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When an airplane begins to show signs of trouble, it is taken off the field and put in condition. This is the only way to keep a plane in commission. When the flier shows the first signs of staleness, of nervous exhaustion, or of digestive disturbance he must be " overhauled " by a medical expert. That distinctly American product the Flight Surgeon bears the same relation to the flier that the mechanical expert bears to the airplane. The airplane is in need of frequent overhauling ; the flier even more.
There w^as enormous the Aviation Services of our Allies have come to realize that the advice of their medical officers was avoidable wastage. Little little sound; the mental and physical requirements for entering the Air Service were raised, with an inunediate saving of an unlimited amount of money and personnel. This is the great lesson we have learned from the bitter experience of our Allies. The popular idea that a flier nuist be a " superman " is utterly absurd. " Flying itself is now just as prosaic and commonplace as riding in a motor car, and not more dangerous.
The engine may fail through lack of care, but the pilot A brings the machine safely back to the airdrome. carelessly inspected wire may snap in the air, but nothing serious results. When the pilot breaks, even momentarily, nothing is left to direct the flight, and the plane and engine, no matter how well they have been cared and are lost. The mechanic who looks after the troubles of the engine must be an expert. Work like this is not for the mediocre. No less an expert must be that man who supervises the condition of the pilot.