Part 5 of 6

Published in the June 1976 Issue of Naval Aviation News
Author: Commander Rosario Rausa
Photographer Unknown

"I take care of the usual medical problems for all hands," says LCdr. Tim Peterson, "but I'm also looking for a change in mood and attitude, especially among the pilots, as the season progresses."

"They operate in a high stress environment: therefore there are more opportunities for friction or personality conflicts. However, these pilots are what I would call super-achievers. They possess a single-minded ability to concentrate on detail as far as flying is concerned. Also, the selection process eliminates those who would have difficulty working and getting along with team members over the long, arduous haul of training and the air-show season."

"These men are not prone to ego trips," adds the doctor. "They're not happy-go-lucky sorts, but they're not worriers. Nor are they inclined to 'live for the moment.' They're very skilled pros, adept at allowing each other privacy when appropriate. They have great mutual respect for each other, yet each can be fiercely independent. Each knows the need to break away from the group on occasion."

 During a rare picnic break at El Centro, the inevitable touch football game was in its full throes of competition when a howl rose up from a stack of players on the ground. "Get the Doc!" Someone yelled and, almost magically, the lanky flight surgeon emerged from a group near the barbecue grill.

 "As soon as I saw that ball fly through the air I knew I'd get some business today," said Peterson. Fortunately, the sailor sustained only a minor knee injury.

 All in a day's work.