The T-38 Stall Ride: Part IV – The Paper Trail

It so turned out that T-38 Stall Training was a “Special Emphasis Item” for the 1985 HQ ATC Stan/Eval inspection cycle, and we “hit it out of the park!”  In Jul 1985, Nick A., the Director of ATC Stan/Eval, began promoting the ride through Command Headquarters, receiving very positive responses.  I wasn’t ready to formally propose the ride until September of that year.

Here my mind ‘fades’ a bit, and I have lost the ‘paper trail.’  I think it took about 17 – 18 months for the proposal to work its way through Command until it was formally integrated into the T-38 PIT syllabus.  By that time I had moved on from Stan/Eval, and Rick L. took over the responsibility for monitoring its progress.  Make no mistake, I was also watching it from my new position as the 12th Student Squadron Commander.

With Rick on board, we continually refined the ride until we had a product we felt gave the student a real appreciation for the T-38 stall and sink rate characteristics.  We intentionally made it an “ungraded ride,” and a ride flown exclusively with 12th Stan/Eval T-38 flight examiners (FEs) as instructors.  I deliberately specified this to control the quality of the instruction.  I also directed that my FEs approach the ride with an attitude of, “Here, let me take you out and maybe show you something about the jet you may not have known…”  And, as important, to make it a “fun” ride for the student.

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