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Steve Davies

Air Force: Pilot yields wings after low flyover

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Don't forget - if you didn't punish this guy hard (sts) then what stops the rest of the faips with maybe not as much skill from plowing into the stadium....?

A good boss makes it clear. I guess you haven't stood at attention with the entire squadron/wing (pilots only) in the mass briefing room/auditorium while the boss makes his point perfectly clear to everyone.

.....you get what you deserve in life.

False. And you should be damn glad it is false.

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I do think it is extreme to take someone's wings

Agreed and I don't know what the circumstances are/were, but he gave up his wings...

An Art 15 can't take your wings. For an officer, the punishment is pretty limited. Maybe they were seeking an FEB or some other form of punishment in addition to the Art 15. Anyone here know and willing to say?

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Cool. …in the end, we have a fundamental disagreement about whether this was an honest mistake or a deliberate act of breaking the rules.

Fair enough.

And to be clear, the disagreement is not about whether or not this was a mistake or a crime. It is about whether or not to take a man's wings for a low pass.

I am not saying he did or did not know how low he was. I'm guessing he probably did.

I will admit I'm a little biased because I shined my ass in the jet big time and got caught more than once. I can admit to flying under a bridge, flying too low, BFM in "general handling sirspace" right over the base, single ship LOWAT 1 v x, 100' AGL RESCORT at night, night full up DACT, night formation autorotations to touchdown...you get the picture. I had to stand in front of the man for those things. I'm glad my bosses thought I was worth keeping around. Really glad.

I know I learned some valuable lessons in leadership that there are ways to deal with things without going nuclear and throwing a good man away.

Everything I have said is relative to how I believe a commander could've covered the guy in public while hammering him in private...without taking his wings.

'Nuff said.

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An Art 15 can't take your wings. For an officer, the punishment is pretty limited. Maybe they were seeking an FEB or some other form of punishment in addition to the Art 15. Anyone here know and willing to say?

The AF was going for both a Court Martial and FEB.

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Fair enough.

And to be clear, the disagreement is not about whether or not this was a mistake or a crime. It is about whether or not to take a man's wings for a low pass.

I am not saying he did or did not know how low he was. I'm guessing he probably did.

I will admit I'm a little biased because I shined my ass in the jet big time and got caught more than once. I can admit to flying under a bridge, flying too low, BFM in "general handling sirspace" right over the base, single ship LOWAT 1 v x, 100' AGL RESCORT at night, night full up DACT, night formation autorotations to touchdown...you get the picture. I had to stand in front of the man for those things. I'm glad my bosses thought I was worth keeping around. Really glad.

I know I learned some valuable lessons in leadership that there are ways to deal with things without going nuclear and throwing a good man away.

Everything I have said is relative to how I believe a commander could've covered the guy in public while hammering him in private...without taking his wings.

'Nuff said.

Oh the irony.

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Oh the irony.

Irony would be if I "got away with it" and then said anyone who ever made a mistake should lose their wings.

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Jesus Backpedaling Christ.....

Next time, can you dispense with the fvcking charades or at least say "momentary deviations are authorized guys...hint, hint, nudge nudge, know what I'm saying?"

Huh? What are you talking about backpedaling and charades? Are you fucking serious?

I assumed SA would be present. I thought I could make a five word post instead of some long winded explanation.

I was wrong. As hell.

I should've been more clear for the double hardass super moralists who bemoan the one mistake Air Force on Monday and say we should cut a guy's nuts off on Tuesday.

You're fucking killing me.

If it wasn't about mistake vs. crime, why did you proceed to give me LASDT academics, the history of low altitude ops/systems in the Hog, and a recitation of your low alt WIC DFPs? ....ohh, and every single post I made explicitly stated that I wasn't talking about his punishment.

Was that what you call LASDT academics? Fuck dude, you are one sensitive motherfucker.

I mentioned the other stuff because I thought you might not know the history since you were probably 10 when those decisions were made and that's not an insult, it's a fact...right? My bad for assuming you might not know about that and not considering the fact that you would be tremendously insulted if I mentioned it.

I was lucky that I survived the shit I got caught doing. Most of it was on the wing, which gave me some breathing room. However, my flight leads didn't lose their wings either.

I wasn't trying to insult you but it is pretty much impossible not to insult you. Ever. I think we have a word for that that starts with S and ends in NAP.

BL, I was trying to give some real examples of how a commander could've justified his approach to something less than the death sentence.

I'm willing to bet your Bosses didn't have 69+ videos of your exploits showing up on fvcking YouTube.com for all to see.

Nope, thankfully. I did have the Wg/CC's wife driving over the Humber bridge when I went under it. The word got to the boss before I called 10 min out.

I got advice in the bar like "never show your best move in the pattern" and notes taped to my locker like "I already have a demo pilot. I don't need you. Report to my office ASAFP" from the Wg/DO.

I was shitting bricks every time I got called on the carpet, especially when I was a young pup. Now they are funny stories that go over big in the bar, especially if the former boss is there to add his perspective on how we wanted to rip my nuts off, knew that wasn't the right thing to do and then had to defend me to keep it from happening.

I consider those guys heros and great leaders. I would've done anyfuckingthing they would have asked me to do because I knew they had my back. I am not alone in that opinion...they are heros to many.

Though I too think leadership could have handled it differently, you have to admit their hands are somewhat tied in a world where every swinging dick and his cousin has a 5.0 megapixel video camera built into their damn cell phone.

While I will admit things can get out there faster now I will not submit to the idea that anyone's hands are tied. In fact, to say your hands are tied is weak leadership, especially if you believe your job is to get the most out of your people and encourage them to be aggressive but not undisciplined. That was the whole point of everything I said, to show examples of how "leadership" could put a message to the public on this without going nuclear on the individual.

Besides, it is not like there was some sort of public outcry over what happened. Some people are choosing to be indignant about the absolute and obvious no leadership judgement allowed requirement for the most severe punishment for a single act. I don't agree, that's all.

...the opportunity to sweep this shit under the rug was gone before they called 10-out with codes.

I'm not saying sweep it under the rug. I'm saying there's more than one way to handle it.

I would think you guys would be hungry for a leader who was willing to stand up for his guys rather than go nuclear because it is easier and safe.

Whatever.

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"Conservative" is the mantra of so many USAF leaders these days.

IMHO that desire to be the most conservative leader, so as to not in any way possible even tempt making a decision your boss disagrees with, is one of the cancers killing USAF leadership.

If a boss can pin the toughest possible punishment on his subordinate, then he's never putting himself into question from his own chain of command. It's like the SEFE who is getting the NAF STAN/EVAL over-the-shoulder treatment, and decides he needs to be Mr Hardass so as to not appear weak.

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"Conservative" is the mantra of so many USAF leaders these days.

IMHO that desire to be the most conservative leader, so as to not in any way possible even tempt making a decision your boss disagrees with, is one of the cancers killing USAF leadership.

If a boss can pin the toughest possible punishment on his subordinate, then he's never putting himself into question from his own chain of command. It's like the SEFE who is getting the NAF STAN/EVAL over-the-shoulder treatment, and decides he needs to be Mr Hardass so as to not appear weak.

It is not just these days. If you study and/or know any great leaders it is immediately obvious those great leaders stood out because they fought against the cancer of status quo, CYA, I got mine and shit on your people leadership style.

They also had the skills that allowed them to be uncontested experts in the air and they were not afraid to lead. they wanted to be out front where God and everyone could see them do what they were supposed to do, lead.

In fact, they could not stand to do anything other than lead because they knew that's where their followers could learn the most about how to be a leader...observing their expert demonstration. Almost of all them were aggressive/wild as young men and they survived to recognize how to spot talent, nurture it and develop it. Most of them remained wild to the end...in a barely controlled way.

They would not take a talented pilot's wings for flying too low over a stadium. NFW. They would make him pay dearly by giving them additional "opportunities to learn" and eventually make him a leader.

They did not worry about haircuts, shoe shines, mustaches patches or stray tiger errors in judgement.

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what stops the rest of the faips with maybe not as much skill from plowing into the stadium....?

not valid. faips have equal if not greater skill.

no joke here, just fact. plus, faips are all paranoid about getting a buff they tend not to stick their necks out

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It is not just these days. If you study and/or know any great leaders it is immediately obvious those great leaders stood out because they fought against the cancer of status quo, CYA, I got mine and shit on your people leadership style.

They also had the skills that allowed them to be uncontested experts in the air and they were not afraid to lead. they wanted to be out front where God and everyone could see them do what they were supposed to do, lead.

In fact, they could not stand to do anything other than lead because they knew that's where their followers could learn the most about how to be a leader...observing their expert demonstration. Almost of all them were aggressive/wild as young men and they survived to recognize how to spot talent, nurture it and develop it. Most of them remained wild to the end...in a barely controlled way.

They would not take a talented pilot's wings for flying too low over a stadium. NFW. They would make him pay dearly by giving them additional "opportunities to learn" and eventually make him a leader.

They did not worry about haircuts, shoe shines, mustaches patches or stray tiger errors in judgement.

Shack.

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not valid. faips have equal if not greater skill.

Greater skill at what?

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Greater skill at what?

You know, like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills... Student pilots only want IP's who have great skills.

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I am not saying he did or did not know how low he was. I'm guessing he probably did.

Ya' think? Does anybody honestly believe he wasn't trying to give the crowd a show on his fini flight? While your take on senior leadership has some merit, it's not like the current risk-averse climate took hold the night before his fly-by. Seriously, he lead a four ship over a stadium full of 70,000+ people and cleared the score board by 50'. Either he knew what he was doing and said "Awww, the hell with it...", or he's a moron. The latter doesn't seem likely, given his career to this point. What a waste. Talk about burning a bridge...

Irony would be if I "got away with it" and then said anyone who ever made a mistake should lose their wings.

Actually, that would be hypocrisy.

Edited by Spoo

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It is not just these days. If you study and/or know any great leaders it is immediately obvious those great leaders stood out because they fought against the cancer of status quo, CYA, I got mine and shit on your people leadership style.

They also had the skills...

In fact, they could not stand to do anything other than lead because they knew that's where their followers could learn the most about how to be a leader...

... NFW. They would make him pay dearly by giving them additional "opportunities to learn" and eventually make him a leader.

They did not worry about haircuts, shoe shines, mustaches patches or stray tiger errors in judgement.

This^

Word

Two

+1

Did I cover all the ways to say that I agree with this statement?

I really don't know what "word" means,... but I think I have it in the correct context this time.

Actually, that would be hypocrisy.

Wow. Look at the big etymology brain on Spoo. Were you an English major? That's very nice.

Edited by Huggyu2
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Greater skill at what?

You know, like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills... Student pilots only want IP's who have great skills.

SHACK.

i was kidding in the first part of my post, sorry i'm not good at internet sarcasm

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Relax.

I am relaxed.

I must admit, however, I am bewildered by your fixation on proving me wrong about something.

The Humber bridge? No shit? In a Hog?

Yes. Pretty new wingman. I knew exactly what I was doing when I did it...I was following my flt lead. I got yelled at when we landed. Loudly and for a long time.

I ate several shit sandwiches after that particular event...including a "I need you to handle this, you still owe me for the Humber bridgee" series of shit sandwiches 13 years later when I found myself in his chain of command again. I never even thought about bitching. In fact I would have done 10x whatever he asked from me.

I did not lose my wings. Neither did my flt lead.

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Wait....WHAT?

I thought this was a figure of speech..."under a bridge"

Are you serious? You flew a Hog under a bridge...??? UFB...no wonder you think this was harsh punishment.

Is this mr jenkles air circus?

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Wait....WHAT?

Are you serious? You flew a Hog under a bridge...???

shocked-kids-at-computer.jpg

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Wait....WHAT?

I thought this was a figure of speech..."under a bridge"

Are you serious? You flew a Hog under a bridge...??? UFB...no wonder you think this was harsh punishment.

As a kid growing up in East Anglia (the bit that sticks out of the eastern side of England) during the Cold War, I watched Bentwater/Woodbridge-based A-10s fly *under power lines* on more than one occasion.

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As a kid growing up in East Anglia (the bit that sticks out of the eastern side of England) during the Cold War, I watched Bentwater/Woodbridge-based A-10s fly *under power lines* on more than one occasion.

Man style.

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Wait....WHAT?

I thought this was a figure of speech..."under a bridge"

Are you serious? You flew a Hog under a bridge...??? UFB...no wonder you think this was harsh punishment.

Is this mr jenkles air circus?

I have to wonder just how long some of you have been flying for the AF, and what community you are from.

I haven't been around the AF that long, but hearing about this kind of stuff doesn't seem to knock me off my feet as much as it seems to for some of you. This was probably more prevalent in the 80s, but I certainly heard about this kind of stuff when I was a Lieutenant in the mid 90s. Seems to have started to decline a little in the Fogleman era and be nearly completely gone by the mid 00s.

We're to the point where we are now a whole "career" of pilots away from when these sort of shenanigans happened, and some seem to be astounded that it ever happened. There's an entirely new standard of what's acceptable and what's totally outrageous.

Not that flying under a bridge was ever "acceptable", but it certainly didn't warrant the stoning at sunset that it would probably get today. As Rainman has indicated, it was more of an extended-ass-chewing-in-the-Boss'-office sort of thing. Grounding. Take a crappy deal or three.

We have had a serious cultural shift in the AF over the course of my short career, and it's a matter of perspective as to if that's a good thing or not.

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I had to Google "Humber Bridge" to have an idea what we are talking about here. Holy shit that would have been bad ass to see!

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I've never witnessed an A-10 furball...

Then you've never been 5 miles north of Belted. And just as was the case then, is the case now...I will not stick my old retired C Model nose in a furball of Hogs...unless of course you're talking lingerie night at the Nellis Club--strippers, not Hog Drivers.

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