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I guess we've all seen Air Force pilots look up just before taxi for takeoff and look at their fist to see if their thumb is sticking straight up.

The crew chief on the ground then agrees and confirms that it is there, salutes and the Air Force pilot then takes off. Not until I talked to an Air Force flight surgeon did I ever know the true reason for this time tested tradition. This is the last link in the Air Force safety net to confirm just prior to takeoff that the pilot does not have both thumbs up his ass.

Submitted by: J. Ward

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