Aviating and Eating

As a sort-of aviator there are a few things to know when it comes to human performance.  With the high demands of flying accurately and controlling a plane, we need energy.  And lots of it.

Recently I’ve taken to opening a cook book or two to create edibles in an attempt to increase my energy levels. While there are differences between flying an aeroplane and creating something of value in the kitchen, there is a correlation.

Eating and flying are essential to my life.  If you don’t eat, you don’t fly well.  Further, eating a healthy meal helps settle folks who could suffer from motion sickness.    Not that I have that problem, amongst a host of other issues.  You can turn me upside down in high turbulence and I’ll continue reading the chart on my iPad.

But if you fly without eating the chances are you’ll make more mistakes.  Like I did this past Saturday morning.  That’s when I spent another 1.5 hours in the Sim doing patterns around Kruger Park airport,  Lanseria and Wonderboom all in thick cloud.  But I hadn’t eaten breakfast, deciding that there wasn’t enough time.

Two cups of coffee and into the hot seat.  At first all went relatively well.  However, when it came to an approach to Wonderboom the combination of a late night being woken by my teenage son and his girlfriend, and no breakfast, began to tell.

At least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

But I won’t bore you with the details other than to say it was not a good moment.

Note to self. Eat before flying.  And next week someone is actually going to sponsor my culinary escapade.

GoldCrest have selected me along with a group of other bloggers to feature in a top South African cooking competition.   I join a number of these experts next week on Friday 1st August in order to chef-up something of interest for the judges.   The result is a trip to Singapore.  I’m just waiting to find out which airline.

Courtesy of Loney Planet - you won't find this on an airliner's menu unless you're very unlucky.
Courtesy of Lonely Planet – you won’t find this on an airliner’s menu unless you’re very unlucky.

Which is a little bizarre as most of my culinary moments have been spent generating meals directly from recipes.  Crib sheets.  But so too flying.   Before take-off, ensure you have the Jeppeson charts ready to on your knee board.  Before chopping an onion, select the recipe.  Heat up stove.  Fire up engine.  Follow the check list. Tick off the items on the recipe.  Do this exactly.  Yes, cooking too.  To much chilli and you’re going to burn.

Ok, I don’t want to stretch this analogy too far.  You get the picture.   My next blog about food and aviation is going to cover the thorny issue of inflight meals and a story about a flight to Egypt, including an air steward yelling “Chicken or Beef” which turned out to be a threat.


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