Saturday, September 27, 2014


Army flight school has been the most stressful thing I've ever encountered. It's a great diet, however. You get to wake up at 0330, after dreaming all night about autorotational descents and hover power settings, with a fresh case of anxiety induced nausea. I can never manage to eat in the mornings so I keep a Cliff Bar in my cargo pocket and rush to the flight line bus stop. While waiting for the bus, Soldiers are walking around mumbling to themselves, desperately trying to memorize an entire book of emergency procedures and operational limits, that they will shortly be told to stand and spit out in front of their colleagues.
On the bus you look for someone to say something encouraging to help settle your nerves and motivate you, but usually you just wallow with them in your huge vat of self pity and worry. This does not help the nausea. It grows the closer you get to the the flight line. Walking into class is okay because you're finally there and you can't turn back now. The urge to flee and never return is fairly constant.
Really the worst part of the day is the mission brief when you are quizzed on your verbal knowledge. Looking from the outside in, it's not that big of a deal. Getting your name called (in my case it's always Mr. O'....I mean Ms. O'Connor (seriously, I'm the only female in the class, just say it right once!)) feels like you just got picked for the Hunger Games. When that is finally over, we are released to our Instructor Pilots and then we start to have fun.
My IP is great and we have a good time up there. I also fly with my "stick buddy" so the 3 of us are always together. I have learned an incredible amount of information in the last 3 weeks and apparently it was enough to pass my first check ride and then solo! I flew a helicopter without my IP and I LOVED it! His job is to belittle my piloting skills and yell at me the entire flight, so it was extremely enjoyable to fly without the harassment.

Me, my IP & 76 Foxtrot

All alone in the clouds :)


Sarah said...

Nailed it! You are amazing! I want you to take me on a flight before I die.

Janna Renee said...

We all thought flight school was going to be so cool, and now we are ALL rethinking it. Haha, I'm already tired of the EP's, so I can only imagine how y'all feel. If I could come be motivational on the bus in the mornings, you know I would!