Mar 8, 2010

a little pilot training 411

Josh is back from IFS (Initial Flight Screening) in Colorado. He returned late Friday night; safe and sound! It took him 4 weeks to complete the training. It can take a trainee anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 weeks to finish. They had delays quite a few times because the weather was bad.

It is amazing to me what the military can make people accomplish! He started class on a Monday and was in the plane flying on Friday. One of our friends here going through the training as well, used to teach private flying lessons and he said what it would take his students to learn in 6 hours, they teach you in the first hour of IFS. Needless to say it was a high pressure, study in every waking moment that you have situation. And Josh keeps asking me why he is so tired!

This was his first time flying and he loved it. He loved his solo flight the best. Of course, because there was no IP (Instructor Pilot) telling you what to do and trying to make you second guess yourself. One thing I found particularly funny was that every flight after I talked to him he would tell me how hungry he was. I asked him why and he said he really had no clue, so we equated it to how it seems you are always hungry after you go swimming.

The next step for him is UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training).  This is the reason we had to move to Columbus. It is one year long and it has three phases. The first phase is six weeks and is composed of class time and book work. The second phase is where the students learn to fly a T-6. I cannot tell you much about this plane, but the ones they will be flying here are white and T stands for trainer. At the end of this phase they have what is called track select. This is exactly what it sounds like. The students will be told what track they will be on for the last phase. They have two options. They will either fly a  T-1 or a T-38. Again the T stands for trainer in each of these. The T-1 sets them up to fly larger cargo type planes for their career and the T-38 puts them on the track to flying fighter/bomber jet type planes.

So that is a little 411 on this next year of our lives. The date that Josh starts UPT has changed 3 times already and might change again. Right now it is scheduled to be April 5th. But we will see...