Thanks to those who played along with our little quiz–I hope you had as much fun filling it out as we did reading the responses. 🙂 I think I made some of them too easy with my sentences. And now, the answers: (as best I can, some of these may not be technical definitions)
- Triple turn–to fly three “sorties”, or flights, in one day. A rarity, but still an occurrence, and a tiring one.
- Hook a ride–to get an “Unsatisfactory” grade on a flight, i.e., to fail. If you get an “unsat”, you have to go through these other rides of vindication before getting back with the curriculum.
- Roll Call–Roll Call is a fighter pilot tradition dating back to WWII where roll was called to see who made it back from a mission, and then those who made it back would celebrate or mourn losses and tell stories at the bar. Today, it’s a time for the squadron to get together and tell stories, and give nicknames “call signs”–usually of a humiliating nature–in the squadron bar. The squadrons here aim for once or month or every other month, it seems. I believe it’s a more frequent event in fighter squadrons, and I’m not sure how often they occur in the other platforms, although they never could seem to get them going at our last assignment.
- Arts and crafts. At first I thought this was just something Caleb said to be ironic, but then I overheard some other guys saying it and Caleb confirmed it’s a known phrase. It refers to when the pilots have to use scissors and tape to cut down and affix some important papers–I think checklists and that sort of thing–to their kneeboards–these sort of small clipboard-type things they strap to their legs for flights.
- Taco–another word for “unsat”. The idea behind “hook” and “taco” is that a U looks like a hook, or, the end of a hard shell taco. In Columbus, students who hooked for “ground knowledge” had to bring in actual tacos for the whole flight. Humiliation is a big motivator in this industry.
- Show time–the time you have to show up each day.
- Bold face–the items on the checklist (as in: gear? check. flaps? check) that are in bold and have to be memorized. Don’t ask me which items this includes. Usually it’s one of the first things pilots are expected to commit to memory the day they start flying a new airframe.
- Helmet fire–akin to “my head is about to explode” from too much information, or just too much going on.
- Step–walking out to the plane.
- Out and back–most of the flights in pilot training: they go up, they go to their practice area not far away, they do their maneuvers, might practice around the runway(pattern work) and land. Out and backs involve going to a more remote destination, to familiarize with different airports and navigation, etc. Usually they go somewhere at least fun if not awesome and have lunch. It may or may not make wives stuck in pilot training base towns a little jealous.
I think that Katie had the most answers that most closely resonated with the true meanings, so I’ll be contacting her about a small prize.
I also thought I’d share a few shots from a recent photo contest, of sorts, in which I recently participated. The idea was to practice taking pictures indoors with natural light for ten days, with a chance to win some prizes. The winning and prizes part is still TBD.