Saturday, January 29, 2011

Art Imitating Life

A FAIP is a special sort of creature. He or she had the rather questionable privilege of being plowed directly out of undergraduate pilot training right back into instructor duty. Not one millisecond of operational experience of any kind intervenes as, much like a community organizer becoming President of these United States, a bottom feeding slug in a closed society is elevated to semi-divine status. Today an ignorant student and tomorrow a font of aeronautical knowledge and skill but really without a clue about "the life."

Because FAIPs fly little airplanes that can turn upside down and because they are universally reviled as ignorant twits, the USAF is usually benevolent with regard to their future assignments. They generally go to tactical aircraft after three or four years of instructor duty. There they are welcomed as long lost brothers in arms...err, maybe not.

There are few things more humbling for a FAIP than coming face to face with the realization that they don't have a clue and never did about flying high performance jets. Some come around and some don't. But, there is a definite learning process.


juvat said...

That's just about how I remember it. Not much has changed, then.

Robin said...

Hey, have you heard about Spain banning US aerial refueling and other things inside their airspace ?

immagikman said...

Why in gods name would the AF take a new graduate and make them an instructor? Thats insane.

Ed Rasimus said...

At the end of the SEA war the USAF had to drawdown pilot production from about 5500 per year to about 3000. The Navy did it brutally by walking in to Pensacola and sending several hundred folks home--some within a few weeks of graduating. AF used a phased approach, but in the process we had to absorb current pipeline production. All flying commands had to take graduate output in proportion to the percentage of pilots they had. Training command had 28%, so they had to use 1/4 of pilot training output. Undergraduate training isn't that complex. It was relatively easy to make an adequate instructor from a brand-new grad.

(I was the guy in charge of Training Command personnel assignments division for input and output of pilot/nav training at the time.)