proof of that love.
Start buying lottery tickets at a luckier store.
Pick up FOD whenever it comes out, send you comments in. Forward it to two friends and ask them if they like it to subscribe – it’s free!
Stay close to your friends and to those you love. Always kiss goodnight.
Happy New Year!
Navy Seeks Better Sleep for Surface Navy Crews – Special Blue Glasses
I am routinely reminded things aren’t what they used to be when I was at some previous age and that my reminisces have nothing to do with today’s realities. I’ll go back even further. That’s a bunch of crap – all my observations are applicable to all ages – depending upon your age. In the days of sailing ships, sails needed to be continuously trimmed as winds and seas changed. Those sailors served four on and four off watches for literally years at a time. They were unaware that blocking the light that inhibits the brain from producing melatonin would allow their crews better sleep. I spoke to the new guidance in a previous edition of FOD and now USNI News is reporting the Navy established new rest guidelines for surface ship crews and is exploring whether specially tinted eyewear can help sailors fall asleep faster during scheduled downtime, after a recent deep-dive into surface force readiness showed that crews were overworked and under-rested. Navy leadership acknowledged over the summer that poorly rested crews on deployment saw degraded performance due to insufficient sleep. After the Comprehensive Review of Recent Surface Force Incidents also noted the link between work performance and sleep, the Navy has sought to take measures to help sailors get more and better rest. One tactic is to address sailors’s ability to fall asleep after working shifts at computer screens or in artificial lighting.
Blue light – what emanates from screens or artificial lighting – blocks the brain’s production of melatonin, the chemical created by the brain to help people fall asleep, according to Navy researchers. Based on initial testing, Navy researchers think wearing specially tinted glasses for an hour or two before bedtime can make falling asleep easier. Using currently available materials, the Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training Activity, based at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, crafted a tint for safety lenses that blocks about 70 percent of blue light, according to a Military Health System news release. Testing the new lenses comes as the Navy is focusing on sleep, and specifically circadian rhythms. Following this year’s two fatal guided-missile destroyer collisions, Navy investigators found both incidents were caused in part by the prevalence of over-worked and under-rested sailors in the fleet. “Sleep deprivation has been a significant and well-documented issue for service members,” CDR Marc Herwitz, the chief ancillary informatics officer for the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine, said in the news release. “It has been especially problematic for those on changing shift work schedules and those who work continuously under artificial lighting.” The operational navy is seeking to address sleep deprivation through a new sailor rest and workday guideline, which requires commanding officers to incorporate circadian rhythm principles into their watchbills and shipboard routines. Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander of Naval Surface Forces, released a statement explaining that the Comprehensive Fatigue and Endurance Management Policy fulfills one of the recommendations provided by the comprehensive review. The guidance calls for sailors to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour day – either seven uninterrupted hours, or five uninterrupted hours with a follow-on two-hour uninterrupted nap. Also, according to the guidance, a sailor’s workday should not exceed either 12 hours in a 24-hour period or eight hours of continuous work, except when required by operational tasks. Rowden directed cruisers, destroyers and amphibious warships to implement circadian rhythm watchbills and shipboard routines by Dec. 20. Smaller platforms, such as Littoral Combat Ships, Mine Countermeasure Ships and Patrol Coastal Ships have until Mar. 31 to implement the policy. “The intent of the policy is to provide specific direction to achieve optimal crew endurance, performance, and safety,” Rowden said in his statement. Better-rested sailors are more productive and more resilient to mental and physical stresses, Rowden’s statement said. Commanding officers operating with sailors who are not rested are essentially conducting operations with impaired sailors.
South Korea Seizes Hong Kong Registered Ship Sending Oil to North Korea
The BBC is reporting South Korea has revealed it seized a Hong Kong-registered ship last month suspected of supplying oil to the North in breach of international sanctions. Officials said the Lighthouse Winmore had secretly transferred 600 tonnes of refined oil to a North Korean ship. A UN Security Council resolution bans ship-to-ship transfers of any goods destined for Pyongyang. The ship entered Yeosu port in South Korea on 11 October to load up with refined oil and left for Taiwan four days later, Yonhap news agency reported. But instead of going to Taiwan it transferred the oil to a North Korean ship and three other vessels in international waters on 19 October, South Korean officials were quoted as saying. This defies a UN Security Council resolution imposed on 11 September. The New York Times said the transfer was captured in US satellite photos, released by the US Treasury in November, although the Lighthouse Winmore was not named by the Treasury. Last week Beijing supported a US-drafted UN resolution that included measures to slash the North’s petrol imports by up to 90%.N
The 22 December sanctions also refer specifically to attempts by the North to procure prohibited goods. The measures address the “illicit imports of petroleum through deceptive maritime practices by requiring Member States to seize, inspect and freeze any vessel in their ports and territorial waters for involvement in prohibited activities”. On Thursday, the UN Security Council also denied international port access to four more North Korean ships suspected of carrying banned goods, AFP reported. It would bring the total number of ships blocked by the UN to eight. North Korea is already subject to a raft of sanctions from the US, the UN and the EU. The latest round was sparked by the 29 November launch of a ballistic missile, which flew higher than any other the North has tested. In a typically bellicose response, North Korea described the new sanctions as an “act of war”.
Navy’s Captured Flags – Rediscovered After Nearly 100 Years
Back to those days of sailing ships! Hauling down one’s flag during an engagement at sea signified surrender of said vessel to its opponent. It was called striking the flag or striking one’s colors. Those battle flags were retained as a remembrance of the victory and of sacrifice of sailor’s lives at sea. The captured ships were often reflagged and saw service and combat yet again. Often these prizes were sold along with their cargo and were repurposed before the age of recycling. We just celebrated and anniversary of the Treaty of Ghent on December 24 as mentioned in the last edition of FOD. It’s appropriate to note Navy Times is reporting the curator of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum wasn’t exactly sure what would be found: records indicated five display boxes long used to exhibit captured British flags from the War of 1812 actually concealed more banners underneath. But not until all 61 banners were painstakingly removed in December for a conservation effort did curator Charles Swift, who is also the museum’s managing director, actually see what was hidden. And he was gratified to learn that conservationists had uncovered dozens of other flags — many captured by the Navy in other conflicts of the 19th century. The 46 newly discovered flags — including banners from battles in Asia and from the Spanish-American War — had originally been put on display in 1913. But seven years later, they were covered up by the 15 flags from the War of 1812 — and sealed up for nearly a century. No one alive had seen the flags long hidden from view. “More importantly than just seeing them was seeing the colors,” said Swift. “It is what struck me immediately. It was sort of dark, but you could see the colors — the vibrant colors — of them having not been in light for 100 years, and so it was exciting.” The flags, covered by the others in boxes with large plate-glass lids, speak to an earlier era of U.S. intervention overseas. They include one taken from a Chinese pirate fort off Macau dating to 1854 and another captured in Korea in 1871, according to Swift. There were even some replicas of Revolutionary War-era flags among them. He said no one had attempted to open the boxes for so long until it came time for needed conservation. “It was mostly the recognition that after 100 years, these things really needed to be taken down, because hanging like this places stresses on the flags,” said Swift. “It can tear them. They can be damaged. So, they’re getting a well-deserved vacation.” In 1849, then-President James K. Polk designated the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, as the repository of flags captured in battle by the Navy. The museum is now home to about 800 flags and trusted with their conservation, Swift said. About 250 of them are trophy flags seized in battle. The museum also houses seafaring instruments, naval uniforms, medals, photographs, art and items recalling past naval expeditions and explorations. “We are ultimately stewards of these objects that tell important stories,” said Swift, whose museum boasts more than 100,000 visitors a year. Amelia Fowler, a well-known flag preserver who restored the original Star-Spangled Banner in 1914, was contracted in 1912 to conserve the academy’s collection of trophy flags. She worked with dozens of other women in the museum’s Mahan Hall, using a patented stitching method to help preserve the fabric. All told, they stitched up enough flags to cover two football fields, Swift said. Camille Myers Breeze is working on a new conservation process for the flags as director of an independent conservation studio, Museum Textile Services, based in Massachusetts. She said Fowler’s work has enabled her crew to handle the flags without risk of damage. “For us to conserve a collection of flags like this that’s historical — not only for its use, but for how it was preserved and how it has been installed here for 100 years for Naval Academy students and visitors to appreciate and learn from,” she said. “It’s really our favorite kind of project.” Swift said funding for the conservation, about $40,000, came from the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command, which is tasked with preserving artifacts, documents and other items of that military branch.
Some Events From December 28:
Eastern Airlines Flight 401 was a Lockheed L-1011-1 Tristar jet that crashed into the Florida Everglades at 11:42 pm December 29, 1972, causing 101 fatalities. The pilots and the flight engineer, two of 10 flight attendants, and 96 of 163 passengers died, while 75 passengers and crew survived. Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 was a regularly scheduled flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, to Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida. On the day of the crash, EAL 401 was operated using a four-month-old Lockheed L-1011-1 TriStar. The flight was under the command of Captain Robert Albin ‘Bob’ Loft, 55, a veteran pilot ranked 50th in seniority at Eastern. Captain Loft had been with the airline for 32 years and had accumulated a total of 29,700 flight hours throughout his flying career. He had logged 280 hours in the L-1011. His flight crew included First Officer Albert John Stockstill, 39, who had 5,800 hours of flying experience, and Second Officer (flight engineer) Donald Louis ‘Don’ Repo, 51, who had 15,700 hours of flying experience. A company employee—technical officer, Angelo Donadeo, 47, returning to Miami from an assignment in New York—accompanied the flight crew on the jumpseat for the journey, but was officially an off-duty “non-revenue passenger.” Flight 401 departed JFK Airport on Friday, December 29, 1972, at 21:20 Eastern Standard Time, carrying 163 passengers and 13 crew members on board. The flight was routine until 23:32, when the plane began its approach into Miami International Airport. After lowering the gear, Stockstill noticed that the landing gear indicator, a green light identifying that the nose gear is properly locked in the “down” position, had not illuminated. This was later discovered to be due to a burned-out light bulb. The landing gear could have been manually lowered nonetheless. The pilots cycled the landing gear, but still failed to get the confirmation light. Loft, who was working the radio during this leg of the flight, (the pilot not flying) told the tower that they would discontinue their approach to their airport and requested to enter a holding pattern. The approach controller cleared the flight to climb to 2,000 feet and then hold west over the Everglades. The cockpit crew removed the light assembly, and Second Officer Repo was dispatched to the avionics bay beneath the flight deck to confirm via a small porthole if the landing gear was indeed down. Fifty seconds after reaching their assigned altitude, Captain Loft instructed First Officer Stockstill to put the L-1011 on autopilot. For the next 80 seconds, the plane maintained level flight. Then, it dropped 100 feet and then again flew level for two more minutes, after which it began a descent so gradual it could not be perceived by the crew. In the next 70 seconds, the plane lost only 250 feet but this was enough to trigger the altitude warning C-chord chime located under the engineer’s workstation. The engineer (Repo) had gone below, and no indication was heard of the pilot’s voices recorded on the CVR that they heard the chime. In another 50 seconds, the plane was at half its assigned altitude. And 45 seconds after that, EAL-401 impacted the Everglades. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) discovered that the autopilot had been inadvertently switched from altitude hold to control wheel steering (CWS) mode in pitch. In this mode, once the pilot releases pressure on the yoke (control column), the autopilot maintains the pitch attitude selected by the pilot until he moves the yoke again. Investigators believe the autopilot switched modes when the captain accidentally leaned against the yoke while turning to speak to the flight engineer, who was sitting behind and to the right of him. The slight forward pressure on the stick would have caused the aircraft to enter a slow descent, maintained by the CWS system. Investigation into the aircraft’s autopilot showed that the force required to switch to CWS mode was different between the A and B channels (15 vs. 20 lb, respectively). Thus, the switching to CWS in channel A possibly did not occur in channel B, thus depriving the first officer of any indication the mode had changed (Channel A provides the captain’s instruments with data, while channel B provides the first officer’s). After descending 250 feet from the selected altitude of 2,000 feet, a C-chord sounded from the rear speaker. This altitude alert, designed to warn the pilots of an inadvertent deviation from the selected altitude, went unnoticed by the crew (Either their speakers were turned too far down to hear it, or they did not pick it up on their headsets). Investigators believe this was due to the crew being distracted by the nose gear light, and because the flight engineer was not in his seat when it sounded, so would not have been able to hear it. Visually, since it was nighttime and the aircraft was flying over the darkened terrain of the Everglades, no ground lights or other visual sign indicated the TriStar was slowly descending. The final NTSB report cited the cause of the crash as pilot error, specifically: “the failure of the flight crew to monitor the flight instruments during the final four minutes of flight, and to detect an unexpected descent soon enough to prevent impact with the ground. Preoccupation with a malfunction of the nose landing gear position indicating system distracted the crew’s attention from the instruments and allowed the descent to go unnoticed.” In response to the accident, many airlines started crew resource management training for their pilots. This and the similar crash of a United Air Lines 173, a DC-8, at Portland, Oregon, 28 December 1978, airlines developed a system called Cockpit Resource Management to ensure that the flight crews stayed focused on cockpit priorities while dealing with unexpected issues. The NTSB Air Safety Investigator who wrote the CRM recommendation was aviation psychologist Alan Diehl. Assigned to investigate this accident, Diehl realized it was similar to several other major airline accidents including United Airlines Flight 2860, which occurred a little over a year before Flight 173 and under similar circumstances; Eastern Air Lines Flight 401; and the Tenerife airport disaster. Diehl was familiar with the research being conducted at NASA’s Ames Research Center and believed these training concepts could reduce the likelihood of human error. These mishaps are always good examples if you need to develop a updated CRM presentation.
Florence Lawrence Remembered
I don’t usually don’t include the death of folks I mention here in FOD. But on December 28, 1938, the silent-film star Florence Lawrence commits suicide in Beverly Hills. She was 52 years old. Don’t remember her? She is often referred to as “The First Movie Star”, and was the first film actor to be named publicly. At the height of her fame in the 1910s, she was known as “The Biograph Girl” for work as one of the leading ladies in silent films from the Biograph Company. She appeared in almost 300 films for various motion picture companies throughout her career. Lawrence was also an inventor: She is often credited with designing the first “auto signaling arm;” a predecessor to the modern turn signal, along with the first mechanical brake signal. She did not patent these inventions, however, and as a result she received no credit for–or profit from–either one. And her mother, Charlotte Bridgewood, also an inventor, but perhaps a smarter one patented the first automatic windshield wipers.
Some Events From December 29:
And On December 30:
1922 USSR established
USS Monitor Sinks
USS Monitor was an iron-hulled steamship. Just a few weeks after her launch, she sails in harm’s way. The Battle of Hampton Roads often referred to as either the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack (or Virginia) or the Battle of Ironclads, was the most noted and arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil War from the standpoint of the development of navies. It was fought over two days, March 8–9, 1862, in Hampton Roads, a roadstead in Virginia where the Elizabeth and Nansemond rivers meet the James River just before it enters Chesapeake Bay adjacent to the city of Norfolk. The major significance of the battle is that it was the first meeting in combat of ironclad warships, i.e., the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia. Note the dents on the turret of the Monitor post battle (right). And at that moment every other ship in the world became obsolete. See the 08 through 09 March edition of FOD for more into on the battle. Monitor put to sea on 31 December, under tow from USS Rhode Island, as a heavy storm developed off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Using chalk and a blackboard, her Commanding Officer Captain John P. Bankhead wrote messages alerting Rhode Island that if Monitor needed help she would signal with a red lantern. Monitor was soon in trouble as the storm increased in ferocity. Large waves were splashing over and completely covering the deck and pilot house so the crew temporarily rigged the wheel atop the turret which was manned by helmsman Francis Butts. Water continued flooding into the vents and ports and the ship began rolling uncontrollably in the high seas. Sometimes she would drop into a wave with such force the entire hull would tremble. Leaks were beginning to appear everywhere. Bankhead ordered the engineers to start the Worthington pumps, which temporarily stemmed the rising waters, but soon Monitor was hit by a squall and a series of violent waves and water continued to work its way into the vessel. Right when the Worthington pump could no longer keep pace with the flooding a call came from the engine room that water was gaining there. Realizing the ship was in serious trouble, Bankhead signaled Rhode Island for help and hoisted the red lantern next to Monitor‘s white running light atop the turret. He then ordered the anchor dropped to stop the ship’s rolling and pitching with little effect making it no easier for the rescue boats to get close enough to receive her crew. He then ordered the towline cut and called for volunteers. Acting Master Stodder, along with crewmates John Stocking, and James Fenwick volunteered and climbed down from the turret, but eyewitnesses said that as soon as they were on the deck Fenwick and Stocking were quickly swept overboard and drowned. Stodder managed to hang onto the safety lines around the deck and finally cut through the 13 in towline with a hatchet. At 11:30 p.m. Bankhead ordered the engineers to stop engines and divert all available steam to the large Adams centrifugal steam pump; but with reduced steam output from a boiler being fed wet coal it too was unable to stem the rapidly rising water. After all steam pumps had failed, Bankhead ordered some of the crew to man the hand pumps and organized a bucket brigade, but to no avail. Officers Greene and Stodder were among the last men to abandon ship and remained with Bankhead who was the last surviving man to abandon the sinking Monitor. In his official report of Monitor to the Navy Department, Bankhead praised Green and Stodder for their heroic efforts and wrote, “I would beg leave to call the attention of the Admiral and of the Department of the particularly good conduct of Lieutenant Greene and Acting Master Louis N. Stodder, who remained with me until the last, and by their example did much toward inspiring confidence and obedience on the part of the others.” After a frantic rescue effort, Monitor finally foundered and sank approximately 16 miles southeast off Cape Hatteras with the loss of sixteen men, including four officers, some of whom remained in the turret and went down with the ironclad. Forty-seven men were rescued by the life boats from Rhode Island. Bankhead, Green and Stodder barely managed to get clear of the sinking vessel and survived the ordeal but suffered from exposure from the icy winter sea. After his initial recovery, Bankhead filed his official report, as did the commanding officers of the Rhode Island, stating officers and men of both Monitor and Rhode Island did everything within their ability to keep Monitor from sinking. The Navy did not find it necessary to commission a board of inquiry to investigate the affair and took no action against Bankhead or any of his officers. Monitor‘s wreck was discovered in 1973 and has been partially salvaged. Her guns, gun turret, engine and other relics are on display at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia. Put it on your bucket list of places to go see when back east next.
Boeing Model 307 Stratoliner First Flight
In 1935 Boeing designed a four-engine airliner based on its B-17 heavy bomber (Boeing Model 299), then in development, calling it the Model 307. It combined the wings, tail, rudder, landing gear, and engines from their production B-17C with a new, circular cross-section fuselage of 138 in (351 cm) diameter, designed to allow pressurization. The Boeing Model 307 Stratoliner was the first commercial transport aircraft to enter service with a pressurized cabin. This feature allowed the aircraft to cruise at an altitude of 20,000 ft, well above many weather disturbances. The pressure differential was 2.5 psi so at 14,700 ft the cabin air pressure was equivalent to an altitude of 8,000 ft. The Model 307 had capacity for a crew of six and 33 passengers. The cabin was nearly 12 ft across. It was the first land-based aircraft to include a flight engineer as a crew member (several flying boats had included a flight engineer position earlier). In addition to its civilian service it was also flown as the Boeing C-75 Stratoliner by the United States Army Air Forces, who used it as a long-range cargo-lift aircraft. The maiden flight of the first Boeing 307 Stratoliner (not a prototype, as it was planned to be delivered to Pan Am following testing and certification), registration NX 19901 took place from Boeing Field, Seattle on December 31, 1938. The test pilot was Eddie Allen. Julius A. Barr was the co-pilot. That aircraft crashed on March 18, 1939, while its performance with two engines inoperative on one wing was being demonstrated to representatives of KLM on a potential customer demo flight. When the engines were shut down, the pilot moved the rudder to maximum deflection to counter the resulting yaw. The Stratoliner then experienced rudder lock, where the control loads prevented the rudder from being re-centered. As a result, the 307 went into a spin and crashed. The photo above right shows the two right engines feathered. The ten people aboard, including KLM test pilot Albert von Baumhauer, Boeing test pilot Julius Barr, Boeing Chief Aerodynamicist Ralph Cram, Boeing Chief Engineer Earl Ferguson, and a TWA representative were killed. Subsequent wind tunnel testing showed that the addition of an extended dorsal fin ahead of and attached to the vertical tail prevented rudder lock. This was incorporated into the 307’s rudder redesign, while also being incorporated in Boeing’s rear fuselage redesign for their models “E” through “G” B-17 bomber. The first delivery to a customer was to multi-millionaire Howard Hughes, who bought one 307 for a round-the-world flight, hoping to break his own record of 91 hours 14 minutes set from July 10–14, 1938 in a Lockheed 14. Hughes’ Boeing Stratoliner was fitted with extra fuel tanks and was ready to set out on the first leg of the round-the-world attempt when Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, causing the attempt to be abandoned. This 307 later had the extra fuel tanks removed, was fitted with much more powerful Wright R-2600 engines, and was transformed into a luxurious “flying penthouse” for Hughes, although it was little used, eventually being sold to oil tycoon Glenn McCarthy in 1949. The first order, for two 307s (named Stratoliners), was placed in 1937 by Pan American Airways; Pan Am soon increased this to six, and a second order for five from Transcontinental & Western Air (TWA), prompting Boeing to begin production on an initial batch of the airliner. The only surviving Boeing 307 Stratoliner (NC19903) is preserved in flying condition at the Smithsonian Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. On March 28, 2002, this aircraft crashed into Elliott Bay in Seattle, Washington, on what was to be its last flight before heading to the Smithsonian. Despite the incident, it was again restored, flown to the Smithsonian, and is now on display.
And From December 31: