Sunday, March 25, 2012

EDC: Fail is Obsolete


The first time I ever flew in a private jet was when the crew had to take it up for an emergency maneuverability test. Sadly there was no barrel roll but, the hard banking several thousand feet up left every roller coaster I've ridden before or since in the dust.

On board was the Maintenance Chief (USAF-Retired) and I missed no opportunity to pick his brain on the topic of all things jets.

"A plane is like being in love with a crazy woman. If you don't keep your eye on her and love her she'll either mess around on you or kill you." 

Comforting words at fifteen thousand feet to be sure.

So I asked him what crashed most planes. "Either the Pilot making a bad call on the weather or lack of good maintenance....somebody starts cutting corners and lives are lost."

And there it is.

Life is dependent upon good or bad judgement calls and, how well your gear is maintained. Amongst us civilians who carry gear of one lethal sort or another on a daily basis we have no oversight other than ourselves as to how well it is maintained. And let's be honest, we've all been there. The unhealthy dose of lint across the hammer or striker area of our pistol, the tactical folder whose blade still holds bits of tape or glue on the blade and in desperate need of a touch up to the edge, hollow points in your spare mag (that I know you carry always...right) clogged with bits of Kleenex, the not-so-fresh batteries in your tactical light.

Our EDC (Every Day Carry) gear is an amalgamation of an emergency kit and a cog that sees regular use and, because of this we need to always be doing scheduled maintenance. Sunday night, the unofficial pre-game to the week ahead is my night to do this and rarely takes more than fifteen minutes to a half hour. Nothing overly detailed and can readily be done watching television.

For me it looks like this:

  • Rubbing Alcohol on knife blades to clean. Wal-Mart knife sharpener to touch up edge.
  • Empty pistol, grab old toothbrush kept in sock drawer, brush away lint.Inspect hammer area, muzzle, barrel, mag well etc. 
  • Does pistol need to be lubed and/or oiled?
  • Empty all pistol mags and wipe down bullets with soft cotton cloth and clean hollow points out with Q-tip as needed.
  • Inspect holsters for wear/tight fit.
  •  Do self-blinding test with Surefire flashlight...not blind enough...fresh batteries are needed. 
  • Open extendible baton look for rust, lint, etc.
  • Sort and clean out and up daily carry Go bag.Do contents match what is expected in coming week?
 In essence it is nothing more than good old fashion discipline. Just because your favorite bullet launcher can survive ten years under a glacier doesn't mean you should treat it as such. You will never regret keeping your personal gear in good working order or being overly familiar with the equipment you swear to everyone else you need. Because when the life hits the impeller you want your readiness to be ready.

6 comments:

Matt said...

Fantastic post! So many people fail to look over their equipment. Thanks for the reminder.

Saria said...

Sadly your blog and all of your writing reflects the testosterone poisoning suffered by all men. I'm sorry that you have no love in you and that you only want to keep women under foot because of your gender's inadequacy.

Mr. Fixit said...

Good advice.

My first thought after reading Saria's response was laughter. But after a second of thought it has turned to pity for her.

Keep up the good writing, many of us agree and appreciate it.

Matthew said...

I just sent you a hug through the universe after cleaning my chakra now move along hippy...move along.

everyone else. Thank you. Keep reading and, I'll keep writing.

Dan said...

I absolutely could not agree more Matthew! You make an excellent point here, one I myself am often guilty of overlooking.

On a Wing and a Whim said...

Along with vacuuming and sorting mail yesterday, I sharpened all the kitchen knives - for exactly the same reason. They may not be carried on body, but they're certainly everyday use, and I've gotten more scars from dull knives than sharp ones.

I mostly agree with the Mx Chief - but I think he missed one. Sandwiched between the pilots making bad calls on the weather and mechanics cutting corners are pilots making bad calls on the weight and balance. "If it'll fit in a Cessna, it'll fly" and its evil cousin "If you can get it on step, it'll fly" has killed a lot of perfectly sound airplanes along with their pilots of unsound judgment... and the more used to cutting corners the pilot gets, the more likely that one day they'll find themselves overweight and unable to turn around in a pass with the weather coming down.