I’m about two months behind on this post, but thought it would still be good to do – at the very least for purposes of sharing pictures and documenting our life here in Columbus (as you can tell, there’s so much to do here).
In February, Nick reached the half-way point in pilot training. Basically, it was a quick celebration of completing training in the T-6 airplane and a quick little event to kick-off phase three where the entire class would switch to a new plane for the remainder of pilot training.
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with airplanes or anything related to the Air Force, I’ve taken the liberty of defining a few terms/planes for you since I hate not knowing what people are talking about and when acronyms are used in place of real words (which is my life).
- T-6: the plane everyone uses in pilot training for the first six months (I think this is the right info sheet, but am not totally sure)
- Track Select: this is the half-way point of training where the class is split up for more focused training depending on the planes they think they may want to fly and be assigned to after training is complete
- T-1: plane you are assigned to the last six months if your future in the Air Force includes flying a bigger jet (cargo, air re-fueler, etc.)
- T-38: plane you are assigned to the last six months if you want to want to fly a fighter jet
Now that that is done, we can continue.
To start the day off, family and friends of his class joined for breakfast and a commander’s welcome. Here we got an overview of what the guys had been going through the previous six months. And to hear how few people really experience anything like this.
After that, we headed to their “classroom” to get a taste of what they did each day — briefings, presentations, quizzes, etc.
The guys in the class were given a humorous certificate for completing their first solo flights and the wives received “certificates” of accomplishment for putting up with the training and all the various joys that come with it.
After that, family members had a chance to test out the flight simulators, which totally reminded me of the race car driving games at an arcade only much more complicated. Surprisingly, I didn’t crash until landing (the only reason this was even slightly a success was because I only had to steer the plane, not do any of the actual work. This was done by the simulator instructor).
And finally, we toured the runways/hangers and were able to get up close to the planes flying all around us. Here are some pictures from one of the busiest airports in the US – Kind of crazy, huh!
After a long day of walking around and exploring the Columbus Air Force Base, we returned for Track Select night. This was an hour of roasting for the guys. For Nick, it was a nice bit of roasting about losing his wedding ring while on his cross-country flight earlier in the year (very good choice, in my opinion). And after all was said and done, Nick received his first choice — the T-1 (proud wife moment)!
I only have a few pictures of this event AND they aren’t very good – enjoy anyway.
We’re now six weeks into this last phase and the T-1 and so far, I think Nick’s been enjoying it. It’s been very early mornings and lots of studying but it will be worth it when the year is over!
Now, for those of you tracking, the next big day will be Assignment Night in early August. This is the day we’ll finally know where we’re moving to next and what plane Nick will get to fly!
Of course, I’ll be sure to posts updates and better photos from that one (it just might not be until December)…