Dilbert Dunker

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Dilbert Dunker in Naval Air Station Whidbey Island now replaced by a newer system for egress training

The Dilbert Dunker is a device for training pilots on how to correctly escape a submerged plane.

It was invented by Wilfred Kaneb, a nautical engineer, during World War II.

The device was featured in the 1982 film, An Officer and a Gentleman, starring Richard Gere and Debra Winger.

The word Dilbert is not listed in the dictionary although the term is used in the United States Navy to define a person who is slow witted and incapable of getting things done correctly {see Dilbert the Pilot, a World War II-era cartoon character who is a bumbling navy pilot}. It is combined with "dunker" because a mockup cockpit (SNJ in the 40's and 50's) is sent down a 45 degree rail from a high stand at the deep end of the training pool, and at the end of the run under water it flips inverted to simulate a water ditching. The preflight student must detach the communication wire from the helmet, release the seat and shoulder harness, dive still deeper and swim away from the "aircraft" at a 45 degree angle to the surface for the purpose of assuming that the water around an actual situation has burning fuel on the water's surface.