I'm an old retired fart, but I had a great Air Force Experience a couple of weeks ago. A client of my wife found out that this couple had a kid who was all ate up about flying, flew flight sims for hours, but had never been in the cockpit of a real airplane.
So I volunteered to give the kid an incentive ride in my might Piper Warrior. It turned out he was a junior in college, majoring in mechanical engineering. He wanted to know all about the Air Force and wanted to hear my war stories. Of course I cleverly managed to never get shot at, but I shared some 'peace stories' with him while we stopped for a hundred dollar hamburger.
Anyway, my Warrior is based at Austin Bergstrom (KAUS), and we get a lot of military transient airplanes. As we were putting the Warrior back in the hanger a black T-38 showed up in the pattern and flew a couple of overheads and then landed.
As we started to walk back to the Signature terminal the Black 'BB' coded T-38 was parking right in front of us. My pax asked me if he could take a picture of this T-38.
Of course I knew that nobody would care if someone took a picture of a T-38, but I said 'Why don't we ask the pilots'?
So I walked over as they were climbing out of the cockpit, introduced us as 'once and future Air Force guys' and asked if we could take a picture of their jet. It was a looker I'll say that.
To make a long story short, the crew were two U-2 pilots. Of course they let us take all the pictures we wanted, but more important they asked my young friend what he wanted to do in the Air Force, and he told them he wanted to be a pilot. They spent about 15 minutes telling him about pilot training, suggesting the best paths to a commission for him, and in general talking up the fun of being in the Air Force.
I'm sure the guys were probably a bit tired, and in a hurry to get to Sixth Street, but to this young person they were heroes bordering on Living Gods.
I really appreciated the time they took and their enthusiasm for my young friends dreams.
It reminded me how cool it is that the Air Force sometimes would give you the keys to a jet plane and a gas card, and tell you bring back in one piece next Monday!