Friday, October 17, 2008

You've Got the Controls

About 2 weeks ago I got a real treat. The Air Ops Officer and Asst. Officer pulled some strings and got me in touch with CDR Robin "Hood" Higgs out of the S-3 Weapons School* at NAS Jacksonville. They have a training plane (the T-34C) that is the same exact plane that the students going through flight school fly. Personally I think theirs looks a little cooler. CDR Higgs took me up for a couple hours and let me take the controls the majority of the flight. It was my first real taste of Naval Aviation. I had a blast. At one time in the flight CDR asked me "What do you want to do now?" I replied, "Why don't you take the controls and do something fun, you won't scare me." I was fully aware that the T-43C is fully acrobatic... He proceeded to walk me through the procedure of an Aileron Roll. And then did one. Wow! It was nuts. So fun... kind of like being in a roller coaster. We had hardly leveled out when he came across the comms and said, "You ready to try it?" I was a little hesitant, but there was no way I could pass on that invitation. He started to talk me through it... "Nose up, more... more... little more. OK, hold it... now when you are ready push the stick hard to the left." I did. Wicked. I had a smile on my face for two days after that flight and knew instantly that my goal over the next couple years is to get my own set of wings. Thanks CDR Higgs, I will never forget that flight.

*S-3 Weapons School is a training command for S-3 pilots. It could be described as "Top Gun" for the S-3 platform.


Matt said...

Happy for you J.R. I would have killed to get some seat time while I was in FL. who knows maybe some day (after you get your wings) you could take me up. Make the best of OCS and show them what real sailors can do.

chloejames said...

Hey J.R.

Your Mom forwarded your blog on to us. We are so pleased to see that you are pursuing this. I guess that flying thing must run in the family. The kids are wondering how Bruiser is?
Will check in now and again to see how you're doing. Stay safe,
Russ and Kathryn

Bluevoodoo said...

Alright there swabby, keep up the good work. You know, Popeye never flew jets, so you get yer wings and I will call you something else!

Semper Fi brother

JR Walsh said...

Thanks guys... I appreciate all your kind words. Russ/Kathryn, tell the kids bruiser is great, and hopefully if I get some time in the next couple days I'll post a pic of him. Thanks for stopping by, maybe I can see you guys my next trip south?

Anonymous said...

Have a blast salty

Will keep in touch Sir Fingers