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The phrase "aviate, navigate, communicate" describes the priorities of tasks for a pilot. It is applicable to a wide variety of situations, including military scenarios and emergencies.

Who first introduced this phrase, and when did it first appear in the aviation community?

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I don't know the genesis of the phrase, but I heard several WWII era military pilots interleave it with stories of their sorties, and of the debriefs for those sorties. Based upon that, I would say that the expression dates back to at least the early-1940's.

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