This is our flight’s Nav School photo prior to graduation in front of the T-29 static display aircraft; I’m second from the right in the front row.
Each Nav School class created their own class patch; and my concept and design was used for our class’s patch, “To Boldly Go Where No Nav Has Gone Before.”
My roomate John and I took our pictures in our new flight suits; which was a milestone for us as we began our training.
Getting our first flight suits was quite an achievement; and something that we were very excited about because everything was new and pointed to a future of things yet to come.
These pictures were taken on the back porch of our apartment; which was close to Mather AFB.
Here I’m learning the “anti-G force straining maneuver” during the academic portion of our training.
Now it’s time to demonstrate the Parachute Landing Fall (PLF), that we had all learned and practiced many times before.
We learned the basics of parachuting in class and had practiced the Parachute Landing Fall at the “hanging harness” racks on base which simulated parachuting.
I’m waiting my turn to “launch” with the parachute spread out behind me on the pavement; lined up like so many aircraft holding on a taxiway.
Finally it was my turn, and my parachute was attached to a tow line behind a pick-up truck; that then accelerated down the road pulling me up into the air under the parachute.
I was soon airborne behind the pick-up truck, as it continued to accelerate until I had reached my maximum altitude.
Here the parachute opens in full deployment behind me during my initial launch; the other student’s role was to hold the parachute off the ground to assist in getting a full canopy.
At altitude and on a signal from the observer in the pick-up truck, I disconnected from the tow line; and began to free float back down to the ground.
Now’s the time to remember how to do a Parachute Landing Fall (PLF) properly; which consists of spreading the impact from the feet, to the outside area of one knee, the same hip and then completing the process with a roll over onto your side and back…in theory at least.
The landing was uneventful and the PLF worked as advertised; and thankfully I never had to actually put the PLF into use during the course of my Air Force career – but I was prepared if I ever had to.
This is our class’s graduation photo from Undergraduate Navigator Training (UNT) or “Nav School” for short; I’m the second from the right in the front row.
My first pair of wings for my flight suit was the accomplishment that we had all worked so hard for, over the prior months during Nav School.
Here’s the Air Training Command patch that we wore at the time.
The 452nd Flying Training Squadron or “452nd FTS,” was my squadron during Nav School.
I gave our crew chief my camera for this picture that he took of me, during my initial T-37 “Tweet” orientation ride in Nav School.
This is the original version of the T-37 “Tweet” pilots’ squadron patch while I was in Nav School – The 455th Flying Training Squadron or “455th FTS.”