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eindecker last won the day on December 17 2015

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  1. Guys, thanks for the responses. It helps to know there are a few still out there going this route. I was somewhat discouraged after the first two FSDO's laughed me off the phone. I'd heard the Memphis gig shutdown. I could be wrong. I'll check it out and also give Del Sol and Retz a look. Thanks for the point outs. MooseClub - I haven't heard any OKC-specific recommendations, but closest to the area that I know dudes have already mentioned is TCC. I believe Andrea Pharris is the one to call for scheduling. If the OKC FSDO is accepting the SFAR with no questions, I was going to try and also give them a ring. I'll see what they say.
  2. I might be one of the last guys still trying to use an expired ATP written and I may be out of luck, but I was wondering if any of you have had any recent successful experiences? I know several on here, such as Busted and Snuggie, who've clarified with their respective FSDO's that the SFAR pertains to both deployments and overseas assignments, but I've called two offices in my local area and both are pretty adamant about interpreting "Armed Forces' operation" as the former and not the latter. Does this just come down to me calling every FSDO until I get the answer I need? Or is it the DPE's that I need to convince? I figured they're attached to the local office, so I'd need to eventually persuade both, but I'm not the smartest FAA dude and wasn't positive on how the relationship worked. If I need to go to somewhere like Tulsa for the practical and then OKC because that's the only FSDO that'll accept the paperwork that's fine. I'm wondering - if I find a school/DPE willing to work with me elsewhere in the country, can I go to my local office and say here you go or will they give me the same rejection they did on the phone? I may be overthinking this. Anyhow, I tested Jul '14, PCS'd overseas Nov '14 and I'm just now moving back. Life kinda got in the way and I was never able to get stateside and take the practical <2016, but now that I'm here I thought I'd give it a shot, despite the odds. Any recommendations or recent data points are appreciated. Thanks.
  3. With Ping Hymas' business and all this talk about RE, has anyone mentioned BiggerPockets? Many of you may be in the know, but for those who aren't, it's a huge resource. I've met some good people and learned a ton from all of the information that's available on their site. I'm a huge fan of Vanguard, the Boglehead's and their philosophy, but like some have said, RE offers its unique advantages and for those who are interested, I'd recommend hitting up BP.
  4. On a semi-unrelated note... I'm about halfway done with completing my masters. It's a distance learning program, however there are some on-campus requirements that I'm trying to figure out how to fulfill. The first is a 3-week January intersession term and the second is a 7-week summer seminar. My question is - has anyone been able to get PTDY or a leave of absence for something like this without having to take ordinary leave? I skimmed AFI 36-3003 and AFI-36-2649. In the first reg and in table 4.5, nothing seemed to match my situation and with the second - is the AFELA program even still a thing? Some places say it's been suspended others have not. I have also read through the Masters Information and Permissive TDY threads without finding much. Is there really nothing or am I not looking in the right places? If worst comes to worst I'm willing to use my leave. This school and its program is important enough to me, I just didn't want to use up 60+ days if I didn't have to. I realize the masters and taking this much time off for it is secondary to doing my primary job in the jet, but I just wanted to see if you guys knew anything or had any guidance as to how to get this done, before I tried to talk to leadership or the people at the education office.
  5. I think this just has to do with people's perceptions and human nature in general. People bag on what they don't know and for the most part, it's very easy to do. As an ROTC cadet, my commander was an ABM and I used to give him an ungodly amount of shit about how stupid I thought the AWACS and JSTARS were. It was all in good fun, but a part of me was serious. It was the last plane I wanted to fly. Fast forward 2 years and I put AWACS #1 on my dream sheet. I laugh at myself now, but looking back I didn't know what I didn't know, which was why I was more than happy to talk trash. I think it's the same for IPs as well as students, no matter where you are. At drop night I know exactly what 10percenttruth & Napoleon_Tanerite are talking about. When my slide came up, the room dropped a few decibels. Everyone was caught off guard that I was so pumped. I had the best group of dudes for a UPT class and they understood what I'd wanted, but my T38 buddies were definitely confused. One of my old T6 IPs, who'd missed all of it, even came up to me afterward and said he was sorry. He thought I deserved better. Of course, when I told him I'd wanted it, I got the uncanny feeling he didn't believe me. I think it boils down to understanding what other people do. When we were racking and stacking our choices, students and IPs alike made all the standard rounds about how ugly the plane looked or how I'd just be sittin' on my ass burnin' holes in the sky, but honestly, no one even knew anything about it, including me. The only person that had even ever flew an AWACS on the base was my student SQ/CC. I went and talked to him for a few hours about it and I was sold. I walked out, erased my whole paper and put the E3 at the top. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Yeah, it's old, there are the bad times when I think it's a piece of crap, but my favorite part of the day is when I'm walking to the bus. I look back and think, man I just hand-flew that big ol' b*tch from 15k' through all kinds of weather and shit. It's awesome. I get to fly the snot out of the jet, day after day. I love the 707. I think the dome is sexy AF. The mission is interesting. I'm stoked. I came from Columbus only a couple of years ago and I definitely had one of the best UPT experiences I think anyone could have, so there are still great things to say about the program. I have a good college friend who graduated from Sheppard though, a year ahead of me; he absolutely loves flying Eagles, but we've talked about how he thinks it was a big disservice to not expose students to other airframes. I don't want to speak for him, but he said it was fighters or nothing. If you thought about flying something else or wanted to explore other options, you ran the risk of being ostracized or thought of as a lesser pilot. I believe the issue often plays both sides of the table. The best experiences, with what little background I have, have always been with open-minded IPs, talking to as equally open-minded students. The IP sharing his background without judgement and the student willing to ignore his shit-talking bros and search out gray beards from any and all airframes. I'm not an IP, but as a stud, it's easier said than done, which is unfortunate. Hence, the scuttlebutts. I'm just a co and again, I don't know what I don't know. Maybe some day I'll see things differently, but these are my thoughts.
  6. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/us-military-tries-halt-brain-drain/413965/ This piece does reiterate much of what's already been said in the Military Times article, but as a young millennial, I identified more with Barno's discussion about the cultural and generational aspects of the issue than I did Jowers. Again, nothing really new, I just thought I'd share the read. It also sheds a little more light TnkrToad's history lesson.
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