I’m TDY to Charleston AFB, SC. My folks are visiting me today from Asheville. Here are some photos & stories.

Left seat of a C-17.

So our trip to Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio was scrapped due to weather. What a disappointment, because we were supposed to give the Navigator’s Association a tour of our aircraft. So we were having to replan our trip in an hour. Some suggested California. I suggested Key West or Seattle. The commander wanted to go to Charleston…

So we are in Charleston. So much for this being a “reward” for finishing our last check ride! Ugh. Oh yeah, I got an excellent on my check ride. After weaving and swerving three hundred miles to avoid missiles, I “dropped my troops” .1NM (600′) right and two seconds early. I also directed a landing using nothing but the radar and did awesome. Shit’s tough, yo!

Radar. Where it’s at.

Yesterday, my class toured the C-17 simulator facilities at Charleston AFB. The simulators cost close to $20 million each and are contracted by Boeing. We were able to check out the sim with a pilot at the helm. I plopped down into the co-pilot seat. Although the motion was not on at the time, it was so realistic that I felt us turning. Crazy what your mind can do to your inner ear to effect balance. Anyway, after about ten minutes, I asked if I could do a turn or two. I banked about 70 degrees right, and immediately over sped the flaps.

“Wow, you did that so fast… the maximum speed of this plane is 350 knots. You are doing 450!”

And then I said, “Can you do THIS in a real plane?” & pushed the nose of the plane down really aggressively into a sweet dive.

Bitchin’ Betty was making inputs: “Stall. Stall. Stall.” “Over speed. Over speed.” “Altitude. Altitude.”

Crashtastic. I’m a great pilot! But what chance would you have to do that in a real plane? None!

In the cargo hold of the C-17.

… & going out after arriving in Charleston in a beautiful and chic fifteen passenger van. Ridin’ dirty.

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