Saturday, November 7, 2009

Crunch time

Well, the biggest flight of my life is coming up shortly. The Navigation checkride is worth about 20% of our overall grade. After this flight you are basically certified as a pilot because the flights after it are more of a formality than anything. A few people have already taken the checkride and right now our class is not doing nearly as well as we did on our first checkride. So far we are one pass and three hooks. Not good. The part that sucks is the weather has been great too. I hope I check next week. I have three flights left before my check. The last two will be in the same day to simulate a checkride, because the check is two flights.

Anyway, my last few flights have been frustrating and confidence building. A few flights ago I had a couple where I was not flying with my A game. It is funny, because as a student there there are just some days where you just don't feel like flying. I had a couple of those and the grades showed it. They weren't horrible flights, but there were definitely not up to my standards. Plus, they were flights with FAIPs, (first assignment instructor pilots) and they tend to be a little more hard on the grades because I don't think they see the big picture as well as other instructors who have flown other aircraft before. After the second flight that was subpar, I had a complete change in attitude. I had been getting depressed because all the flights are the same and I am getting bored with this. Attitude is paramount in the ability of one to succeed in UPT. It changed to one of competition, instead of submitting defeat and giving up, I need to defeat this. This is not THAT hard that I can't do this. I am not an arrogant person, but to be honest, after praying about it, I think it was some arrogance in me that caused this change in attitude. Thank God for that I guess. To say the least, my last two flights have gone beautifully and are what I would say should be normal for me. I feel like I could take my checkride tomorrow and pass with flying colors.

In other news, there was an assignment night last night. These also tend to be very motivating because you get to see peoples dreams come true. Last night they decided to play a cruel joke on a friend from Whiting. He had done OK on his checkrides, but not stellar. Anyway, his last choice was an E-3 to Tinker AFB in OKC. He goes up to get his assignment and none other than the E-3 pops up as his assignment. After seeing this, he stands there for a good ten seconds, astonished, trying to figure out what he did wrong, which to us looked like the life was sucked right out of him. After finally accepting his fate, he starts to walk back to the rest of his class and all of a sudden they start going crazy, telling him to turn around. As he does, he sees a KC-10 to Travis AFB near the bay area. He then proceeds to freak out.

Now, this is super awesome. I am always super stoked for friends who get something they want. However, I still am failing to find something I want to fly out of here. A very large portion of people want to fly C-17s out of here. They are kind of the rock star plane out of T-1's. However, I don't know if I want it. As of right now, the only reason why I would want it is because of its awesome base locations. I have been leaning towards the MC-12 which is a small twin engine turboprop. The thing is, I have determined that I love flying small maneuverable aircraft with canopies where you can see everything around you, not huge freaking behemoths. I get totally stoked on the idea of formation flying and going anywhere do anything ability of small aircraft.

Anyway, the reason why I bring this all up, is our class is two assignment nights away from our assignments. We have a bunch of friends in the next one, and then we are next. If it wasn't for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we would be 6 weeks away. With the current timeline, which has little chance for change, we will find out the possible assignments on Dec 17, put in our dream sheets that week, then go on Christmas break. Our assignment night is the first Friday after we get back from Christmas, which I think is Jan 8. Graduation is then on Jan 22. It is getting close. The butterflies are starting to show up, hopefully not in the cockpit though.

Until next time, pray for SURF


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