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Description de l’éditeur
Many years ago when I was a young man--barely twenty-four years old--in flight training with the United States Navy, I had a close encounter with death while flying a jet trainer. Anyone familiar with naval aviation knows such an experience is far from unique. Nevertheless, for reasons I cannot fully explain, this particular flight has seldom been long out of my mind in the forty-five years since it took place. An academic for the past thirty-six years at a number of different universities and in three different disciplines, I currently teach aspiring professional pilots at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University about aerodynamics, aircraft performance, and upset recovery. Recently our College of Aviation faculty in Daytona Beach, Florida, received an unexpected e-mail from Kara Oehler at National Public Radio. Ms. Oehler is investigating the hypothesis that brain activity stimulated by intense flying situations might result in aviators undergoing "out-of-body" experiences. She wondered if anyone on our faculty--many of whom have logged thousands of hours flying high performance swept-wing airplanes--could comment on this idea from the perspective of a professional pilot.