Last time, we talked about the (hopefully) upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio series on “The Right Stuff” and the exciting prospect that a fighter pilot can potentially have of becoming a test pilot and possibly even an astronaut; either with NASA or some private space company like Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
If you haven’t read the book “The Right Stuff” by Tom Wolfe, you should go down to your local Barnes & Nobles and pick up a copy. One of my favorite chapters in the book is when Wolfe talks about how pilots from day one they are put through what seems like an infinite series of ‘tests’ that show whether or not a pilot has what it takes to join the ranks of a fighter pilot. You probably already know what I’m talking about: submitting your package, facing the review board, getting selected for flight training, getting through boot camp, passing through basic flight training, passing through advanced flight training, getting the jet of your choice. And if you’re going in the Navy or Marines, you’ll have a couple of other steps beyond what our buddies in the Air Force go through- qualifying for carrier duty and even night carrier landings!
But because of all of the bad information that there is out there about becoming a fighter pilot and what it takes to accomplish that goal, you’ve probably heard that you have to be superhuman to be a fighter pilot. They’ll tell you that each and every one of these stages has to go 100% perfectly on the first try if you hope to have any chance of flying the jet of your choice. You probably think that fighter pilots are the kind of people that can easily skate through things that are super challenging for you.
Nothing is farther from the truth.
In fact, if it were true, I know I sure as heck would never have made it into the cockpit of an F-18 and a lot of my buddies wouldn’t have either!
We’ve all gone through periods where we thought we didn’t have the right stuff. Every now and then, there’s a voice inside us that tells us we can’t make it. It’s the voice of self-doubt that plagues every pilot and pilot-wannabe. Here on the Afterburner Club, we’re here to help you hear another voice, the voice that will tell that little demon of self-doubt to just shut up and get lost! And we do it by telling you success stories of people just like you who face obstacles and ‘no’ answers form people that we need a ‘yes’ from.
No one, not astronauts, not test pilots, not me, or anyone else gets to skate through life! We all need that quality of perseverance to achieve our goals. That is the “Right Stuff” that I’m talking about. And it doesn’t begin when you submit your package and it doesn’t end when you make it into the cockpit of the jet of your choice either. It’s a way of life!
So join us on the Afterburner Club and live that way of life!