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003 – Flight Clothing and Equipment

On this episode, US Navy Lieutenant Commander Aaron “Vern” Vernallis explains the flight clothing and equipment F/A-18 aircrews wear in flight.  We go inside-out, bottom-to-top, discussing flight suits, boots, g-suits, torso harnesses, survival vests, helmets, and more.

Hard to visualize on a radio show?  Yup.  Check out our 5-minute YouTube video where Vern demonstrates donning the gear we discuss on the show.

002 – Callsigns

On this episode, US Navy Captain Brian “Ferg” Fergusson and I talk callsigns–those whimsical, often juvenile nicknames many military aviators go by instead of their real names when flying and on the ground.

Only in the movies do fighter pilots end up with cool callsigns like “Viper”, “Iceman”, or “Maverick”. In the real world, callsigns are generally plays on names (e.g. “Notso” Sharp), reflective of a pilot’s physical resemblance to some well-known character (“Shrek” Olsen), or the result of a mistake the pilot made at some point in his or her career (“Skids” Pennington). Callsigns are at times derogatory, and frequently not politically correct, but they are almost always funny.

Ferg and I discuss how callsigns are assigned, whether they ever change, and why it’s actually a good thing when a new fighter pilot despises a newly-assigned callsign.

001 – What is a ‘Fighter Pilot’?

In this inaugural episode of the Fighter Pilot Podcast, US Navy Commander Brian “Sunshine” Sinclair and I sit down to answer the question, what is a ‘fighter pilot’?  We discuss what a fighter pilot is, some characteristics typical of most fighter pilots, and the various paths to become one.  We also debunk cliché Hollywood stereotypes while discussing what a fighter pilot is not.

Towards the end of the show we discuss a few of the jets used in civilian organizations, including the F-21 Kfir and Hawker Hunter flown by ATAC, and the Super Tucano.  Click on each to learn a bit more.