THRILLS OF AN AIR FORCE PILOT
In these pages I tell stories and show pictures that are still vivid in my memory. Question: What makes memories vivid and long lasting? Answer: Intensity. Nearly every flight I made was intense, and so I have memories from parts of hundreds of flights. My total flying time, including student pilot, was 6,441 hours, which is quite a lot for military flying.
Last Two assignments (postponed until later)
Here are photos showing preparation for the last two flights I ever made as an Air Force pilot. I had two Austrian Air Force sergeants in my squadron for training in air traffic control. They were getting "on the job" training in the GCA unit (radar ground controlled approach). I thought it would be very good for their training as well as a useful diplomatic gesture if each of them got a ride in an Air Force plane to see the airborne side of what they were doing. I had to get special permission from Air Force headquarters to give each of these young men a flight in a T33 jet aircraft. I got the base photographer to come and take photos. These flights were made on October 18th and 20th, 1965. We were at Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina. The reason they were my last flights is that I had reached nearly 15 years as a pilot and was no longer in a job that required flying. I was about to be administratively "grounded." I was not happy about that, so I retired as soon as reaching 20 years active duty.
A point of great satisfaction to me as a former flight instructor is that with only the briefest time of instruction for him, I was able to let the first student land the plane, although I think he had never flown before - certainly not a single-engine jet.
My 20 years was a combination of Navy and Air Force service.
Air Force Pilot and Navigator Wings
I've lost my basic pilot wings, but the two upper pictures are of senior and command pilot. Senior Pilot requires seven years of piloting plus 2,000 hours to include certain amounts of instrument and other time. Command pilot requires 15 years plus more experience.
I had the Navigator rating only by virtue of having completed the school. I never served as Navigator.