Aero Phys day 7. Final day of aerospace physiology and i'm guessing the easiest day of training?? Just a guess! We had several classes on crew resource management (CRM) and talked all about communication and decision making and stuff like that. They put some funny video clips in the briefings so that made it bearable.
We start learning about the aircraft tomorrow and I can't wait! I'm still excited to have the chance to live my dream and there really is no other place i'd rather be than here, in pilot training!
Aero Phys Day 6. Did the altitude chamber today. That was pretty fun...it had been about 8 years since I had done it and it was still pretty cool. That took up the whole morning then one of the aero phys guys grilled burgers and hot dogs for us for lunch; good times! After lunch we came back to practice egressing from the aircraft/study for the test for a couple hours. I passed the test! Again, we had no failures. 2 tests down and 6 to go or something like that.
We have tomorrow off for Veteran's Day...Let me say thank you to those who have served in the past and those who are serving in our military today. Thank you all for your service!
Aero Phys Day 5. Had a couple classes on acceleration, stress, and the anti G strain maneuver (AGSM). We all got to look retarded in front of the class doing the AGSM, but it's pretty important, so it's cool to look like an idiot! After lunch we did the Barany Chair - or as some know it, the spin and puke. Also had a class on night vision and then we did the FACT test. I thought I was going to have a really hard time with it because my upper body strength is not great, but I passed it...I had a hard time with one or two of the exercises, but I pushed through it. We only had a few people not pass it. Getting through that makes for a good weekend!
Aero Phys Day 4. We did parachute landing fall (PLF) stuff all morning and, while a lot of fun, my knees are killing me! After lunch we had a couple classes on spacial disorientation and noise and vibration. Pretty good day overall. We still don't know if we passed boldface/ops limits or not.
Aero Phys Day 3. More classes on physiology and one on the parachute...pretty uneventful. We had our boldface/ops limits quiz today. We were sitting in the classroom waiting on our flight commander to get there and the lights flicker and then go out. Our flight commander came in and we went outside to do our boldface/ops limits. We didn't get done until about 6:15 or so, so he didn't get to grade them on the spot like he did last week. Hopefully everyone passed!
Day 2 of Aero Phys. More classes on life support stuff. Also got to go into the altitude chamber to test mask functions; we'll go "up to altitude" in a couple days, pretty sweet. We also did egress training. Ended the day with a test: everyone passed so that was good. One down, 7 to go or something like that...taking it one at a time.
Blues tomorrow and boldface/ops limits. Hopefully everyone will pass...we'll see!
Day 1 of Aerospace Physiology...sweet. Not too much done today; although, we do get to wear flight suits for most of this, so that's a big plus. We did a bunch of Aero Phys inprocessing and got more briefs from various people (Health and Wellness Center and various instructors). Had some classes over local area survival and learned basic SABC (self aid buddy care), what plants you can and cannot eat, how to protect yourself in a survival situation and signaling. We went out to practice with the signal flares and, to be honest, I was really disappointed. When I did this stuff for the Marines, we got to set off every kind of flare we had...here, we set off one and used the signaling mirror. I was disappointed in the apparent lack of training, but there isn't much I can do about it; plus, I was happy to get out of the classroom, even if only for a little bit.
Tomorrow is egress training! I still tell myself every day how lucky I am to be in the position that I'm in and doing what I've dreamt about for years.
Went to the airshow this weekend...AWESOME! If any pilots reading this were there, it was amazing. Saw lots of cool aircraft (just like most airshows) and got to look around some of them...pretty sweet. I'm not going to say much about it, except that it was probably one of the better airshows that I've been to. I thought the F-22/F-16/F-15/P-51 show was one of the highlights in my opinion: I had never seen that in person and it was great! The Blue Angels were there and, as was mentioned in one of the threads, only 5 jets flying: 3 in the main formation and 2 solos. I've seen them many times and they never cease to impress.
Good weekend, Aerospace Physiology is this week, should be good times.
Day 3 was flight physicals. We showed up at 7 and I was out of there before noon. Not too shabby. I thought it was much "easier" than the one at Brooks: not quite as intensive and it seemed like it was just a diagnostic to make sure that nothing had changed since the initial flying class I. Looking forward to the weekend; going to go to the airshow up in San Antonio, should be a good time!
Day 1 and 2 were pretty tame compared to what I imagine is coming our way in the not too distant future. Both days were filled with briefings by just about every agency on base: from Equal Opportunity, to Services, to the Mental Health Clinic and how to handle stress, etc. Not too bad overall. We got issued our pubs today...I'm no tree hugger, but several trees died just to make one set of pubs for one person, not to mention a whole class and 15 classes a year; i'm really ok with it. I had to go get binders for it all and now I get to figure out how to group them together. Then we get to incorporate all the changes into them...oh what a joy that is! We have flight physicals tomorrow, and from what I hear, it will be a short day...we'll see!
Anyway, i'm excited to be in pilot training and I keep telling myself, dude, you're in pilot training! What an awesome opportunity and experience!
Just got back from my cross country. We only get one while we're in T-1's and more than likely it will just be a one-nighter during the week. Some people get to do them over a weekend, by not many. The other student I was with and I went to Omaha then spent the night in Denver. On the way back, we stopped in Rapid City then came home. It was cool getting out of the local area and doing mission planning on the road.
I'm now finished with the first half of the Nav phase of training. I, as well as most of my class, am WAY ahead of schedule because the weather has been mostly good and our flights have been going as planned. At this rate, pretty much everyone should be Nav-check complete well before Christmas, which is cool. Supposedly only our flights through the Nav check count towards our class standing, so it will take a load off of us for the Christmas break if we're done before then.
However, we've also been told that some people have been slacking off after their Nav check and have actually been kicked out of pilot training because of it! I guess the last 3 people to be dropped out of T-1's have made it all the way to the Mission Fam phase! Therefore, I'm definitely going to be staying in the books even after I'm Nav-check complete.
Back to it!
I have recently added two new Wiki sections to go along with the TDY Gouge Wiki.
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One week closer to starting, and i'm pretty much ready to go (I hope). I've been completing checklists, getting all my flight gear and all that good stuff. Trying to get cable set up...what a pain in the ass. I decided to go with Time Warner (whom i've heard is not so good in Texas) and the tech who came out to install the stuff was from some other company that Time Warner contracted out...he didn't have a clue what was going on. It's like they gave him a box and said install this at this address, and no questions were asked. Well, I ordered an HD DVR and he came out with a regular DVR; he said they didn't have any of the HD ones, whatever. I went with regular cable and when the guy comes back out a few days later to install the stuff, the box that he brings in says "HDDVR" on the front...WTF!! I now hate Time Warner.
In other news, a buddy of mine in my class just got bumped for something that I consider stupid. The Air Force doesn't agree with me, and I understand where they are coming from, but i'm still bummed (and so is he). I have a mask fitting on monday, and then it's down to the wire! I'm still excited to be in pilot training (almost)!
I checked in today and it turned out to be pretty uneventful. Pretty much your typical base inprocessing stuff. I got a couple lengthy checklists that I need to complete by next week, but that should be easy. I also got a house on base - those who have been here know - the place we got was, well, less than exceptional. I have a queen size bed and it barely fits in my bedroom. They told me I have a floorplan with one of the most square feet, but it's all in the kitchen...the living room and all 3 bedrooms are tiny. Oh well, i'll get used to it; i'll be too busy most of the time to notice anyway.
I'm still pretty excited to get started!
Had three rides in the "Nav" phase of training now. Good times! Pretty much every ride in the Nav block is an Out and Back, so now I've had lunch in Lubbock and Ft. Worth with the T-1. I'm planning on going to Abilene on Tuesday 'cuz I hear there's a fantastic steak place open in the evenings called the Beehive. We'll see!
The flights are usually two hours out then 2 hours back. You fly someplace about 30 min away, do a bunch of approaches, then continue on to your "outbase" another 30-45 minutes away, do another approach or two, then land and get lunch. One student takes the trip out, then the other student takes the trip back, unless only one student, then you get both legs.
Still having fun! (when flying)
Just a little update for those still reading this. I made it through ASBC and got back home to be on casual for about a month before heading down to Laughlin this weekend. I'm nervous and excited all at the same...I finally get a shot at doing something I've wanted to do since I was little. I'll get there this weekend and report next week, so I'll have something else to put on here then. Wish me luck that none of my crap gets broken/stolen/etc on the way down there!
Had a great flight, only 4 downgrades, and I hook for ground stuff!! I'm a dummy, it was my own stupid fault, but I'm not going into specifics. I just need a swift kick to the jimmy. All my flights have been great up to now, and hopefully that will continue. It just sucks that I get the hook on a check ride! Oh well, guess I have to take my lumps and move on. Ground-88 tomorrow.
The days are still the same. Show at 0530, start briefing between 0600 and 0700, takeoff between 0800 and 0900, fly for 3.2 hours or so, spend an hour debriefing, then grab lunch and study until 1730. Airshow at Vance this weekend, I'll be selling burgers or something on Saturday morning, come say hi!
I'm up to 9 flights now, still doing good. I need 4 more flights before my first checkride, the "Transition Check". I went to Amarillo today to do touch-and-goes. Nice, place! LONG runway, but lot's of birds. Which reminds me, I hit a bird a couple flights back, and didn't even know it! We got on the ground and did a walk-around after the flight, and had a big bloody smear across the right of the nose! It didn't do any damage (to us anyway) so it was no big deal.
These 0530 show times every day are getting REALLY old though. We're usually done flying by 1230 or so, but then have to sit around "studying" until 1730. There's only so many hours a day you can spend staring at the Dash-1 before you you just want to stab yourself in the eye! Oh well, I keep telling myself I'm "living the dream". The flying is still a blast, it's the rest of the stuff that's getting old. I guess there's still no place I'd rather be though!
Had my fifth ride today, went really well. I needed to do a "pattern only" flight, so this was it. I got like 10 landings in. The aircraft control is pretty much there, and my SA is definitely bigger than most with my prior Nav time, but it's also definitely not where it needs to be. I'm starting to get to the point where I don't have to worry as much about my aircraft control and can start concentrating more on expanding my SA bubble. I missed some stuff today, but it was good training.
Last week we were in at 0730 or so because it was a night week, but now we're back to 0530. It's rough getting back to the go-to-bed-early-so-you're-not-dead-the-next-day routine.
We also had our Enroute Nav academics test last Friday, supposedly the hardest class of them all. Everybody passed though. We're doing Systems 6 now, which is all about the weather radar, autopilot, etc... It's not bad, mostly CAI's, which I like.
Back to it!
Flying is going well, but I've only had two flights so far. My third will be tomorrow. I'm actually really surprised at how much better I did on my second flight than I did the first. I think it was just not flying for a month that did it. I was by no means perfect, and made some mistakes, but did some of the landings, maneuvers, etc... really well too. I'm not the only one in my class to make these comments either.
The days are long, again. Last week we were in at 0500 every day and usually didn't leave until 1700. Lot's of studying, stand-ups, and shotgun questions. They start you out fairly easy, though, plus my class got to see what the senior class was being asked, so we pretty much know what's coming. The guys who were Navy trained down in Pensacola are having a bit of a rougher time than those of us who went through T-6's too. It almost makes me glad I didn't go through Pensacola myself! It's not the flying itself they're having problems with, it's learning all the Airforce publications, how to do stand-ups, what kinds of questions will be asked on the tests, etc...
This weeks work hours are bit nicer because it's a "night week" for the base, meaning all the T-6/T-38/T-1 guys who need night flying time can get it in, and it happens once every three weeks. We're not doing night flights yet, but we don't have to come in until 0700, which is nice. Bad part is we don't leave until 1900. Oh well.
Had my dollar ride today... very cool! The plane flies a bit easier than the sim, but not by much. It was also nice to see how they do it "on the flight-line" vs. in the sim (checklists, etc...). We took off, went to a MOA for about 50 minutes, then went to McConnell AFB to do touch-and-goes. It's pretty nice to be up at 15,000 feet doing 300 indicated! Seriously cuts down on the drone time between places. We flew for a total of about 3.5 hours, split between two students, which I guess is about normal. My next flight will probably be Wednesday, along with more academics... ugghh!
Bad thing is we're back on 12 hour days and formal release. We'll probably be in at 0500 every day this week. Oh well, it's 2030 and I'm going to bed!
Sorry I haven't posted for a bit, but academics is kinda boring to talk about unless your actually here. The stuff I'm learning about the plane, i.e. what all the switches do, how the electrical system works, etc... is pretty cool for me, but I'm sure you would all fall asleep if I started talking about how the DPU interfaces with the EFIS and the IAPS and is controlled by the DCP.
The days are still fairly easy. I got ahead on my CAI's and so got to sleep in until 1130 on Monday and was still done with everything by 1245. I'm doing lot's of studying of the checklists with my buddies, and going to the gym a bunch, but that's about it.
The sim missions are cooler now, though. Had my second "real" sim today. They take 3 hours a piece, and that's not counting the 1 hour and 15 minute brief and 1 hour de-brief! You're paired up with another student, and so spend the first half of the sim as the pilot or co-pilot, then you swap and do it all over again. The T-1 flies like a pig!
We have our third test tomorrow, this one over the avionics. I don't know if it's just because I've already seen stuff that's similar or what, but these tests seem a lot easier than the ones for T-6's. It's not just me, either: out of 13 people each taking TWO 27 question tests, we've had a grand total of 5 questions missed! Maybe we just finally learned how to study, who knows?
The more academics I do it seems this is a pretty cool plane! A lot more power than the T-6, we're supposed to pull up to 15 degrees nose-up on take-off, and climb at 220 knots! The T-6 was 10 degrees nose-up and 160 kts to compare.
There's a ton more to learn about this plane than there was with the T-6 though, which I guess is to be expected. There's a crap-load of stuff in the checklists you have to memorize too. The T-6 checklist said "Trim - CHECKED" and you just ran the elevator, rudder, and roll trim to see if it worked. The T-1 checklist says "Trim - CHECKED" except you have to do a 5-minute multiple-step procedure involving all the normal, emergency, and disconnect trim switches, by both the pilot and co-pilot, with everyone, including the crew chief, having very specific responses. And it all has to be memorized! I've been told that once you get it down, it makes more sense and really only takes about a minute, but it's fairly intimidating right now. And there's a bunch of checklist items like this! Oh well.
The days are still short, in at 0900, done by 1300 unless you're doing a sim. In that case you might be in at 0600 or not done until 2000. We haven't had any of those yet though.
We have to do a PFT before our dollar ride though, so I've been spending a bunch of time in the gym getting my but back in shape. Feels good... when it doesn't hurt like hell!