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{ Category Archives } flight school

School’s Over

As per tradition, on this the last day of flight of any kind in flight school, we collectively as a class goofed off. We were in the AVCATTs again, and we just played. Due to the limited number of simulators, we had to go in batches, which shaped the nature of our play. The morning [...]


Flight school just ended. With my final checkride complete, I have no more flight instruction required before graduation, and no more flight time at all until I get to Korea. There is more to do, of course. There’s a mandatory leadership course before graduation, presumably to remind us all that while we’re all peers and [...]

formation flight

It turns out to be surprisingly difficult to properly fly in formation. The big challenge is altitude control: you need to stay within about +- 10 feet of the altitude of the person ahead of you. If you go too low, you run into their downwash and get to deal with problems ranging from turbulence [...]

army status update

I woke up this morning slapping my alarm clock into snooze mode. In that moment, snapping from zero to consciousness, my first thought was that that wasn’t the first alarm that was supposed to go off. Upon investigation, I had apparantly already snoozed my cell phone without recording a memory of the event. It is [...]

army vignettes

Our lieutenants were promoted last week. They all graduated from the class of 2007 at around the same time, and this marked their 18-month promotion cycle updating. They were joking around with each other about just coloring in their rank insignia with Sharpies, instead of buying new ones. “It’s kind of bittersweet,” one mentioned. “I [...]


Contact phase of 60 training started two weeks ago. Classes began before that, but we only got as close as cockpit training devices and disassembled models and pieces. Two weeks ago, we began flying the real thing. Each of us has something over 10 hours of stick time now. The check ride is Monday. In [...]

training day 122

My hands smell like jet fuel. This may or may not turn out to be a permanent state of affairs. Every liquid and certain solid components in this helicopter are known to be carcinogenic. The IPs strongly recommend that we bring a pair of work gloves, distinct from our flight gloves, for use in pre- [...]

Chapters 5 and 9

If you ask an Army flight school student about the toughest part of flight training, you could get any of a number of answers. Some people just have a hard time in instruments. Others never really internalize how to fly tactically, less than 50 feet above the terrain using only a map and the seat [...]

“Standard: maintain the assigned heading +- 10 degrees…”

I’ve decided to keep the Black Hawk. As with most decisions, this was a matter of finding the appropriate context. I was having a hard time doing that earlier because the ideal context, in which I had the opportunity to try both aircraft and choose after, was impossible. It’s no good trying to predict how [...]

Now I have a choice to make

In more news: I just got an opportunity. I can keep the UH-60, which was my second choice of helicopter–or I can switch to the OH-58, which was my first. I have 24 hours to make the decision. Pros of switching: I get guns. I get a more interesting mission. Cons of switching: I class [...]