When you’re an instructor in a corporation that trains people in null sec survival, people ask your opinion, you give them advice on how to do this or that. Lots of times they’re flying around and they get caught; you help them figure out what they could have done better. Nineteen times out of twenty, there really is something they could have done that would have prevented their loss. One in twenty, they really were in a “no win” situation. Recognizing the root cause in the 19 times is key to improving as a pilot.
But there’s a downside to teaching null survival: Instructors are expected to practice what they preach. So an OUCH instructor traveling in null is expected to be a crafty, elusive SOB.
We’re the road runners, everyone else are wily coyotes.
So here I am in null, flying an industrial full of rubber dog shit bound for home. I’m up on a safe, waiting for a 30 man cruiser gang to pass though. Someone asks in Teamspeak how far a system is from our base, and I immediately link the system to myself, load it as a destination and see that I’m 20 odd jumps from there.
Do it all the time. Don’t know why. Just a habit. Not a bad thing, right?
Some people sign off with ‘Fly Safe’. Others with ‘Fly Dangerous’. I like to tell people: ‘Don’t Fly Stupid’.
I jump into our home system and the last of the cruiser gang is across system, jumping out. I warp to the out gate on a tac. Wait a bit. Warp down on the gate and jump into the next system.
Local loads, there are 30+ people in here. I start cursing myself. I just flew stupid.
Let’s rewind a minute. You’re in an industrial full of stuff, bound for home, following a 30 ship cruiser gang. You jump into our home system, warp across it, and jump into the next system.
That’s right, I was in our home system, and I jumped out of it into a system with 30 hostiles in it.
Uh, if you were home, why didn’t you just dock up?
Because I’m stupid, that’s why.
Flying stupid is when you do something that you know is wrong, but you do it anyway. Whether you do it because you were distracted, tired, or just plain lazy is immaterial.
Once, one of my family members called me afk in the middle of a warp. When I came back, I had been podded. Can’t blame anyone but me. I could have said that I would be right there and taken the 2 minutes to get safe. I chose to walk away from my computer thinking I would be right back. I knew the risks.
A brand new player in a week old toon gets ganked flying a shuttle in high sec because he was moving 2 PLEX. His ignorance is not stupidity. If he didn’t know that he was a prime target for a gank, there is nothing he can do about it.
In OUCH, flying stupid is when you get good advice from someone who’s been down the path you’re heading down and when they tell you to take the next left, you just barrel straight down the road and end up in your clone bay.
So here I am, blindly following my destination and warping to the next yellow high-lighted gate when I was already at my final destination. Distracted and tired are just excuses. I’m Flying Stupid.
But I am lucky. There’s only 1 Stabber Fleet Issue on the gate. I hold cloak and hope that his friends don’t come back. I check D-Scan. Just the SFI. I wait for him to warp off.
He’s not going anywhere. He’s a hungry coyote and I’m a fat kid in a pork loin jacket.
It’s times like this that you have to ask yourself, what would Rixx Javix do?
I take a breath, let it out and align to station. My cloak drops, he’s burning for me, I’m locked, I’m pointed. I go to warp.
A cool head, a little preparation and some warp core stabs reduce flying stupid to just flying a little dumb.