Dan's Blog

A new year and new adventures


A few months have gone by and a lot has been going on. I suspended my Instrument training in November (mentioned previously). The main reason was I had too much going on in my personal life. The lessons weren’t being productive. Even though I was flying the sim and as a EAA member the sim time cost me nothing, just the cost of the instructors time, I did not have the mental focus to prepare the lesson and do a proper debrief. At other times in my life I may have been depressed about that. The last part of 2012 was a real test to determined if I learned how to prioritize what I want and then be comfortable with the outcome. 

I really want to be an instrument rated pilot. At this time though, I really wanted to get back into the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard. That goal is something I had thought about for about 3 years. Two or three years ago, it didn’t seem like the right thing for me. I was out of shape physically and the retraining to get my old job back was too great with my kids who were between the 3rd and 6th grades. I also want to be a CAP pilot. After going to airshows a couple of times a year, I would reflect on being a tourist looking at the Military aircraft. I don’t like being a tourist.

At Sep 2012 at the California Capital Airshow in Mather, CA, I watched the Thunderbird Crew Chiefs assist with the engine start and aircraft launch. I used to do that job. Not with the Thunderbirds but in the KS Air National Guard. I decided then, I wanted to get back in.

I began running, doing sit-ups, and pushups. All the exercises I hate. I met with the Recruiter, did the over 40 physical and the long process of getting my records retrieved for my prior Service. On Dec 4, 2012, I took the Oath of Enlistment. I had my first UTA a couple weeks ago. I recently got my Military ID. I still don’t have uniforms. That will come in time.

I was a Crew Chief back in the day when I was active duty and ANG. Since I had been out for so long (17 years), to get my old job back, I have to the take the Crew Chief Tech school again. All Crew Chiefs go through the same school for the first 6 weeks. It’s the fundamentals of aircraft maintenance and learning the Air Force way for maintenance paperwork. Yes things change over time. At my first UTA a couple weeks ago, I spoke with a couple of guys who just finished Tech School. I asked them about what they learned and asked if certain items were still taught. After the discussion it seems that time and money would be best spent to do a little OJT and skip the first 6 weeks.

The second part of Crew Chief school is airframe specific. My AF Reserve unit operates the C-5. That aircraft is new to me and I fully agree, I need to go to that school. It is another 6 weeks. 

I ordered some study materials for the Crew Chief 5 skill level and read them and the Technical Orders I can find online to refresh my memory and bring me up to speed on procedures. If my unit feels I still need both schools, I’m prepared to do that. I should do well in Tech School after the studying I’m doing.

I’m really looking forward getting past the new guy phase and being a functional member of the unit. Why the break in service? I’ll save that for another day. For now, I’m only looking ahead.