Let me tell you about the very first time I ever went flying on my very first flight in basic pilot training for the Marine Corps.
I thought that the instructor was going to be doing the flying while I was going to just sit in the side seat of our Cessna 150 trainer for orientation and this first fight would actually be enjoyable. Boy was I wrong!!
I was thrown into the command pilot’s seat with my instructor sitting beside me like HE was the passenger when in fact he was the one who had all of the flight experience and I was just starting to learn why the wings of an airplane made it fly! He was rattling off what all the basic instruments were faster than I could take it all in, correcting absolutely EVERYTHING I did on the pre-flight inspection, having me take off as soon as we were cleared and couldn’t even keep us going straight down the runway before we got airborne, and telling me more about clearances, corrections, and navigation all that the same time that there was no way I could possibly retain all of it for the second lesson.
Something else about that first flight that’s also a little embarrassing…I had to make use of the sic-sacs that we had stowed on board for such emergencies.
After an experience like that, doubt definitely crept up my spine as to whether or not I really had what it took to be a fighter pilot. As we were approaching the runway for landing at the end, I wasn’t AT ALL confident in my ability to get us down safely. I looked down at the F/A-18 Hornets on the tarmac that I had been dreaming of flying and thought to myself, “How can I hope to handle one of those powerful and sophisticated babies if I can’t even handle a Cessna?”
Fortunately, my tenacity kept me going and I eventually found out the answer. The answer is …through training!
It took a lot of sleepless nights of study, heart-stopping maneuvering in the air and proving myself to my merciless instructors time and time again, but by the time I was through with both primary and advanced training, I knew I was ready.
Three years later, I would be flying a routine patrol in an F/A-18, have no trouble taking off, would execute the proper maneuvers at the proper time knowing exactly where I was going and what I needed to do, and able to handle just about any emergency procedure in the F-18 that a malfunctioning system might throw at me. Getting sick…never even crossed my mind.
It was a dream job come true for me. And now, I’ve made it my mission to help young people who are like me at that age; people just like you, who want to know how they can handle being in the cockpit of their dream jet before they even step inside one.
That is what the Afterburner Club is for. By providing information on the systems and components of several of today’s jet fighters flying in the service today, we can help you prepare for that first flight in primary training. If you start training right now, you’ll not only spare yourself the nervousness and embarrassment that I went through, but you’ll be able to smoke everyone you are competing with for that jet slot that you desire and deserve.
The sooner you start, the easier it will be!
Start your training with experienced pilots right now and join the Afterburner Club today.