Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week Twenty-Five: T-6 Complete!

Well, the day finally arrived. I am now T-6 complete and awaiting track select! It feels pretty good to be done with this phase of training, though I still can't believe how fast it's gone. It's still weird to think that I most likely will never get in a T-6 again (but it's possible).

I had only my two low levels, so after a couple days of waiting, I got to fly those. They are very low-threat as far as grading goes, and they're actually pretty fun. You basically fly along a pre-planned track going from point to point. You're trying to get to those points at a certain time, so you have to adjust your power to try and hit the point as close to the right time as you can. At the end of the route is a target point. You have a Time on Target (TOT) that is published and it's your goal to get that time. These are introducing us to the low level world of flight, and the operational aspect of that with respect to heavy and fighter aircraft. For fighters it's pretty easy to see the connection: we want our bombs to hit the right target at the right time. For heavies, there are combat drops that are performed in the C-17, as well as paratrooper drops that have to be in the right area at the right time. So there are many ways low levels affect flight in the operational Air Force.

Overall I enjoyed my two low levels. The first one went really well, and I managed to hit my target at exactly the posted time. So that was pretty sweet. The other one we had to abort the route due to intense thunderstorms and rain that were gathering on our flight path. We ended up heading back to base early, which gave us some time to hit up an area one last time with some aerobatics and also for my IP to do an instrument approach. I was joking with him that all we needed was for one of the solo planes to break so we could fly chase ship for him and we'd have done all four phases of flying in one flight. But we just came back to the pattern and I got my last landings in the T-6. They were good ones, so I was happy to leave it on a good note. When I got out of the cockpit and made sure it was good to go, I gave the plane one last pat on the nose cap. It's been an amazing T-6 experience, but now on to bigger and better things.

So now I wait! Thursday is the big day, and since I'm done flying for now, there's really not much to do. Yeah we have some administrative things to take care of, but they haven't taken up that much time and overall I've been able to peace out of work really early the past couple of days.

This upcoming week we will get end of phase feedback, give our feedback to our leadership, finish up any last things we need to accomplish, and also welcome the new class into D flight. This is crazy because it seems like yesterday that we were being welcomed in by the senior class and shown the ropes of life in our flight room. Then of course, track select.

My next post will say where I'm headed, so be sure to check it out! I'm pretty stoked and can't wait to find out if I'm heading to the 38.

Either way, I'll still be flying, so you can't beat that.

Take care!

~ Dakota

1 comment: