Friday, February 18, 2005

Countdown Clock.

Some of you may have noticed the countdown added to the page. There are two of them actually. One that says "Estimated Time to V1" and the other says "Estimated Time to V2".

So what are V1 and V2?

In aviation terminology (pilot-speak), they refer to certain decision points during a airplane takeoff from the runway. They are calculated differently for different types of aircraft under different load and runway conditions.

V1 is takeoff decision speed. It is this critical airspeed at which the pilot must decide to make the "go / no-go" decision. V1 was formerly known as critical engine failure speed for a good reason - except in the case of catastrophic failure, the pilot is safer trying for a takeoff after V1. Aircraft manufacturers do not document airplane performance criteria when aborting after V1. A pilot who is still uncommitted beyond V1 risks running out of runway to either safely take off, or to safely abort the takeoff.

V2 is takeoff safety speed. V2 has to be reached when the aircraft is 35 feet above the ground, and must be maintained in the climb to 400 feet above ground where the pilot has more options. A pilot failing to maintain V2 risks having the aircraft outside of the operating limits. V2 is the absolute minimum speed during initial takeoff climb. Either the aircraft makes (and holds) V2, or it will very likely fall out of the sky.

Given that I am now comfortably back in Singapore, there is a very real risk of falling into complacency. I am an accomplished procrastinator, and I fear I may end up procrastinating on this migration issue. The danger is always that we get so busy dealing with life on a day-to-day basis that we put aside our long-term non-urgent goals.

Hence the desirability of a countdown timer. It helps to keep an eye on the decision horizon. Just like keeping this blog forces me to constantly think about the issue. An absence of blog entries translates directly to inattention to the issue at hand.

V1 is the critical date by which I must act on the "go / no-go" decision. Delaying beyond V1 is possible but not advisable because it will severely restrict my future options down the line. If I am not operating out of Australia by V1, I risk problems with travel out of Australia before I can qualify for a citizenship or a return resident visa. Delaying beyond V1 may find me stuck in an uncomfortable expired-visa situation later down the road.

V2 is the absolute deadline. It is the date of PR visa expiry. I must be physically present (and remain physically) in Australia by V2, or else I will not longer have the option available.


For all you programmer-types who would peek at the source script: Yes, I am well aware that the handling of the year, month and day calculation is imprecise. And that I did not handle the conditions for the leap year in 2008. And that I did not check for the rollover conditions when the counter expires, or to check that the client's system time was reasonable. And that the grammar is incorrect since I did not check the values for use of the singular versus plural terms accordingly.

However for my purposes, the approximation is good enough for most of the time. Just like in real life, I try to optimize for "good enough".
Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien. ("The Best is enemy of Good".)
- Francois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire)


Anonymous Dawn said...

hi there!

i envy u for being meticulous in ur planning/preparation. i'm still in that 'complacent' stage. sometimes the day to day routine leaves me no room to sit down and actually GET something done. i'm fighting the urge to be less practical in my decision but having grown up here, to just throw everything and follow my heart is not so easy. it's like a case of the heart says yes but the mind says "stop, let's do the math first, lets consider this, consider that". there's nothing quite wrong with that, it's just that i'm afraid too long of procrastination makes me lose sight of my initial goal.

gd luck with the decision!

February 18, 2005 8:43 AM  
Blogger Calamity Man said...

hey i've always had this v1 and v2 thing going on but have been calling them by some other names.

v1 and v2 sounds nice. almost like the bananas in pyjamas.

February 18, 2005 10:23 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Hi. Read your CNY posts and I so very agree with you. Used to love this season as a child, but not so anymore.

They used to say, blood is thicker than water, well not, it's more like


or, loosely and probably literally translated (I'm no good at this)... "Human relations are more diluted than water"...sigh

February 18, 2005 5:06 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Oh, I've taken the liberty to blogroll you. If you mind, do let me know and I'll remove it.

February 18, 2005 5:07 PM  
Blogger flyer said...

Very well said and put to use. I enjoy your site very much.

Once we hit V1, we go whatever happens! Engine failure, we will deal with it, whatever happens, we fly the airplane first. As in life, I was in a situation like yours. Fix the problem while we are flying. The rest does not matter except keeping the airplane in flight.

In these days of modern aviation especially extended range operations ERs with two engines. ( B777 )

Let's use the Pacific Ocean for example flying from LA to Tokyo, once you cross a certain point in the ocean half between LA and Tokyo, you have one engine failure. What do you do? You can't turn back as you do not have enough fuel to head back LA. You must carry on the flight and manage your other engine well and push on to Tokyo. We call that point " the point of no return ". We must fly the plane to its ultimate destination once we cross the point of no return.

March 28, 2005 10:21 PM  

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