Me and Abilicious

Me and Abilicious

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to Business

Headed home!! The days were long and the weeks flew by. It's impossible to believe I came with zero hours of experience and left without having to repeat a single sortie! Christ was obviously sufficient in my great deficiencies! And it feels great to be done but then I realize that wasn't even the beginning. It was simply the screening process to see if I could even make it to he beginning. Tryouts.

Some things in the next phase will be similar but the greatest difference will be time spent in visual contact with the sun. I now feel like I've always under-appreciated windows. I love windows.

One similar component we will also receive at UPT is the standup emergency procedure. It's the air force's own public humiliation version of the grade school spelling bee. You're stood up in front of the entire flight and given an in-air emergency situation. You must-in great detail (going as far as what your fingers will be doing)-explain how you will bring the airplane from the emergency safely to the ground. If you are in your seat watching this take place the whole thing is very simplistic. But the moment you stand up all cognitive abilities are lost and all you really hope is that the IP realizes your ignorance sooner than later and calls someone else up to take control and relieve you from your stupidity. "It's a cup...with dirt in it. Just give me an F and move on."

I do think IFS has prepared me well for the next phase and I feel like I'm now on a more level playing field with some of the other guys who have prior flight time. As of yesterday I am the proud owner of 17.9 flight hours, 0.4 of which are solo and 0.1 is counted as night flying (the ONLY perk of getting up at 3:25am (please note that while it was a perk it in no way came remotely close to making up for getting up at that unholy hour)).

A year ago I read this from Isaiah, "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them." This is what the Lord has done for me. This verse has become real to me. I did not know how to get here but I did know it would be hard. And I don't know how to get where I'm going but I know it will also be difficult. But now, after these past few weeks, I know this is what the Lord has for me because I can see clearly how He brought me here. So I can run with confidence into it. Not confidence that I will succeed but confidence that this is what the Lord wants me to do and these are the people the Lord wants me to be with. What great comfort! 

My only fear is that I will forget this when training becomes tough and my focus will drift from God's direction to striving for success. That sounds exhausting just thinking about it. I don't want this to be a year of exhaustion, something I merely endure to see what's next. The people that will be in my class are already complaining about the long hours we'll have and all the stuff we'll have to memorize but I want to be able to enjoy it. Pray for joy for me. Because, honestly, when they make me get up to attend a 4am formal brief (that's night not morning (I'm confident 4am formal briefs come straight from the devil)) it will take a heavenly intervention to keep me from misery.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Finally, getting up in the morning

Last week I had to get up everyday at 3am to be at formal brief. I'm of the persuasion that anything before 5am is not morning but the dead of night. So I'm ecstatic the this week I get to wake up in the morning with actual sunshine and not only lamplight (thought I can't even see the sunshine until I get to our briefing room because there's no windows any where else (but still it's the thought that other normal people are up too)).

The downside to getting up "late" (6am is still a far cry from "late" and it's a shame I consider this sleeping-in now) is that your flight gets the later flights in the day. The later in the day the worse the weather. Winds pick up and there's a greater chance of rain. Today I flew out to an auxiliary airfield to do some pattern work (touch-and-go landings) and on my first approach when I was about 6 feet above the runway I encountered some wind shear (drastic change in wind direction or speed or both) and immediately dropped straight down to the runway. 6 feet may not seem like much in a 747 but in the Mighty Katana (sarcasm) it hurts and is enough to make you lose bowel control it's so scary (fortunately though the latter did not occur).

Even though the winds were horrid and I had some terrible landings I passed this ride (evidence of the grace of God) which means I'll get to solo tomorrow. It's cause to be excited but mostly it's a little freaky for someone with zero experience. Every time until now there's always been an extra human on board to divert the plane from it's seemingly imminent informal greeting with the ground when I really screw things up. So if you think about me tomorrow around 8-10am mountain time pray for the Holy Spirit to physically intervene in my life because I still need that extra pair of hands!!