This is not a time when women should be patient. We are in a war and we need to fight it with all our ability and every weapon possible. Women pilots, in this particular case, are a weapon waiting to be used. — Eleanor Roosevelt, 1942.
Monday, April 30, 2007
question of the night
John asks, "What has the Air Force done for us lately?" Ok, not quite in those words, but it is an interesting discussion. One that pushes a few buttons on all sides. Just remember boys, we're all on the same team.
All this military history swirling around my head got me thinking......
The Marines have Tripoli, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Chosin, Khe San, Fallujah...
The Army has Saratoga, Gettysburg, San Juan Hill, Somme, Overlord...
The Navy has John Paul Jones' fight with the Seraphis, the dominance of Lakes Champlain and Eerie during 1812, Midway, the Japanese surrender on the Mighty Mo'...
But what about the US Air Force? (Best I could come up with is the air war over Kosovo and the air campaign prior to Desert Storm).
Check out the comments, and add some yourself.
UPDATE: Hey Cox & Forkum at thinking in that direction also. I think that's one video I'm definatly going to have to rent.
a bird? a plane? snoopy?
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Look out for me flying a T-6 around the Southeast this weekend. If you hear a female voice with the callsign "Japat" its probably me! I'm pretty excited, because this will be the first time my family gets to see me fly. Photos to follow...
Monday, April 23, 2007
turn the heat off!
This is hilarious T-38 HUD video. This flight took place over a year ago involving a Japanese student and an IP who I believe is known as callsign Satan. It made the rounds of every other instructor desk on base, and even though I was a student not too long ago, it still gives me a chuckle.
Just for background, you cannot hear much when the afterburners are cookin in a Talon, not even your own radios. When the heat is on, it is even louder. Plus the heat comes straight from the bleed air, so it gets hot quick. Warning for bad language. Turn the heat OFF! O-F-F! What?
Thanks to Paulie for the link.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
This is not the way to score your 15 seconds of fame. I guess he's just a cadet, so he still has that excuse... Source.
Cadet fell off ship re-enacting movie scene
DENVER — An Air Force Academy cadet who plunged about 50 feet from a cruise ship balcony into the ocean with a female passenger thanked his rescuers Tuesday but didn’t discuss the details of what happened.
Ernesto Guzman, 22, and Celeste Clarice Partee, 20, fell from the balcony of Partee’s cabin on Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess about 150 miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas, on March 25.
KWGN-TV in Denver reported that the pair were re-enacting a famous scene from the movie “Titanic” when they fell. Guzman took off his clothes to stay afloat, the station reported.
Both were rescued by boats launched from the ship.
Guzman issued a statement through the academy thanking Princess Cruises and the U.S. Coast Guard.
“The combination of their quick response and my water survival training at the United States Air Force Academy combined to save my life during those five hours in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Guzman, a junior.
Good thing his training saved him from his stupidity. I bet his fingers were a bit pruny for a while.
angels pilot update
Story with an interview of a guy who had a close call with the jet. It also includes reaction from a teammate "'Our squadron and the entire U.S. Navy are grieving the loss of a great American, a great Naval officer and a great friend,' [Lt. Cmdr. Anthony] Walley said."
Fox identifies the pilot:
The Navy identified the pilot Sunday afternoon as Lt. Cmdr. Kevin J. Davis, 32, of Pittsfield, Mass.
And gets some of the flying part wrong:
The Blue Angels fly F/A-18 Hornets at high speeds in close formations, and are considered the Navy's elite. They don't wear the traditional G-suits that most jet pilots use to avoid blacking out during maneuvers. The suits inflate around the lower body to keep blood in the brain, but they could cause a pilot to bump the control stick — a potentially deadly move when flying inches from other planes.
Instead, Blue Angels manage G-forces by tensing their abdominal muscles.
Emphasis mine. Sorry guys, we all tense our muscles, even the ones who wear fast pants. And we don't just tense our abs. For those of you who do not know the specifics, pilots who pull many G's have to tense their whole lower body to keep the blood flowing to the brain and eyes. Otherwise the pilot can lose vision, known as "greying out," or totally black out and lose conciousness as gravity pulls the blood to the lower extremities. Of course that would not be a good thing. A G suit helps with G straining (tensing of the muscles) by providing something for the pilot to strain against. Generally, a G-suit will add one G to a pilot's tolerance. So if I can pull 4G's in a relaxed state (that's four times my body weight pressing down on me), and I can pull 7.5Gs just straining my legs, butt and abs, then a G suit will help me get to 8.5G's or better.
From what we are hearing, the whole formation was low to the ground. If they were rejoining, and LCDR Davis was above, it might be hard to see closure and depth with the ground. My old man concurs. Also, if LCDR Davis knew there were homes nearby, he might have been trying to avoid them. I wish there was a pilot's eyewitness story to be found, but I'm sure the Navy is keeping them all under raps for accident and safety investigations, as they should.
The Delta triangle, what the team was setting up for:
Blue Angles website
If anyone has anything to add or correct, please let me know. Again, please keep the Davis family in your prayers.
As Blue Angels spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Garrett D. Kasper said, "We will rebuild." Blue skies brothers.
An Old War Dog is keeping an ear out over at Bill's Bites
The pilot's family may have been present at the show.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
blue angels jet crashes in sc
A jet flying in formation with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels precision flying team crashed into a Beaufort, South Carolina, neighborhood, causing an "enormous fireball" during an air show, authorities said.
The Navy aviator was killed, Beaufort County Coroner Curt Copeland said. The F/A-18's pilot is the only known fatality. The aviator's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Officials announced that Sunday's scheduled air show will go on but that the Blue Angels will not take part.
From what I have read, it sounds like one of the other jets in the formation flew CAP over the sight until a helo could get in the air. The jet crashed near a residential area, but no one else was hurt.
A memorial from OPFOR
Not a whole lot else... I'll keep on it for more info. Please keep the pilot in your prayers.
Friday, April 20, 2007
one year older...
UPDATE: My mom posts embarrassing photos. Someone has to make me humble...
...One year wiser? Sure. I hit the quarter century today. I'm not where I thought I would be a year or two ago, but I'm definatly in the full swing of life actually having a "real job," if you call flying a job. My birthday also corresponded with the Glenn and Helen Podcast addressing teens and twenty-somethings being treated like like children, and I can relate. Being the only single woman (I almost wrote "girl" myself) in my flying squadron, I can see it happen every once in a while, and today it was most prominent when I was asked if I turned 19. While pilots never really grow up, it gets old sometimes being treated in such a manner when you have proven your dependability and maturity many times over. I can also understand when the men I work with see me as their sister/daughter, and becuase there are so few women in aviation, it could be hard to mentally separate the roles in professional situations. I know I'm to the point of birthday's being a bad thing rather than something to look forward to, and I should be taking it as a compliment when people think I'm younger than I am, but at work it just does not seem appropriate when taken too far. If someone gave me a hard time in front of a student, we would have words.
On a lighter note, I decided to name my car The Red Baron. Kudos to my mom's friend Dale for the suggestion. Now I just need the leather skull cap, goggles, and a white scarf to round out the look. Previous post.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
From my dad
Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, Cokie Roberts, and a tough old U.S. Marine Sargent were all captured by terrorists in Iraq. The leader of the terrorists told them that he would grant them each one last request before they were beheaded.
Dan Rather said, "Well, I'm a Texan; so I'd like one last bowlful of hot spicy chili." The leader nodded to an underling who left and returned with the chili. Rather ate it all and said, "Now I can die content."
Peter Jennings said, "I am Canadian, so I'd like to hear the song "O Canada" one last time." The leader nodded to a terrorist who had studied the Western world and knew the music. He returned with some rag-tag Musicians and played the anthem. Jennings sighed and declared he could now die peacefully.
Cokie Roberts said, "I'm a reporter to the end. I want to take out my tape recorder and describe the scene here and what's about to happen. Maybe someday someone will hear it and know that I w as on the job till the end."
The leader directed an aide to hand over the tape recorder and Roberts dictated some comments. She then said, "Now I can die happy."
The leader turned and said, "And now, Mr. U.S. Marine, what is your final wish?"
"Kick me in the ass," said the Marine.
"What?" asked the leader? "Will you mock us in your last hour?"
"No, I'm not kidding. I want you to kick me in the ass," insisted the Marine. So the leader shoved him into the open, and kicked him in the ass.
The Marine went sprawling, but rolled to his knees, pulled a 9 mm pistol from inside his cammies, and shot the leader dead. In the resulting confusion, he leapt to his knapsack, pulled out his M4 carbine and sprayed the Iraqis with gunfire. In a flash, all the Iraqis were either dead or fleeing for their lives.
As the Marine was untying Rather, Jennings, and Roberts, they asked him, "Why didn't you just shoot them in the beginni ng? Why did you ask them to kick you in the ass first?"
"What," replied the Marine, "and have you three Assholes report that I was the aggressor?"
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
From the Conservative Propaganda post Why the Air Force Memorial sucks.
The Air Force is culturally divided into two camps: The Blue Air Force and The Green Air Force. The Blue Air Force wears the blue uniform to work while the Green Air Force wears fatigues and flight suits. The Blues do essential tasks like stock the warehouses, maintain the motor pool, and push piles of paperwork around base. The Greens take wing in chariots of fire like sky gods. The Greens are shooters, the Blues shoe clerks. The Blues are preoccupied with trivia like stopping people from whizzing in the woods outside the Officer’s Club after Happy Hour and making sure your ribbons are in the right order on your official photo. The Greens are preoccupied with putting bombs on target.
There is a clash of cultures within the Air Force, where the Blues impose their spit-shined, regulation-happy, utopian culture on the Green’s realist, pragmatic, quick and dirty combat rules culture. The Air Force Memorial is a monument to the Blue Air Force. I’m surprised they don’t have a bronze statue of a clerk at his desk typing a form in triplicate. That’s what it’s all about for the Blues.
I propose an alternate Green Air Force Memorial be placed in the National Mall, hidden in the woods near the WWII Memorial, out of sight of the damned bureaucrats. It would be completely accessible to the public, night or day, just like the other memorials, not like the current Blue Air Force Memorial, which is wedged between the Pentagon and Fort Myer, unapproachable by civilian tourists except on special occasions. I’d like to see a big, bronze P-51 Mustang fighter, the prettiest plane ever made, with the pilot standing next to it, discussing the maintenance forms with his crew chief. A guy from life support is holding a parachute, another guy is fueling the aircraft, and the armorer is laying .50 calibre bullets into the wing guns. That would show the tip of the teamwork needed to launch a fighter.
What little kid gets excited about abstract art? How proud are veterans when they see it? This memorial does them ill. As Tantor points out, it falls far short of the other memorials in DC. We need something that embodies, as he says, those who "take wing in chariots of fire like sky gods." That gets me pumped, and proud.
Tantor's description is about as acurate as it gets when describing the AF. The comments are interesting also, especially those by the AF OSI agent. There are definaly a lot of hard working AF personnel out there, but I think most of them do not know the work anyone involved in flight operations puts day in, day out. I have met a few that did not know the aircraft that flew on their own base. I usually go home when I have to, when my mandatory crew rest starts, after a 12+ hour day. My day does not break for lunch, I do not get time during the work day to go to the gym. The non-fliers on base cannot say the same, and they wonder why pilots are angry when they show up somewhere that is closed for training in the middle of the day. By the same token, I get to fly for all my hard work. I'm not so sure I would be as dedicated if I had to deal with angry people all day who complained when my office was closed.
More from John at OPFOR. He agrees.
And that post, right there, effectively sums up why I love the Air Force just as much as I hate the Air Force. The blue Air Force is contrary to everything that I learned at VMI. At the Institute, it was adapt, overcome, think outside the box, find solutions, not excuses. Rules and regs are handy, but the mark of a true military man is his ability to quickly evaluate mission necessity vs. military regulation, make a command decision, and live up to the responsibility of that decision for better or worse. That's the stuff leaders are made of.
i don't like pretty boys
Friday, April 13, 2007
osprey going to iraq
I'm not so sure about flying rotor-type aircraft... too many moving parts and no ejection seats. It will be interesting keeping an eye on how the Osprey does in theater. Source.
Commandant Gen. James Conway is expected to announce Friday the first deployment of an MV-22 Osprey squadron, according to a Pentagon release.
Until then, officials are remaining mum on where Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263, based at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., will deploy. The squadron is expected to deploy late summer or early fall this year.
In early March, the squadron wrapped up several weeks of integration training with Camp Lejeune-based Marines. Part of the training was to get the Osprey more exposure to ground troops as the program attempts to overcome its troubled past.
VMM-263 was the first of the Corps’ now three operational Osprey squadrons. The other squadrons include VMM-162 and VMM-266, which stood up late last month.
they make you say "hmm"
Great points from Tim Blair. He's Australian, hence the focus, but most of his contradictions are fairly universal. The highlights:
We all know people whose passionate beliefs stand in direct opposition to their other passionate beliefs. Here's a handy list of 30 contradictory concepts.
1 The same people who claim to worry most about future generations surviving climate change have no objections at all to abortion – which kills thousands of future Australians every year.
2 The same people most likely to vote Green are also most likely to live in Australia's least natural environments – our crowded, paved, stupid-filled inner-city suburbs.
6 The same people who've spent more time than most of us flying around the earth are proportionately more likely to insist fossil fuel consumption is a very grave problem.
9 The same people who are the loudest in support of drug-free "natural" childbirth are remarkably silent on the matter of drug-free "natural" dentistry.
10 The same people who demand price controls on petrol would scream like a goth in the sun if the sale of their own goods and properties were subject to price controls.
11 The same people who believe Americans have no sense of humour laugh their heads off at The Simpsons.
12 The same people who want to restrict cigarette smoking are invariably inclined towards decriminalising marijuana.
15 The same people who were offended by George W. Bush meddling in Australian politics are absolutely fine with Al Gore meddling in Australian politics.
16 The same people who thought anti-terror fridge magnets were a pointless tokenistic gesture nevertheless supported Earth Hour, during which they saved the planet by turning off their lights for 60 whole minutes.
18 The same people who protested against UN sanctions in Iraq later claimed Iraq shouldn't have been invaded because the sanctions were working.
19 The same people who fear nuclear power in Australia don't give nuclear power a moment's thought when they holiday in nuclear-powered France.
20 The same people who publish images of crucifixes in urine don't dare print even a single cartoon making fun of Mohammed.
21 The same people who were ultra-nationalistic during the republican debate these days decry the ugly nationalism of displaying the Australian flag on Australia Day.
22 The same people who fought for women's rights in the '60s and '70s are oddly silent today on the issue of women's rights forf emale Muslims.
23 The same people who denounce creeping US influence in Australian culture often make a great deal of money appearing in US films and speaking in American accents – particularly a person named Toni Collette.
24 The same people who demand every last detail on the location of any planned Australian nuclear power plants decline to identify any of the industries they would prefer to see removed in order to reduce Australia's alleged greenhouse pollutants.
26 The same people who complain most about globalisation seem unusually alert to views expressed on international anti-globalisation websites.
27 The same people who demand reductions in energy use in order to solve global warming will turn up in huge energy-munching numbers at June's energy-guzzling Live Earth concert – which aims to solve global warming.
30 The same newspaper columnist – me – who is such a psycho on law-and-order issues has just one point left on his licence due to repeated speeding offences.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
what is that?
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
canadian student ejects
The Canadians decided to buy a variant of the newest Air Force trainer, what I'm currently flying. They call it the Harvard II, we call it the T-6 Texan II. It has a great ejection seat, 0/0, which basically means the pilot(s) are able to eject at zero feet, zero knots. Let me tell you that's nice when you've only got one engine. Well, last week, a Canadian student ejected, and not on purpose.
Ejection shock for first-time student
The Canadian Press
Published: Thursday, April 05, 2007
MOOSE JAW, Sask. -- An instructor and a first-time student pilot at an air force base were slightly injured yesterday when an ejection seat on a Harvard II accidentally deployed during a training session while the plane was still on the ground.
A spokesman for the base said the two, who were not seriously hurt, were treated and released from hospital.
"The ejection occurred, [the] seat worked as advertised, parachute opened and the student landed on the ramp," said Lt. Paul Goddard, acting commander for 15 Wing Moose Jaw.
This is not the first time this has happened, and its a pretty big deal. The seats themselves cost about a million dollars apiece, and the whole rest of the aircraft costs about the same as the seats. I'm sure this guy is on the hot seat for screwing up something fairly basic, but then that's what students do best, right?
On a lighter note, she's a fun jet to fly, and she gets great gas milage. The Texan II can go about 800 miles on 160 gallons of good ol' jet-a. And let me tell you, its nice knowing you got that rocket under you.... so to speak.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
This thing just looks fierce.
All of the pilots who have flown the F-22 up to this point are experienced in some other fighter, mostly the F-15C or F-16. but very soon, there will be a lucky pilot training student and FAIP (first assignment instructor pilot) that will go straight to the Raptor. The AF's newest jet has been a dangling carrot for about a year or so, but has always been taken off the list of possible assignments a few months before they were officially doled out. I for one would not want to be the first lieutenant to fly this sucker and be the focus of the big brass, or be so nervous about making a mistake that I did not really get the best training. Personally, when my time comes, I'm gonna ask for my Viper and then maybe move on to the JSF when it comes online.
Source Noah Shachtman at Wired and OPFOR. Photos are from the air show at Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu, Ca.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
In one respect, this makes me sad. In another, I am grateful for the training I have received, and the legacy of the US Armed Forces. I think the British leadership needs to take a long hard look at their troops and make some changes. They have a grand legacy of their own, and this does not live up to it.
Friday, April 06, 2007
somebody get this kid an ipod
I don't really care if it is realistic or not, but it makes for a good story.
My wife’s uncle works in a military hospital and told me about this. Its pretty amazing. Kevin Garrad (3rd Infantry Division) was on a street patrol in Iraq (Tikrit I believe) and as he rounded the corner of a building an armed (AK-47) insurgent came from the other side.
The two of them were within just a few feet of each other when they opened fire. The insurgent was killed and Kevin was hit in the left chest where his IPod was in his jacket pocket. It slowed the bullet down enough that it did not completely penetrate his body armor. Fortunately, Kevin suffered no wound.
HT Michelle Malkin
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
cool fighter chicks
I missed this post over at the American Thinker last August. It highlights the Chick Fighter Pilot Association, with a little hero worship to boot.
A confession: I am in awe of fighter pilots. I was never physically qualified to join the Army, much less posessed of the physical and mental abilities necessary to be a fighter pilot. But that has never stopped me from fantasies of dogfighting in a WW II Mustang or an F 16. Nor has it crippled me with envy for those who serve our country at the outer limits of the junction of technology and human capabilities.
But now I am in danger of becoming a complete groupie. A new organization of female American fighter pilots has been formed, the Chick Fighter Pilot Association (CFPA). They even have a website. And the website has pages of photos.
And The Thunder Run has an article on Maj. Kim "KC" Campbell. I got to meet KC (not just her initials, also stands for "Killer Chick") a few years ago when she honor the US Air Force Academy with her presence. She was calm and collected as she told us the story about how she lost part of her wing and tail over Baghdad, barely making it back to a friendly base. Let me just say I was in awe myself. She was recently decorated for her bravery:
On April 7, 2003, then-Capt. Campbell and her flight lead responded to a call for air support in downtown Baghdad, where an elite unit of the Iraqi Republican Guard had U.S. forces pinned against the Tigris River. Campbell and her wingman faced bad weather before they dove out of the sky and devastated the enemy with rockets and the Warthog’s feared 30mm Gatling gun. After successfully hitting their targets, the pilots turned back toward base – and that’s when Campbell’s jet was rocked by a large explosion, and immediately began pulling to the left and toward the ground. With numerous caution lights flashing, the one that worried Campbell the most was the hydraulic lights. A quick check confirmed her suspicions: Her hydraulic system had been fried. She would later discover that one of her engines was badly damaged and the fuselage was riddled with hundreds of bullet holes.
Campbell quickly switched to manual inversion, allowing her to fly her Warthog under mechanical control. She then had a decision: try to fly 300 miles back to base, or parachute into hostile territory. This was dicey terrain, so she decided she had to make the flight. Despite the heavily damaged aircraft and terrible weather – including massive dust storms – “Killer Chick” persevered. With the help of a seasoned pilot on her wing, Campbell landed safely back at base – fully prepared to take to the skies again and unleash the Warthog, as well as her moniker, on any opposing forces.
For her actions and bravery, Campbell was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for Heroism.
CENTCOM article here. Have you made it when there's a Wikipedia article on you? Congrats KC!
KC makes the "History of the Air Force"
KC tells her story
Article from Combat Edge
Smithsonian article, including photos of the damage to KC's jet
Speech by Gen Richard B. Meyers, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs, at USAFA, he mentions KC near the end (I was there!)
"Looking heavenward you cannot help but shed a tear... mournful... lonesome... a hole that screams out almost as loudly as the roar of the engines that pass overhead."
Last November, I posted about a downed F-16 pilot, here and here. My commander, a Viper pilot himself, mentioned Maj. Gilbert today in a commander's call, amid talks of deployments and awards, that we remember the bravery and sacrifice that we are called to. Lex, channeling Paul Harvey, has the rest of the story.
Gilbert, 34, of the Litchfield Park area, was trying to head off an attack by insurgents on ground troops and the crew of a downed Army helicopter 20 miles northwest of Baghdad…
Gilbert carried out one strafing run against the enemy vehicles, striking a truck with his 20mm Gatling gun before pulling out only 200 feet from the ground, said the head of the accident investigation board, Brig. Gen. David L. Goldfein.
Gilbert flew even lower on his second strafing run and was unable to pull up before he crashed, Goldfein said. Investigators concluded that he died instantly.
His actions helped save the lives of the helicopter crew and other coalition ground forces, Goldfein said.
Gilbert was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor.
He chose to attack at a very low altitude because he was concerned about making sure he was correctly identifying enemy vehicles trying to merge with civilian vehicles, Goldfein said. Gilbert attacked from a difficult angle because he apparently wanted to bring fire on the enemy vehicles quickly to protect the ground troops, who were in a very perilous situation.
And from Lex himself "Good people on the ground were taking hits, so Maj. Gilbert deliberately stepped outside of the box to help them. He saved some lives that day, but paid for it with his own. And though his remains have not yet been recovered, in a very real way he came back on his shield. Hand salute. Ready, two. Carry on."
Here's a toast brother. Godspeed.
more fun than...
surfing the friendly skies
After years of discussion and delay, U.S. airlines will start offering in-flight Internet connections, instant messaging and wireless email within 12 months, turning the cabin into a WiFi "hotspot." Carriers are expected to start making announcements around the end of the summer, with service beginning early next year.Flying hotspots will definatly make flights less painful in my mind. I'm not too excited about cell phone use on planes, just because I do not want someone yapping in my ear for three hours. As always, Glenn is the first to highlight this milestone.
Like it or not, airborne cellphone chatter still has a flying chance in U.S. airplane cabins, as well, despite a recent indication that the Federal Communications Commission will keep a ban in place.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Welcome OPFOR readers! Hope you enjoy my random musings.
Thanks to John for the link.
use caution- man on runway
From the OC Register
Man arrested after running on airport runway
Pilot about to take off spotted man running on John Wayne Airport airstrip.
By KIMBERLY EDDS
The Orange County Register
SANTA ANA – A transient was arrested for trespassing after he hopped a fence at John Wayne Airport and ran around the airfield for several minutes Thursday, airport officials said.
Rene Nolasco Molina, 33, of Santa Ana is being held at the Theo Lacy Facility without bail. A pilot getting ready to take off spotted a man running around on the runway about 6:30 p.m., airport spokeswoman Jenny Wedge said.
The pilot called the tower, and sheriff's deputies who patrol the airport chased him down and arrested him, Wedge said.
A plane trying to take off was delayed for a few minutes while the chase was on, she said, but no other airport operations were affected.
"He appeared to be a little mentally unstable," Wedge said. "This isn't an everyday occurrence."
The commenters definatly focused on the transient bit. I'm not sure how keen I am on comments to a newspaper article, but maybe it is more likely to get direct feedback going to journalists, some of whom need it badly.