Sunday, July 25, 2010

earning my paycheck.

Temperature goes up. Local Speed of Sound (LSOS) goes up.
Altitude goes up. Pressure goes down.
Standards go up. Blood pressure goes up.

After 4 weeks of continuous classes, a countless number of the above types of comparisons are crammed into my head. (Besides the last one on the list which is my truthful addition.)

The brutal month of classes really left the Navy with the best student pilots they can get. 2 Marine pilots failed the first Aerodynamics and by the end, 3 Navy pilots couldn’t meet the standards; one guy missed it by 1%. The class from the week before us lost 6 Navy pilots. If you missed any more than 4 questions out of 50 per exam, your career is over before it even started. I’ve never seen margins that narrow or stakes that high. And the exams aren’t comprised of just any old simple questions. They are convoluted, intentionally tricky questions written to trip people up. And with only 50 minutes given, I felt I was under a time crunch as well. The Navigation exam still had 50 questions and was 2 hours and 10 minutes, but even that wasn’t enough time. My 6 exam grades averaged out to be 95%, including a 100% on Aerodynamics II.

Classes all day and averaging 2 exams per week, plus lots of swimming took a toll on everyone. We are glad it is done, and upon completion, we were rewarded...

Our first gear issue included all brand new swag that added up to over $3,000. Included in that is the following:

-4 Flight Suits (two green, two tan) ($141 each)
-Flight Helmet with swivel mic ($863)
-Leather Flight Boots
-Aviator Sunglasses
-2 pairs of Flight Gloves
-2 pairs of fire retardant underwear ($80 a set)
-Green Flight Jacket
-Leather Bomber Jacket (which I’m pretty sure is a prop from the movie Top Gun)
-Log Book
-Knee Board
-Helmet Bag and Flight Bag

Thanks for Christmas in July, Uncle Sam.

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