Skip Navigation Links
FacebookFlickrTwitterYou Tube

cadet blogs

A Few Flights Under My Wing

(Life as an Ensign, Class of 2012) Permanent link
Glock Photo Spring break is almost here! Oh, wait... flight school students don't get a spring break! But that's fine, because instead of going on vacation, i'll be flying high in the T6-B completing my first solo flight in it and beginning my aerobatics phase of Primary Flight Training.


I have to admit, Primary is really hard work and demands a lot of time, patience, and drive. Luckily, that's is exactly what the CGA helped me develop. If I tried to go through flight school out of a normal college, I really don't think I would make it through the program. The T6-B is a lot of fun to fly. We call it the Ferrari of the sky. And they are just a few years old which helps with maintenance!


I'm currently in the Contact Phase of flight training. We focus on the fundamentals of flying, emergency procedures, flying by visual flight rules, and studying the systems of the aircraft. As I said, it is a lot to learn. This phase is a fire hose of information. But it all pays off when you have that moment when everything "clicks" and you can enjoy the training flights. After all, that's what we're all here for - to fly military aircraft!


I'll post another blog once I complete my Contact Solo and begin Aero. Stay tuned!


More about George.


First Year of Flight School

(Life as an Ensign, Class of 2012) Permanent link
Glock Photo It’s hard to believe that I reported to Naval Flight School just one year ago. My first year out of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy has gone incredibly fast. I am currently in phase III/IV of flight school and have completed IFS and API.


IFS is an introduction to flying in which students fly with civilian instructors in Cessnas and Pipers. We get about 25 hours of flight time and complete our FAA Private Pilot Exam at Peter Prince Airfield. It is also the last time we will fly until we report to Primary Flight Training, which is the phase I am in now.


After IFS, I checked into API at NAS Pensacola. This phase is six weeks and is made up of classroom instruction on several subjects such as aerodynamics, engines, navigation, and flight rules and regulations. It is an intense six weeks. In addition to heavy academics, we also have swimming almost every day where we learn to swim and tread water in full flight gear and boots. Near the end of API, we have a culminating event in which we must swim one mile non-stop in a flight suit within eighty minutes. It sounds daunting, especially to me, but the instructors work us up slowly and it ended up being a lot easier than I expected.


A few weeks ago I checked into Primary at NAS Whiting Field. In my opinion, this is when the real training begins. I am finishing up ground school and will be flying the T-6B within the next few weeks. The amount of information we had to read, process and internalize is mesmerizing. The textbooks and pubs are endless and there are even emergency procedure checklists that we must memorize verbatim. It’s like learning an entire semester’s worth of material in one month. All this work is, of course, worth it because in just one short year I’ll be pinning on my wings.


I’ll be sure to add some updates as my flying progresses. If anyone reading this wants to be a pilot, this is the way to go. The training is the best in the world and the Coast Guard has the most rewarding missions. It’s a lot of work, but it’s an amazing career.



More about George.