Flying by the Seat Powell's Pants?
Flying with a Plan
To descend from 20,000 feet to 10,000 feet, a disciplined pilot follows a plan that allows for stabilizing changes in the timing:
Cut the power by enough to establish a rate of descent of about 1000 feet per minute.
Monitor the descent for nine minutes.
Depending on how things have gone, adjust the time for the gradual return to normal power, making sure that the throttles stop at the setting for level flight just as plane reaches the target altitude.
Flying by the Seat of Your Pants
What would someone who flies by feel–what pilots call “flying by the seat of your pants”–do?
Try a power cut.
Wait 10 to 20 seconds, then check the plane’s altitude.
If it is still too high, cut the power again.
Repeat until the plane gets to 10,000 feet.
The pilot with a plan makes stable adjustments to the timing. The plane levels off at the new target altitude. It doesn’t matter if it gets there a bit sooner or later.
The pilot flying by the seat-of-the-pants makes unstable adjustments to the throttles. The plane busts through 10,000 feet, descending at a rate of thousands of feet per minute. Hijinks ensue.
Who’s Flying the Fed?
Today, Jay Powell will show us what type of pilot he is.
By repeatedly raising interest rates, he has cut power many times.
There is no doubt that we are descending; the rate of inflation is unambiguously coming down.
But we are still too high.
Will Powell follow a stable plan and make adjustments to the timing? Or fly by the seat of his pants and yank back the throttle one more time?
The indications are not good. We’ll know within minutes.