Making it to Air Force fighter pilot training is one thing. Excelling in it is something else entirely. Here’s U.S. Air Force Major Justin “Hasard” Lee, an F-35 pilot instructor, to break it down for you:
While fighter pilots take to the skies in some of the most advanced aircraft ever conceived by man, you’ll start in the decidedly less exotic 1,100 horsepower T-6 Texan. The Texas is a high performance, prop driven aircraft that will allow you to begin learning the basics of flying from point A to Point B.
From there, Air Force fighter pilot training moves to more advanced concepts, like how to fly using just the instrumentation. While the cockpit does offer a view, fighter pilots can feasibly fly their aircraft off of the instruments alone. Once you’ve mastered that, you’ll move on to flying in formation, which can be extremely dangerous.
Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals down in the Texan, you’ll move on to a jet-powered trainer, the T-38 Talon. Unlike the T-6, the T-38 can fly faster than the speed of sound and will offer a more direct approximation of how your fighter will perform. From there, you’ll move on to the good stuff: learning to fly your jet in combat.
Do you want to learn more about life as a fighter pilot? Then check out these great articles from Justin “Hasard” Lee:
- LEARN THE ART OF SELF DISCIPLINE FROM AN F-35 PILOT INSTRUCTOR
- TAKING THE BLAME: WHY FIGHTER PILOTS HAVE TO OWN THEIR MISTAKES
- FIGHTER PILOTS HAVE TO CONSERVE MENTAL ENERGY LIKE JET FUEL. HERE’S HOW
And make sure you check out Justin “Hasard” Lee’s podcast, The Professionals Playbook, here!