Category Archives: Naval Aviation

Long Day

By lex, on January 22nd, 2012

Which your host is back in charming Fallon, NV, having only left the place last Friday, but such were the puts and takes of managing pilot availabilities amidst an ever-dynamic requirements set. It was nice to be @home #whileitlasted, but it’ll be good to get back in the air again, so long as the weather cooperates, which it shows every intention not to do tomorrow. Actual Snow, if the forecasts are to be believed. I positively shiver.

But: The trends for the balance of the week are favorable.

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Relaxed Stability

By lex, on January 13th, 2012

Two flights yesterday, one day and one night. In the day hop, we joined with two Marine FA-18s to serve as their wingmen for the adversary presentation. Merely maintaining formation and maneuvering mildly with the much more modern fighters vividly displayed what twenty years of fighter evolution can produce. A pair of medium bypass, afterburning fan engines, a model wing with automated high lift devices and digital flight controls can do things without trying that a J-79 engine mounted on a pure delta wing cannot, or at least, cannot do easily. I was in and out of afterburner just staying in position. Once the machine gets slow – anything less than 300 knots is officially “slow” – there’s just so much wing in the breeze, so much induced drag.

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Day Hop

By lex, on January 11th, 2012

I left my helmet and gloves in the bike’s panniers overnight, which I regretted a little when I put them on this morning – they were pretty cold, and I was freshly scrubbed; the combination was uncongenial. It was only ten minutes gate to gate from Port Why-me-me to Point Mugu, with a brief stop at the on-base Subway for something hot with eggs in it.

I’m only two days into this detachment, and already the Subway gag reflex is kicking in. An I were king, we’d have some proper food on base that retirees/contractors could indulge in, for to keep out wind and water.

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Milestones

By lex, on December 27th, 2011

I read this article about Navy Captain Jim “Fish” Webb’s four thousandth flight hour with a little bit of envy:

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Rage-Ex

By lex, on December 6th, 2011

Our mission was to attack the imperialist, running-dog, bandits attacking our valiant, progressive forces on our sacred motherland in the name of “democracy”, “liberty”, and “Obamacare.” They were fewer than we, but fierce, while we hard iron in our hearts, for we were permitted to regenerate, having once been killed. They, on the other hand, were single-shot morts, the poor b*stards, and no one promised them that it’d be all beer and skittles in the halls of the (prestigious) Navy Fighter Weapons School. Bring it hard or stay home.

A beautiful day for flying in the Fallon Training Range Complex, winds light and variable at three knots, ceilings and visibility unlimited, the air cold but as clear Waterford crystal.

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Fallon Squiblets

By lex, on November 30th, 2011

Got in on Sunday afternoon. Flew once on Monday, twice Tuesday. Comfortable in the basic cranking of the machine, getting her flying, bringing her back again. More or less comfortable in the tactical phase; tallies at the merge, merge geometry, shot opportunities, kill calls and acknowledgements. Not so eager as once I was to hurl myself into a brawl. Not merely because we are restricted, as contractors, to “limited maneuvering”. But also because the fire is damped, the embers drowning.

I don’t mind shooting a man, should he turn his tail in front of me. Just don’t want to work all that hard for it, in a machine that is destined to lose, should he see me. And the Kfir, she is no Hornet. The Hornet, I could make her sing. With 50 hours of flight time, the best I can wring out of the Kfir is a groan.

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The Things You See

By lex, on November 22nd, 2011

Son Number One is back in Sandy Eggo, for to share the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities – my favorite holiday – with his clan. He went hence from Chez Lex to the local Flight Standards District Office, having completed his military competency test, to receive his civil ratings: Commercial & Instrument; Single Engine Land/Rotary Wing. Which is one more rating than I’ll ever get. Old dogs and new tricks, and those things go down. They go down. It’s the complexity in it.

A flight school classmate from Whiting Field joined him there at Montgomery Field. The FSDO at Pensacola apparently charges $90 for providing naval aviators their civilian ratings, which is odd for a government servant on full-time salary, whose paid work it is to service the certification requirements of airmen. I get that an FAA-certified examiner, who is not a government employee, charges for his time. I do not grok a civil servant playing the fiddle on the backs of recently winged naval aviators.

But anyway.

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