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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/17/2020 in all areas

  1. 15 points
    As I think back, it seems like Kage has always been setting the example. All he ever wanted to be is a fighter pilot. We both put our names up for ENJJPT. I didn’t make the cut, and he was an alternate, even though he had a strong package (sts). I remember I was kinda bummed, but it didn’t seem to phase him. He was already focused on the next thing with a smile on his face. In UPT he was a few classes ahead, and every time I saw him I would bother him with questions. Didn’t matter what was going on, he would take the time to talk with me. I used his instrument gouge in T-6s where he effectively summarized the entire 217 into an easy-to-study format. It must’ve taken him forever to write. He was the same way in 38s, never too busy to give me advice. Truthfully, I looked up to him as a pilot. He was a natural talent, worked his ass off, and knew his stuff cold. His passing has made me think about the example that I have set for others, and whether I would be so lucky to be remembered the same way. We lost a good one. A toast 🥃
  2. 5 points
    My .02 cents as a former T-38 and A/OA-10 IP. If you are interested in working hard and improving, your IPs are interested in working as hard or harder for your improvement. If you don't care or give up, they will care for a little while then they will give up. So, stay in the fight and keep busting your butt, asking questions, asking for help. I was always impressed by the hard working students that didn't quit so I didn't quit them. What happened yesterday or 6.9 seconds ago is history. Easier to say than execute but don't let past mistakes create future mistakes. You have a jet to fly NOW and a mission to complete. You can discuss errors/corrections in the debrief. Never walk away from a debrief without a thorough understanding of what went wrong and how to fix it AND, as importantly, what went right to reinforce that knowledge/skill set.
  3. 4 points
    Kage was a classmate of mine and we went through pilot training together. He was one of the most genuine and happy dudes I've ever met, and he loved flying airplanes. Anyone who knows him would say he is someone they aspired to be like and he will be sorely missed. Here's a toast...
  4. 2 points
    Last one I’ll share. There are more, but I’ll leave it at these: So, I guess sleeping through the night is a thing of the past now. There are too many emotions, too many memories, too much pain to sleep. Didn’t see that last part coming. I mean, I’ve lost friends in combat to death’s heartless and seemingly arbitrary embrace. Those deaths left me numb and clinging to the denial stage of grief. But Kage. Not with Kage. I LONG for numbness. Instead, it’s a serrated knife to the gut. Physical pain that coils me up and chokes my throat and it’s only Sara’s arms around my shoulders that bring me will to even reopen my eyes. I don’t know how his wife, Hannah, is remaining so elegantly composed. God’s grace I guess, what else could it be. I have to admit something. And forgive me for doing it, but there is a phrase that is appearing in newsfeeds and broadcasts that angers me deeply. “He died on a routine training flight...” Routine? ROUTINE? ROUTINE?!!! How dare you. I know there are strategic implications in all this. I’m no neophyte. I was just in Europe a couple months ago for NATO exercises. Got it, things with Russia are tricky. Calling it routine really alleviates some of the baseless conspiracy theories. But how about this, let’s call it a “training flight.” Done. Kaput. Fini. KAGE was the consummate aviator. He had his private pilots license within months of his drivers license. He earned his spot on USAFA’s flying team, went to Chile to serve God for 2 years, then came back and earned a spot on the flying team again. He was top stick of his basic flight training class. Top stick in fighter training and he flew as a recreational pilot on the side in weather conditions that would have me shaking in my boots. He packed more takeoffs and landings and aerobatic maneuvers into his short career than I have in more than a decade. Nothing KAGE ever did was routine. He was articulate, precise, deliberate, and razor sharp in everything he did and I have no doubt he did not see his last flight as routine. He was passionately and tenaciously honing his skills to be the absolute best weapon in America’s Arsenal. While he and I were both separate from our wives, before he died, he called me and we had a nice long brother chat. We made fun of politicians, laughed about mutual friends, talked about my kids and my dog, shared ideas about how to have a long distance video date with his wife. Then he said something I’ll never forget. “You know Chaz, every time I strap into that cockpit I think, ‘this could be it. This could be my last flight.’ I am pushing the envelope like I never have before and I’m flying with some of the greatest pilots I’ve ever seen. You know what, if I do go down in some big ball of flame, I don’t know, it’s kinda copacetic. I’ve done about everything on my bucket list, even found Hannah.” I laughed and brushed it off, said he was gonna be awesome as always. But I hung up feeling worried about my kid bro. I knew he was giving all he had and that he cared immeasurably about not letting anyone down. I read this comment at the bottom of a news article. It speaks to me. “My brother is a commercial airline pilot (Jet Blue). Those flights are essentially 99% routine, slightly less predictable than that but nevertheless, it is safer than any other form of travel, statistically. Fighter pilots are not comparable to that really at all. Although their training is something that most people cannot imagine without going through it, they are test pilots on every flight. They do limit the unpredictable, but at those speeds, dynamics, environments, unknown variables that are trained for even without any warning when they occur, it's unbelievably dangerous...It's honestly a new reaction, and experience not-had-yet, every minute. It's danger level is basically infinity. My father was an aerospace engineer at GD for 35 years. F-16, F-111, Atlas. Those pilots have 4 years college before they fly a fighter (generally speaking). They're the best of the best. Razor sharp. Crashes aren't accidents. My dad would say "There's no such thing as problems; only unresolved details." I don't know what unresolved details were involved here, but I do know that pilot couldn't fly that craft another foot before ejecting. And likely the last thing he thought was "What can I do to keep everyone safe before myself?" Heroes defined.” I watch the sunset then, hours later, I watch the sunrise. Then I come out of my room and find my boys laying on the ground staring at a picture of their beloved uncle KAGE, their Eagle driving fighter pilot. Their little shoulders tremble as they weep. Nope. There was absolutely, positively, no way my brother’s death was “routine.”
  5. 2 points
    You’re clearly humble, so keep that up. Don’t overthink your problem. You said you were off altitude. Problems feel massive in UPT, but try not to overthink it. Small problem, small fix. I oversped the flaps once and automatically hooked. Spent the next day in the fake sim (CPT?) talking myself through touch and goes. Made myself a head case and hooked a few rides in a row. Also, take time every week to get as far away from UPT as you can and just relax, whatever that looks like for you. Run, ride, turn wrenches, whatever. Get plenty of rest every night. Despite how you probably feel, most people struggle at some point in UPT, with something. Keep your head down, your chin up, and be a good dude with a great attitude and you’ll be fine.
  6. 2 points
    I'll add this too. Don't be afraid to speak up and ask questions, even seemingly stupid ones. For some reason a lot of people in UPT, myself included, get weird there. We forget it's supposed to be a training environment and focus more on the competitive aspects. Then we get this weird idea that we don't want the IP to know that we aren't sure of something or we might be making a mistake so we just stay silent about it and hope it goes away or works itself out. If that's you dude, speak up. You might get lambasted once or twice for weak GK but often you will find the concepts you struggle with, or the things you have difficulty retaining, so did many others. Even something simple like an ops limit, speak up. Maybe that IP also struggled memorizing that number and he will tell you a stupid limric or story that will make you laugh, but guess what, you'll never forget it again . Furthermore, better to nip those lose ends in the bud when they expose themselves to you early, than to let them build until the end of a block or a check ride. If you get to the end of a phase and still have basic questions you are never going to catch up. Ask questions early and often. People have way more patience for stupid questions with a week 3-4 trainee than with a week 20-21 trainee. I dunno. Maybe that's common sense but for me it took like 6 years in my career to figure that out and I looked like an ass every flying training program i went through.
  7. 2 points
    https://mobile.twitter.com/48FighterWing/status/1272828085285593088 Pilot identified. Kage taught my 9 year old’s Sunday school class while he was a student. Such a wonderful person. Always smiling and always happy. Lost too soon.
  8. 1 point
    I ended up selling my preferred stock a few weeks after our previous discussion in June 2019 so I haven't paid as close attention over the last year. I would say there have been some concrete steps made in moving forward with the plan to get out of conservatorship. They have reserves against foreclosures right now and I don't really see it getting bad enough to cause a big problem for them. I'm more concerned about retail backed properties and some office values than I am residential mortgages. My biggest concern with FNMA/FMCC right now is the election. If Trump wins you probably get them released to be public companies again under his second term. If Biden wins I don't know that this gets done before Jan 2021.
  9. 1 point
    More words from his army brother: Eagle Driver. Fighter Pilot. Airman. Warrior. There were many titles Kage sought after and achieved. But a none-too-hidden secret was his status as both favorite son amongst the siblings and favorite uncle among extended family. Honestly, none of us minded. We sorta had to accept that his status as favorite was well-deserved. A couple years ago my sister named her baby son, “Kage.” I just shrugged and was like, makes sense. He was just so doggone good to everyone around him. One second he would be twirling around with a toddler and telling silly jokes, and the next he would be—literally—discussing Astro-physics with adults (my Dad, not me, obviously). In these pics you see Kage in his element, even flying a mission with my other Air Force brother, Jacob, as he refueled Kage’s F15 on a sortie. Kage was just a magnanimous, thoughtful, yet lethally capable fighter. He did everything 110%, he would love you with all his heart and might and he poured passion into every endeavor. God has a plan for all of us. But, as far as I’m concerned, He took this one too soon.
  10. 1 point
    I think it's a leap to say you're not able to defend yourself. There's a pretty distinct line between being armed and prepared, and being a bunch of cosplay Meal Team 6 / Y'all Qaeda wannabes like the ones that ended up shooting a protester in Albuquerque the other night. Obviously being the former is a good thing, but roving packs of morons with weapons, legal or otherwise, is usually not a predictor of a good outcome. Whether or not you're protesting or protesting the protesting, or any derivative in between.
  11. 1 point
    This has quickly become one of the most useful threads in this forum. So much wisdom here. Should be required reading for new studs. Except the AOB/VSI thing.
  12. 1 point
    Relax. Had plenty of students go on CAP and plenty of students got off of CAP. Some of the best students I ever had went on CAP, people have bad days, it happens. One of my best students had a few bad days and ended up on CAP, and because he was dwelling on it so much he kept messing up and performing poorly. Eventually I sat him down, told him to chill out, go home and be with his family and to not even think about the T-6 or open a book that night, basically just go relax and have fun. Next day the kid came back and flew an amazing sortie. The key is not to dwell on it. The more you dwell on it and focus on trying to be perfect the worse your performance will be. Take the lesson, learn from it and move on. More people than you will ever know have been on CAP, whether in UPT, or IFF, or B-Course. Good luck and don't get down on yourself, you'll survive.
  13. 1 point
    It's been 16 years since the Republican nominee won the popular vote in the general election. But something the electoral college purists never concede is that the Permanent Apportionment Act capped house seats and thus electoral college votes, effectively diluting the power of a vote in a populated state. If they were truly purists about the electoral college, they would demand electoral college representation in line with actual population distribution, versus a representation artificially cuffed by a 90 year old law.
  14. 1 point
    Sure...here you go. I was actually in SoCal. Woolsey Fire on 11/11/18 in the West Hills area and Fox Tanker Base in Lancaster. Screen shots are from local CBS news chopper in LA. The shadow makes for an interesting image.
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