Cutting Corners: Beating the Inspection

Armed Service, Excellence, Flight, Integrity, Leadership, Military Affairs, Personal Value, Veterans
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small maters cannot be trusted with important matters.” Albert Einstein In the winter of 1972-73, my dad was the commander of the 391stTactical Fighter Squadron, part of the 366thFighter Wing at Mountain Home, Idaho.  The 391stflew the Air Force’s newest fighter-bomber, the General Dynamics F-111F.  With thirty percent more thrust and no increase in weight over the original F-111A, the Aardvark, as it was called, was a Cadillac.  Designed to fly at speeds close to the speed of sound on the deck, with a new digital radar that was better than advertised, it was loved by her crews.  Unfortunately, the first years in service of the F-111 were marred by accidents, misapplications of its capabilities, a disastrous introduction in Vietnam, and a high operating cost.  Putting it lightly,…
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Pilot or Passenger?

Pilot or Passenger?

Flight, Individual Greatness, Leadership, Personal Value, Vector
A-10 Control Stick During pilot training, one of the instructors in the T-37 was notorious for grabbing the student’s oxygen hose and squeezing it to cut off the supply of oxygen.  While doing so, he would ask, “Are you a pilot, or passenger?”  While teaching formation flight, he was particularly sadistic.  When his student had trouble getting into position right off of the fingertip of their flight lead only a few feet away, he would again grab his student’s oxygen mask and say, “Get in position!  No fingertip, no oxygen!” There may be better ways to teach, but this instructor's madness worked.  Fear and a little bit of panic drove his students to get in position, take control of the aircraft, and learn how to be a pilot instead of a passenger. I spent quite…
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The Doolittle Raiders–The Essence of a Heroic Volunteer Force

Armed Service, Flight, Freedom, Military Affairs, Value of Life, Veterans
I take no credit for the following story or its composition.  Just felt compared to share it to remind a few of us how great our legacy is as Americans.  I hope I would have volunteered as did this man and his compatriots.  For them, Patriotism was not a theoretical discussion.  As we sit around whining about our first world problems, take a moment or two to read this excellent firsthand account by the pilot of aircraft #13 on the Doolittle Raid off the Hornet in 1942. My  name is  Edgar McElroy. My friends call me "Mac". I was  born and  raised in Ennis , Texas the youngest of  five children, son of Harry and  Jennie McElroy.  Folks say that…
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Beyond Training–The Heart of a Protector

Armed Service, Excellence, Flight, Individual Greatness, Law Enforcement, Leadership, Veterans
  Mass shootings are never simple.  Regardless of how simple determining a 'cause' may be, and how easily we are able to punish those at fault, no one wins.  Loved ones are still gone.  Lives are forever changed for the worse.  Justice and new procedures never right the wrongs, never make everything better.  Such will be the case in the Parkland, Florida shooting. In the wake of the mass shooting in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the nation once again soul-searches for an answer to 'why' and how to stop future events like this.  Many are quick to point a finger at the first sign of failure.  We want to ban guns.  We want to crucify the FBI for their lack of action, to…
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Optimum Cruise–Avoiding the Sabre Dance in Flight and Life

Flight, Leadership, Vector
As a pilot, the scariest flight video I've ever watched is a slow speed F-100 doing a "Sabre Dance".  Slow and low to the ground, trying to land, with the wings teetering on a stall, often the pilot does not walk away alive.  A rare occurrence, but common and deadly enough to make any pilot respect the twenty feet above touchdown and the accompanying speed of a fighter aircraft. This dangerous phase of flight is partially due to what is known as the 'region of reverse command'.  It is a terrible place to fly, but almost as poor of a speed at which to run your business and life. In simple terms, an aircraft in the region of reverse command is flying so…
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