Jump & Soaring!
Each Go Cadets only have 10 lessons of Soaring and must try to complete those 4 flights within that time.
This week is the last chance for Cadets to turn in applications for the Airfield program that the current 4 Degrees are hoping to take during one of the 3 summer periods. After talking with different cadets it seemed pretty even as far as those who wanted to take Soaring (which would make them eligible for AM 461, the Cadet Instructor Pilot Upgrade program which they would take their Sophomore year) - and others were hoping for AM 490, Jump instead. I guess we'll find out who ended up getting which program when we catch the Upperclassmen summer programs!
Most of the Cadets we catch during the academic year with our coverage of Soaring are the 4 Degrees, as they fly during the morning and into the afternoon, but more than likely with our afternoon coverage you will see more of a range of all 4 Classes. The reason being is that while the 4 Degrees are going through AM 251, the upperclassmen (mostly 3 Degrees) are going through Airmanship 461 or AM 461.
AM 461 is a Cadet Instructor Pilot Upgrade program, which will run all semester long. Only a certain number of 3 Degrees are selected from the applicant process and those who are selected will be the next generation of Soaring IPs (Instructor Pilots). While the 4 Degrees in AM 251 only have to take 4 Flights, the 3 Degrees in AM 461 must complete a total of 80 or more flights, not to mention ground and flight evaluations. The Cadets who complete this program and get their wings are the Air Force's youngest instructor pilots. Once AM 451 is completed the Cadet IPs can take one of two programs. AM 472 where they would then become instructors for the AM 251 program. Or AM 473, where their main job would be to train the next group of cadet instructor pilots.
To view the rest of the pictures from our M and T Day coverage of Soaring go to; Galleries - Airmanship - Soaring. Or click the link below.
We're back with coverage from this Go's Jumps! This past week was a very busy one for AM-490 Cadets as they made their way through their 5 jumps.
Click here to read some background on Jump from our earlier blog this month when these cadets were in the middle of Ground Training.
During the academic year, all classes are split into M and T days and depending on what their schedule is like will determine what day they will take a class. When AM-490 has a Saturday class, those days tend to include both M and T day groups. Below cadets are getting geared up before heading out to the plane. We were able to catch one of the Cadets getting her jump wings zipped into her flight suit, the cadets only wear these on their 5th and final jump.
The Cadets have been Jumping just about every day this week, outside of Monday and Sunday which are no Jump days. On the weekdays the M and T day students only have about 2 hours to jump during their class period but on Saturday's they have as much time as they need to complete their jumps or until 3pm, whichever comes first. This past Saturday however, was unique in the sense that it was an M day class day - the Academy was making up for week days missed in the last couple of months by having the Cadet Wing have an extra day of classes over the weekend. By Saturday some Cadets were only on their 1st Jump while others were already on Jumps 3 or 4. By the end of the day on Saturday a good portion of the Class had reached their 5th jump.
While the Cadets are jumping, the Wings of Blue Cadets assist them by radio as they make their way back to earth while under canopy. Sometimes these Cadets have some fun while they wait for the Cadets to reach altitude in the aircraft.
Each jump is videotaped from the second they exit the plane through their 10 second freefall until they release their parachute. After the entire group has landed they are then all briefed and graded on the execution of their jump. Sometimes this means the occasional retraining or practice before going for their next jump.
Last but not least, we caught some of the Cadets as they were getting their wings pinned onto their uniform! Congratulations! May you always have blue skies!
To view the rest of the pictures from our coverage of Jump, go to Galleries - Airmanship - Jump. Or click the link below.