One day, prior to briefing to fly the F-111E; our Life Support Tech in the 79th FS said the base photographer wanted to take some photos of crews getting ready in Life Support, and asked me if the photographer could take some pictures of me preparing to fly – and I said sure, go ahead – and these photos we given to me some time afterwards.
We had a nice Life Support Shop in the 79th FS, and after briefing to fly and getting an update and tail numbers from the Duty Officer – we went to Life Support to suit up and Ops Check our equipment prior to “stepping” to the jet.
In my Life Support locker I stored my helmet, helmet bag, g-suit, checklists, an extra jacket and all the miscellaneous “stuff” I kept there for flying; we didn’t need a harness in the F-111 – as it had an ejection “capsule” instead of ejection seats.
For me suiting up to go fly was a quiet time to “process” the information that we had just briefed, and prepare a mental picture of the sequence of upcoming events that were going to happen on the sortie.
We are all creatures of habit, and suiting up to fly is probably similar to the sequence many athletes use to suit up for a game; and my jacket needs the adjustment here to fit just right over my g-suit – that I’ve probably always done the same way every time – after tucking my flight gloves into the top of my g-suit under my jacket.
The last step in the process is to check the helmet and mask’s intercom system and pressure check the mask – once everything checks out OK, then the crew van takes us out to our assigned jet where it’s parked for launch.