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About Yoda

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  1. Yoda

    It's Official, OCPs are Coming!

    If you ever see a red-haired captain in the OCPs with "spice" rank and name tapes you quickly realize which "spice" the thread is.
  2. Yoda

    It's Official, OCPs are Coming!

    While the extreme minority (for now), I have had leaders suggest precisely this with OCP 2-piece... More prevalent: we need to go see a GO/Ground COL therefore we must change out of these 2-piecers or don't wear the 2-piece unless you are on the flight schedule (good luck when someone drops or you need a maintenance test flight). While the "new shiny" will always get people (I remember when people rushed to buy UCP ACUs), if you offered the bag now you would probably see 90% of the Army pilots lining up for them. If the Air Force has a pilot crisis, then I don't know what the word is for the Army's situation. The difference is the Air Force has at least started making the control input while the Army is still in "everything's fine" mode. One of the complaints from the liberation front is that aviation has lost its identify via the bag and unit patches above the nametape. It might sound whiny, but it is definitely important to some. PS: When I have to change to go to the food court, it's civilian clothes. Preferably Affliction or TAPOUT brand.
  3. I'm reading it as an "opt-in" member being one that has opted in previously, separated, then automatically enrolled when they return.
  4. https://militarypay.defense.gov/Portals/3/Documents/Blended Retirement/Combined BRS Policy Document.pdf?ver=2018-09-19-094018-610 Your DIEMS (date of initial entry of military service) determines which plan you are in.
  5. It could be the straw that broke the camel's back or the DPE could be a tool. It'd be interesting to see what the actual disapproval notice (8060-5) says. https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/acs/media/private_airplane_acs.pdf There is nothing that says he should or should not know what the shimmy damper is, but there are some obtuse enough tasks that could be cited. So "what's this thing here?" "I don't know" "it's the shimmy damper--do you need to check it?" "I guess" could be a failure under PA.II.A.K3 depending on what side of bed you woke up on: since the POH may say that you must check the shimmy damper, just the nose strut and tire and therefore you do not know "which items must be inspected". It's conceivable that after stumbling through a "barely passed oral" and three flights with the OP the DPE would be a little testy if he felt the failures on the first three rides weren't given enough effort before the re-test and we are seeing a little projection here. But it's also conceivable that the brand new CFI doesn't know which DPEs are legit and sent him to a dud DPE. First sign would be if it's possible to schedule days out. The good DPEs I know of (ie reasonable price and reasonable on standards) are booked weeks out. Rule of DPEs: price/availability/fairness -- choose 2 or maybe less in this case. If I were in the same boat, I would find a well respected CFI to give me a mock ride from oral to flying to post flight. From there I would build my syllabus of self-study, ground instruction, and flight instruction to ace a ride with probably a different DPE. Then I would work toward an instrument rating and crush the practical test for that on the first go.
  6. Yoda

    Upcoming Boards

    Address the letter to Lieutenant Colonel <Jones>. But then it'd be Dear Colonel <Jones>. Abbreviated it is officially Lt Col for Air Force officers and LtCol for Marine Corps officers. The great thing about the military is you will no longer worry about what to do in any situation, because someone has already written a manual or regulation telling you how or what to do. In this case it's AFH 33-337 The Tongue and Quill. The other great part of the military is that 95% of the people don't read or don't care about the manuals so you are good to go. "A serious problem in planning against American doctrine is that the Americans do not read their manuals, nor do they feel any obligation to follow their doctrine." -unnamed Russian/German Officer from World War II
  7. Yoda

    It's Official, OCPs are Coming!

    ACU = Army Combat Uniform = Normal uniform of Soldiers in the Army, available in Multi-Cam, OCP and UCP A2CU = Army Aircrew Combat Uniform = Pilot Two Piece that shows off how fat your are or are not. When you ditch the Velcro straps because they don't reach you are ready for CW4+ or O5+. Currently available in UCP and Multi-Cam -- OCP coming to a warehouse near you soon. OCP = Operational Combat Pattern (aka Scorpion W2, close to Multi-Cam but with slightly different pattern - unless they are laying flat next to each other it is hard to tell) UCP = Universal Camouflage Pattern -- designed to universally stand out in all environments. It does actually work fairly well in the IR spectrum, but in a woodland environment it is useless. The sad part about the A2CU in Army circles is that we ditched our bag in order to have them. Reasoning: we will look more like the guys we live to support. End result from careerist: "A2CUs are not authorized at <insert event>, wear your ACUs instead so we blend in". Of course now they are considering bringing back said bags and the morale patches that were also a casualty along the way -- in order to solve morale problems/pilot attrition. Or maybe that is just the pipe dream. Edit to add: but the FREE (fire resistant environmental ensemble) jacket is probably the best thing since the poncho liner that the Army gave me. I still worry how leaky the two piece is in a fire vs the bag or if they had invested in making something more functional vs fashionable.
  8. Yoda

    T-6s Grounded; More OBOGS Issues

    Maybe it's just my home setup and software settings, but I have one of the higher resolution VR setups (Samsung Odyssey), but text on an FMS/GPS is unreadable due to not enough resolution unless it is in the "sweet spot" and I "lean in" a bit. For everything outside the cockpit it is awesome and way better than the bubble projectors outside a physical cockpit for immersion and perspective. Does the AF setup work better? If not then it might not be as good of a procedure trainer as hoped as even reading switch labels can be a chore. Still not sure what the long term impact of 100s of hours of that light being blasted right in my eye would be either, that and something weird with the focusing makes my eyes feel weird for about 10 minutes after taking the contraption off. I have the PD set to the same value measured on my last 5 flight physicals and all that...
  9. Yoda


    Those are good fields that can help boost your civilian career as well. I am guessing you are reserve or guard based on talking about having to balance two careers? After having served in multiple MOSs (AFCS) in the Army, my two cents are as follows: Nearly everyone in every other AFCS wants to be a pilot. No pilot I know wants to be something else. Yes becoming a pilot has some harder schools, and yes people fail out. That is a plus: there is at least a minimum bar to entry that doesn't truly exist in other AFSCs as the graduation rates for their schooling are near 100%. You have the potential to work with a lot of incompetent people that get filtered out in UPT and follow on training. Not to say I haven't run into pilot types that need to find new lines of work, but overall it's better. There are still top 10% officers in other AFCSs, it's just the bottom n% that gets culled in pilots. I've found Guard/Reserve pilots as a whole to take their jobs more seriously than other AFCSs. If it comes time to do the job for real, I want to do it with people who know what they are doing. Again, broad generalizations and I am sure there are plenty of clerks in the Guard/Reserve that really know their job, love it, and do a great job. The downside is that means you need to take your job seriously, and you will have to do more than a weekend a month / two weeks a year at your base. In addition, you will need to do studying even when not at your base. On failing out: my experience in Army flight training and what I have read about UPT. If you dedicate yourself to studying and apply yourself during training -- it's pretty hard to fail out if you are a solid person. Some people's minds aren't wired right to be a pilot, but these are fringe cases. Most of the issues I have seen are people that don't know what they need to know, or don't know it well enough. Their flight busts are usually based on their lack of knowledge/chair flying causing them to end up behind the airplane. Finally: flying is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. I'll second what JHO says above, go take a discovery flight, especially in something like a Citabria that can do some aerobatics. If after all that you don't want to be a pilot, then the smart thing to do would be to bow out. Good luck!
  10. Yoda

    IPhone to Galaxy S9+

    For me the best plans are Google Fi or T-Mobile one with the international add-on. Internationally, they are the same in terms of coverage for practical purposes. Domestically, Google Fi adds Sprint and US Cellular's coverage. Google Fi also does some good Wi-Fi roaming. For data while abroad, Fi can be faster, recommend the $15/month add-on for T-Mobile for faster data and unlimited GoGo on flights. While Fi is cheap when you use little data, the data costs can add up quickly to take you to $80/month+tax on a single line. T-Mobile's prices (they also offer military discount) are inclusive of taxes and fees. Why all this about plans? Because Fi really needs one of their devices to work well. T-Mobile you can take your pick from Samsung, Android, iPhone, etc... T-Mobile also has some subsidies on phones. If you generally use 1 GB a month of data or less, Fi is cheap and a clear winner in price. Security. SMS is probably the most insecure technology we use day to day. Leaving iMessage for Android means you will now use SMS to talk to other iPhone users. Work around: get WhatsApp or Signal (your contacts need to do this too) -- of the widely used messaging platforms these are the most secure. As far as Phone security goes I would rate it as iPhone, Pixel, and then all the other Android devices. iPhone does better sandboxing of Apps (meaning its much harder for that random weather app to read data from your other apps). Pixel/iPhone both get updated fairly fast, while Samsung and others are flapping in the breeze for months to a year. Android 9 "Pie" was released on August 6th. Currently no Samsung Note devices run it. Android 8 "Oreo" released last year is only on 2017 and newer Notes. Android devices get orphaned fast. iOS 12 when it drops in a few days will run on everything from the 2013 iPhone 5s to the new Xs phones. So if you plan on keeping the device a few years -- there's that. Customer service. I was abroad and smashed my iPhone. Screen was unresponsive so I used iCloud to remote wipe the device. I walked into an Apple store and walked out in about 30 minutes with a replacement phone thanks to my Apple Care. I had three more weeks in that trip that would have meant getting a burner phone or something if I had to send my device off somewhere. Interface: Android wins. iOS was designed to be easy. But now with triple home button taps, peeks and pops, settings in the app vs settings in the settings menu, and generally subpar multitasking it can be infuriating sometimes. Each release of iOS and iPhone since the iPhone 4 came out feels iterative of their last phone and derivative from their competition. I currently run an iPhone with my primary number. This compliments my iPad as they both run ForeFlight. Bang out a flight plan on my phone while sitting in a Cafe, see it on my iPad when I pull it out of the bag at the aircraft. For my GA flying I get briefs and file on either of them. I have a secondary Pixel that I use for Android Auto as it has Google Maps. Apple CarPlay only supports Apple Maps for now -- iOS 12 is supposed to bring Google Maps/Waze support at some point. Apple maps doesn't work in many of the places I visit. That, combined with the ability of the new iPhones to simultaneously use two SIMs means I can have my main number, and a burner phone number for craigslist or host nation data plan or whatever kids do with their second phone number these days. So in a few months I will probably be iPhone only despite it being the inferior product due to the reasons listed above.
  11. I used their services, less than 20-30 posts, no positive feedback yet -- but I just started applying as I am not available for 12 months. I started with the resume prep, I am going to add the interview prep. The resume/CV letter guidance was really top notch. As others have said, nothing earth shattering but extremely helpful. For me, it's hard to write about myself and they really helped with selling myself. Overall, it really increased my confidence in my resume and cover letter. Picture this: unit is going to invite 10 people for interview, without the prep you are #11, with the prep you are #10. It is then worth every penny if that is where you want to go as you now have a chance to show in person what your paper might not show. Same goes for the #1 slot at the interview for 1 UPT slot -- there is some stiff competition out there and marginal gains may mean going where you want to go and flying what you want to fly and getting nothing at all.
  12. I've used Logten for 10+ years now. I'll probably continue to use it, but wouldn't start from scratch with it today. They moved to a (very expensive) subscription model, but since they did that it feels like the software has stagnated. I still can't do smart groups based on custom times, still can't do any export with pictures, still no good support for importing tracks. Where log ten still shines is if you are applying to airlines, it directly exports to Airline Apps and Pilot Credentials. So updating your file with those entities could easily be done after every flight if so desired. Meanwhile my other subscription app ForeFlight is chugging along nicely -- at least with that subscription I get new content and new features regularly. At some point I expect their logbook to takeoff nicely even though its been simmering on the back burner compared to some of the other changes. Some of the stuff is pretty cool: https://foreflight.com/support/video-library/watch/?v=logbook-entry-summaries&amp;list=logbook What I really want is something that can take not just the hours for currency/goals and provide graphs, but also pull in the track logs, routes, pictures, and even video of a flight in a way that I can use it as an heirloom for the kids while still exporting professional stuff. I met an octogenarian on the ramp someplace, his logbook was half scrapbook and half logbook but filled with amazing memories. Forgot to add: LogTen and many of the commercial options are also nice since you can import scheduled flights from your employer.
  13. Yoda


    What AFSCs interest you? Have you talked to people doing those jobs and seen how happy they are in them? I haven't met anyone happier than a pilot that gets to do pilot stuff. What about the commitment scares you? Is it the time spent studying and difficulty? Or the service commitment on the backside? Something else? "Nothing that's worth anything is ever easy"
  14. Yoda

    Which Tablet, Which Software - GA Flying

    ForeFlight and Garmin Pilot are the only ones to work with Garmin Flightstream as far as I know. If you are flying ifr, ForeFlight can save you a ton for time filing, getting updated expected routing clearance, and then programming the 430w with flight stream. If renting by the Hobbs, it can help pay for itself. If owning, it still saves a lot of the time and wear and tear at idle. I would rather use my iPad or Bluetooth keyboard to put all the routing in than the Garmin Etch A Sketch interface. If if you fly other aircraft, then ForeFlight on an iPad is the only common working system between Garmin, Aspen, Dynon, Avidyne, etc... panels that have wireless connectivity.
  15. Yes. Just trying to figure if the positions (MTOE in Army speak) of the different missions would mean coming over as a MAJ would be a downside or not. Basically, if I'd have to look at turning down a promotion.