Sunday, October 27, 2013

Weeks 29 & 30: The Fuge

I wanted to delay posting last week since we had a pretty short week, coupled with the fact that last Sunday my classmates and I were traveling down to San Antonio for centrifuge training, so we stayed pretty busy.

After a short, four-day week due to Columbus Day, there wasn't much to tell. We've just been going through Applied Aerodynamics academics, which have been pretty low-threat. I had one sim that week as well, which was good. It was the first one I got to actually do stuff while flying, instead of simply running through checklists and switches.

The weekend rolled around and we had already prepped the travel plans for our trip down to Texas. Sunday morning we all met up on base and hopped in a shuttle to drive down to Oklahoma City for the flight to San Antonio. It was actually a cool day. We hung out at the airport, grabbed some breakfast, and then had a short layover in Houston. After hopping over to San Antonio, we split ways temporarily and headed to two different car rental places. My two passengers and I got a sweet VW Golf. Probably the coolest car ever. No seriously.

We drove over to our luxurious hotel (La Quinta) and dropped off our bags. Then it was a night out on the river walk, though we had to not drink anything to keep ourselves from getting dehydrated the next day. So it was waters and Arnold Palmers that night. We did have some good food throughout the day and got to check out the Alamo.

Then, the fuge. On Monday we drove down to Brooks AFB and went to the sketchy-looking buildings that housed the centrifuge. After getting refreshed on our AGSM techniques and learning about some of the do's and don't's of the fuge, we got all set up in a break room with windows showing the spinning contraption.

Our SRO went first, followed by alphabetic order. I was third to last, so I got to see a good amount go before me. It looked... painful. And it was. Basically we started out with a gradual increase in g-loading until we lost our peripheral vision. This gives you your resting g tolerance. I had a 4.4 resting tolerance, not the greatest but pretty average. The highest of our group was 6.3.

Then we started with the profiles. First there's 4 g's for 15 seconds. Not too bad, and I didn't lose any vision. Next up was 5 g's for 30 seconds. Once again, 5 g's isn't too bad momentarily, but for 30 seconds you really start to get tired, straining your lower body and only breathing every 3 seconds. Still I did fine and had no vision loss. Next up was the big one, 7.5 for 15 seconds. I definitely did lose some light; I started to bear down my upper body instead of focusing on straining my legs. So some definite room for improvement, but I ended up alright.

Lastly there's a profile called SACM, where you are pretending to chase an enemy aircraft and you're pulling g's to do so. So it's 7 g's for 10 seconds, 6 for 5, 5 for 5, and then 7 for 10.  Overall this was tiring, but you do get quick rests in between each pull. I finished the fuge profiles and they stopped spinning me. The hatch opened on my right and I struggled out. It felt like I had just run 10 miles and I was wobbling as I walked back to the break room. My flight suit was covered in sweat and I felt awful. It really sucked. So I sipped on some gatorade and watched the last two people go. We got debriefed on our performance (they take videos of the whole thing happening) and got our disc with the videos on it. We also got little morale patches (which we can't wear anymore...) that said GLOC with the word crossed out. G-induced loss of consciousness is what it stands for, and no one passed out so that was good.

Monday night we went hard. I'll leave it at that (heh heh).

Tuesday we recovered with some breakfast at Denny's and headed back to the airport to return to good old Enid. This week was pretty boring, I didn't sim at all, so I'm not opted to fly yet. But the first dollar rides of class 14-08 will be tomorrow, so that's pretty awesome. Can't wait to fly.

Tune in next week, I'll have my first flight in the T-38 to describe!

~ Dakota


  1. Awesome post. Good luck this week. Dad

  2. Morale patches are small, rectangular patches that go where the pencil pocket cover would normally stick on the flight suit. You typically cut off the cover anyway, so people made patches that would fit there. But, the Air Force fairly recently came out with policy saying morale patches, as well as Friday patches and shirts weren't allowed anymore.