Monday, June 17, 2013

Week Eleven: Solos, Instruments, Patches

Hey there,

So this is a day late, I know. I didn't feel like getting around to writing last night due to studying, but better late than never!

This week was a pretty good one. All told, I had six sorties, consisting of four flights and two sims. I've gotten much closer to soloing now and am only one ride away! This week my focus during flight was on the traffic pattern, since that is what the initial solo is all about. Overall my flights went pretty well, and I was able to work out some issues with certain areas of my flying. Our average work day is getting much shorter now, as well as less packed with stuff to do, though there is still a lot and some days are fuller than others. Take Friday for example. I had to show late because of a sim that would last until around 8pm, and right away I took an EPQ (a weekly quiz we have to take). Then I unexpectedly was put on the flying schedule! So I went up for a sortie and it was a really good one. After landing, we went as a class over to the academic building and had our first real academic course in about a month. This time it was covering the basics of instrument flight, which is our next phase of training after Contact. Then right after that was my sim. So it was a true 12-hour day, but I still had the energy to go out that night haha.

We also had a lot more people solo from our class. The first ones were last week, which is an incredible turnaround. They were all from C Flight, so they've really been pushing them through the program. D Flight had its first solo this week, and go figure it was one of the guys who kept getting sick in his first few rides! So that's good for him. He doesn't like being the farthest ahead of us though haha.

Sadly, this week was also a pretty bad one for another member of our flight. I won't say his name, but he hooked three rides in a row, which puts you into an 88 ride. This is a progress check ride, essentially seeing if he's good to resume normal training. However, he also hooked that one, and was moved to an 89 ride, which is an elimination check. We were all hoping that he'd do alright on it, and actually I was flying when he was and he sounded ok on the radios. But he hooked that one as well. So he's now on the Commander's Review Process, which determines his fate in the Air Force. Talking with him, it sounds like he's accepted pilot training is not for him, and that he's going to try to head into Special Operations selection training. I say good on him for wanting to do that. He's a great guy, and I really do wish the best for him. It just sucks to see how quickly you can wash out, if you're consistently having bad flying days...

But overall, we're doing alright. I might as well cover today as well. We had our Instrument 1 exam and I passed, missing four questions. This was the most I've missed on one test, so I wasn't happy about that, but a pass is a pass I guess.

Oh! Something else that's cool: our patch was officially approved and I also got the finalized design back from the patch company I've been working with! So now we just have to wait for them to get here and then get the privilege from our flight commander to wear them and we've got our class patch!

Ain't Nobody Got Time Fo Dat

So that will be on our shoulders for the next year. I think it turned out pretty well (and I'm not just saying that because I designed it... haha). On Fridays however, D Flight concurred that we would have a Friday flight patch just for us. So this is what we came up with:

The reference is to a movie called The Other Guys, and I recommend watching it, because it's hilarious. So yeah that will be our little motivational patch for the day before the weekend.

That's about all I can think of right now. I'll probably remember something else that happened, as is usually the case haha.

Hope you are doing well and everything's good for you.

~ Dakota

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