In a couple more seconds, you could see the landing signal officer or LSO with his lighted suit, with lights up and down his body and out his arms to include large paddles in his hands. He would be giving you signals to bring you aboard and to give you the cut for landing and the trap with the tail hook.
On my first attempt at night landing, the waves were about 20 feet high, so the deck was pitching a little. All went very well for me until the bird dog needle reached the 9 o'clock position. For some reason, I looked to see the carrier. This act disrupted my scan pattern of the instrument panel. When I reached the 90 degree position, I clearly heard the words "Pull up!"
I slammed the throttle fully forward and leveled my wings, beginning to pull up. When level, the white belly light on the plane reflected off the water, knocking out my night vision.
The air operations officer sent me home to Moffett Field for the night, with instructions to return to the carrier the next day. I made two daytime landings the next day and went out that night again. I'm happy to report that I didn't look for the carrier at the 180 degree position. I did get 20 night landings on that cruise.
The LSO of that first night's landing attempt came to me the next day and asked how I recovered. He had lost sight of me behind a large wave. He said that I was on my way up before he could call me on the radio.
That episode of looking for the carrier at the 180 degree position was in actuality a mistake or sin that just about cost me my life.
Could we wear goggles of some kind to adapt the rods and cones of our spiritual eyes for better spiritual vision? I believe that we can and that we should.
Suppose at baptism in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that we are fitted with a set of goggles. These goggles will be adjusted by our growing faith, knowledge of the gospel and our increasing degree of righteousness when moved upon by the Holy Ghost. These spiritual goggles will help us to see more clearly and to aid us to do better in our lives. Faith can and will aid us to be more forgiving, more kind and to be a better person.
A few years ago, I had a horse come out from under me. I banged my head just ever so slightly on the ground, with a fraction of a second of blackness. I got to my feet and led the horse over to my trailer to step up onto the running board and then to step into the saddle.
My daughter came running to me to see if I was all right. She hadn't seen me go off the horse, but saw me getting up. I rode over to my round training corral and said, "Chris, where did these Shetland ponies come from?"
"Why, dad, you and Lynn brought them in from Linden last night!" was her reply. I then said, "Where is Linden?" From this, we knew that my bell had been rung.
Six weeks later, as I was doing a crown preparation for a woman in my Window Rock, Ariz., dental office, about half way through I lost my eye-hand coordination; my feet felt as if they weighed 50 pounds each, and I had a difficult time talking.
By rote memory and shear willpower, I finished the preparation and got the impression to have the lab manufacture the crown. I excused myself, gathered up my tools and drove the 125 miles home to Eagar, Ariz. The women in the Eagar office were shocked at the sight of me. They thought that I had had a stroke. They called my wife and told her that I was on my way home but that there was something wrong with me. My wife met me at the gate to help me into our home and to bed.
The next morning, after having had a bad night, I went to the emergency room at the hospital. They could find nothing wrong with me, except that I could hardly walk or talk. The CT scan computer was not working, so they couldn't get a picture of my head. On Tuesday of the next week, a CT scan was taken — I had a blood clot above my right ear.
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