• Please take a moment and update your account profile. If you have an updated account profile with basic information on why you are on Air Warriors it will help other people respond to your posts. How do you update your profile you ask?

    Go here:

    Edit Account Details and Profile

Current SNA at Kingsville - Send Questions

PMPT

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I saw that too on a search. Presumably that means they're planning to take CAT-1s through FY23 or possibly later. With the USN completely out of the A-D Hornet business, I wonder how long the FRS is taking at VMFAT-101 these days?
101 is actually closing pretty soon and production of hornet pilots will become the job of VMFA-323 which will become the FRD.

That being said, rumors abound about the sundown of the hornet being moved left so we'll see. Apparently the fleet health of the jets is purportedly pretty dire, even after the redistribution of the -D models.
 

PMPT

Well-Known Member
Kinda curious what the vibe is like over at Kvegas. How the IPs are, learning curve, culture, etc. I’m headed over there pretty soon for I-jet and want to get an idea of what to expect.
Strike or E/2-C/2?

It's pretty standard and a big change from what you'll be used to in primary. Alot more big boy rules in many respects and less focus on pettiness. You'll also find the interaction between IPs and studs to be a little more relaxed (in general) than primary. Also a bit of a general change of focus ... the goal is not so much to sort the what from the chaff (primary, aside from giving you the basic sklls to become a naval aviator, also does seem to put a large amount of time into determining whether you have the acumen to be a single-seat bubba etc, hence why NSS is so important in primary as well since people are competing for specific communities), but primarily to train. You'll also see a big change when you get to advanced ... the admin portion of the flight (everything from before fence-in to post fence-out) is pretty much just an expectation at that point. The expectation is that you can take off into shit weather, get joined up with lead, execute the tactical portion of the flight, and come back home via ILS or PAR in bad weather alone and do it safely. It's a cool feeling when you realize how much trust the government is vesting in you to go rage around in one of their jets on your own.

Overall, expect to have a good time. You'll have some shitty flights, but don't let it get to you too much. Especially in advanced, the learning curve is just very steep.

Kingsville sucks but because of that the community is very tight knit and you'll make great friends and have some tremendous fun doing insane stuff with your friends. I still remember sitting in marshal on my div form solo thinking how nuts it was that an IP and me and two of my friends were going to go fly around in formation together. So cool. You're gonna have fun. Enjoy it and make the most of it.
 

wlawr005

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
Strike or E/2-C/2?

It's pretty standard and a big change from what you'll be used to in primary. Alot more big boy rules in many respects and less focus on pettiness. You'll also find the interaction between IPs and studs to be a little more relaxed (in general) than primary. Also a bit of a general change of focus ... the goal is not so much to sort the what from the chaff (primary, aside from giving you the basic sklls to become a naval aviator, also does seem to put a large amount of time into determining whether you have the acumen to be a single-seat bubba etc, hence why NSS is so important in primary as well since people are competing for specific communities), but primarily to train. You'll also see a big change when you get to advanced ... the admin portion of the flight (everything from before fence-in to post fence-out) is pretty much just an expectation at that point. The expectation is that you can take off into shit weather, get joined up with lead, execute the tactical portion of the flight, and come back home via ILS or PAR in bad weather alone and do it safely. It's a cool feeling when you realize how much trust the government is vesting in you to go rage around in one of their jets on your own.

Overall, expect to have a good time. You'll have some shitty flights, but don't let it get to you too much. Especially in advanced, the learning curve is just very steep.

Kingsville sucks but because of that the community is very tight knit and you'll make great friends and have some tremendous fun doing insane stuff with your friends. I still remember sitting in marshal on my div form solo thinking how nuts it was that an IP and me and two of my friends were going to go fly around in formation together. So cool. You're gonna have fun. Enjoy it and make the most of it.
That's a real solid write up my man. You've paid attention.
 

colonial-aviation

Intermediate Jet
Strike or E/2-C/2?

It's pretty standard and a big change from what you'll be used to in primary. Alot more big boy rules in many respects and less focus on pettiness. You'll also find the interaction between IPs and studs to be a little more relaxed (in general) than primary. Also a bit of a general change of focus ... the goal is not so much to sort the what from the chaff (primary, aside from giving you the basic sklls to become a naval aviator, also does seem to put a large amount of time into determining whether you have the acumen to be a single-seat bubba etc, hence why NSS is so important in primary as well since people are competing for specific communities), but primarily to train. You'll also see a big change when you get to advanced ... the admin portion of the flight (everything from before fence-in to post fence-out) is pretty much just an expectation at that point. The expectation is that you can take off into shit weather, get joined up with lead, execute the tactical portion of the flight, and come back home via ILS or PAR in bad weather alone and do it safely. It's a cool feeling when you realize how much trust the government is vesting in you to go rage around in one of their jets on your own.

Overall, expect to have a good time. You'll have some shitty flights, but don't let it get to you too much. Especially in advanced, the learning curve is just very steep.

Kingsville sucks but because of that the community is very tight knit and you'll make great friends and have some tremendous fun doing insane stuff with your friends. I still remember sitting in marshal on my div form solo thinking how nuts it was that an IP and me and two of my friends were going to go fly around in formation together. So cool. You're gonna have fun. Enjoy it and make the most of it.
I’m strike. Thanks for the write up! The gist I’ve gotten from some friends there now is that the 45’s not as nice to fly as the T-6, and looking through the NATOPS shows how the instruments aren’t as good and many of the instrument FTI maneuvers are “same same but different.” Do you think that’s accurate?
 
Last edited:

Birdbrain

Well-Known Member
I’m strike. Thanks for the write up! The gist I’ve gotten from some friends there now is that the 45’s not as nice to fly as the T-6, and looking through the NATOPS shows how the instruments aren’t as good and many of the instrument FTI maneuvers are “same same but different.” Do you think that’s accurate?
I'd disagree. The T-45C flys nicer than the T-6B because it's a Turbofan spitting out 5,527LBS of thrust instead of a Turboprop throwing a measley 1,100 SHP. Mo powah mo betta.

In all seriousness I think the T-45C is a more fun aircraft to fly once you get the hang of it. Harder to fly well for sure and some of the controls are more antiquated than the T-6B such as manual radio freq entries are done on toggle switches. It's part of the charm. As for instruments the fact that the T-45 doesn't have RNAV means it's less modern, but the planimetric line is a penny from heaven so I don't care.

Also; a HUD that regularly works. That's leaps and bounds better.

EDIT: the answer the to the other half of your question - I Jet is like Primary for the T-45C. A lot of things are "same same but different" because Instruments is still instruments, Fams is still fams (contacts), and Formation is still formation.

I'd wholly concur with the above poster. My experience so far is that strike training is way better than Primary. In terms of instructor-student relationship its more instruction on molding you to be their replacement, especially if it's evident that you put the work in on the ground. In terms of students you'll find the average student is very willing to help out if you ask because they were probably in your shoes and somebody else helped them out. NSS doesn't matter as much anymore because congrats you already selected jets, and the grading here is more oldschool. Do something bad - that's a below. Do something normal - that's a MIF. Do something nice - that's an above. It's still the only way to demonstrate your effort you put in so if you want some platform that's hard to get getting a high NSS and being lucky is the only way to try to get that.

I think the biggest takeaway so far is that you are being trained to be a jet pilot. The kid gloves that you were handled with in Primary slowly come off the more you're in training and after you get your instrument rating you are expected to be able to take this multimillion dollar jet solo through the goo, join up in formation and do some fun stuff, then come back through the goo and land on deck without killing yourself. That's a lot of trust and the more I think about that it blows my mind. Plus - single seat mentality. Don't expect instructors to step in and get you out of a bad situation unless it's going to be a flight safety problem. The best lessons I learned from Intermediate were when I screwed something away so badly that I held on to the vertical stab for dear life while the instructor wrote notes for the debrief.

Anyway all that's to say don't worry too much and enjoy yourself the training is hard and everybody else there is in the suck with you. Just because it's tough doesn't mean that there aren't beautiful moments along the way.
 
Last edited:

sevenhelmet

Far from this opera for evermore...
pilot
I'd disagree. The T-45C flys nicer than the T-6B because it's a Turbofan spitting out 5,527LBS of thrust instead of a Turboprop throwing a measley 1,100 SHP. Mo powah mo betta.

In all seriousness I think the T-45C is a more fun aircraft to fly once you get the hang of it. Harder to fly well for sure and some of the controls are more antiquated than the T-6B such as manual radio freq entries are done on toggle switches. It's part of the charm. As for instruments the fact that the T-45 doesn't have RNAV means it's less modern, but the planimetric line is a penny from heaven so I don't care.

Also; a HUD that regularly works. That's leaps and bounds better.
The Thrust-to-Weight is about the same (1100 SHP on the '6 translates to about 2,700 lbs of thrust for an airplane that weighs half as much), but the jet is faster by virtue of being a jet, so maybe that's what you're getting at. Your next airplane will very likely redefine "Mo powah" in a whole new way. 😎

Curious about the HUD- are there a lot of HUD failures in the T-6B fleet? I've heard students aren't "allowed" to use the HUD for a portion of the syllabus as well. I trained in T-34s and T-45As, so a HUD wasn't there, or wasn't worth using until I got to the Hornet RAG.
 
Last edited:

PMPT

Well-Known Member
I’m strike. Thanks for the write up! The gist I’ve gotten from some friends there now is that the 45’s not as nice to fly as the T-6, and looking through the NATOPS shows how the instruments aren’t as good and many of the instrument FTI maneuvers are “same same but different.” Do you think that’s accurate?
So the avionics - generally speaking - aren't as good as the T-6B for instrument navigation and the NAV page on the T-6B definitely does provide you with a huge boost of SA that the T-45 lacks. That being said, now that you all are allowed to use your ipads from day 1 (albeit with the proviso that you aren't supposed to use your moving map/GPS features on it until you pass your instrument check), you do have a significant advantage because flying the T-45 and juggling paper pubs was a bloody nightmare.

Notwithstanding the above, T-45 does have the ability to handjam GPS waypoints and also to use TACAN offsets and to navigate directly to an offset - effectively rendering the old-school point to point technique sort of defunct. I can't recall now the extent to which you can punch in fixes into the T6 FMS when flying non RNAV approaches (e.g. when down at KMFE, can you punch in FATOR as an IAF? or would you need to be vectored to final?). In any case. The T-45 has enough tools at its disposal that you can, with a fair degree of prior planning, navigate relatively easily along the airways and on approaches. The obvious hang up is not being able to fly RNAV approaches or RNAV airways (Q or T routes). But then again most airports that have RNAV only approaches tend to not have runways long enough to land a T-45 on anyways (in my limited experience).

The T-6 is a great little plane. The T-45 is fun though. When it comes to instrument maneuvers, hmm ... the approaches are similar in the sense that at a certain distance from the FAF you'll slow down below VLE and drop the gear and go half flaps. What's different for us is that there isn't really a particular RPM or fuel flow setting (FF is the bigger performance number we look at when setting standard airspeeds, e.g. 1100# for 200KIAS, 1300# for 250KIAS etc...) to set, but you just sort of do what you have to to get the aircraft on speed (amber donut, 17 units AOA). That requires much more of a feel and is different from the T-6. It's sort of an interplay between left hand and right hand to set the appropriate FPM while remaining onspeed (keeping in mind that onspeed AOA is always 17 but that this will translate to differing airspeeds depending on gross weight).

Anyways im probably getting too into the weeds, but suffice it to say you get used to what you have and learn to use the system as needed.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
Curious about the HUD- are there a lot of HUD failures in the T-6B fleet? I've heard students aren't "allowed" to use the HUD for a portion of the syllabus as well.
Here's more than what you ever wanted to know about the T-6 HUD.


They were hit and miss for actually working a few years ago. One or two of the aerobatic flights were supposed to be emphasis on using the HUD for high work and for pattern work, but if you ended up in an airplane with a non working HUD then it wasn't a mandatory syllabus requirement.

Most of what I'd do for the high work was to explain the conceptual difference between the flight path marker/velocity vector and a pipper, to imagine the pitch ladder like being inside a giant hamster wheel, and of course to keep the basics in your scan (airspeed, altitude). Oh, and to have fun... duh.

Pattern work I'd mostly use the HUD's AoA indexer (the "E" next to the VV) and how it responded to pitch and power changes.

We didn't really have what you'd call a "robust" way of teaching AoA approaches in Primary. Even with all the jet guys who got orders to be primary instructors, during the last ~10 years as the T-6B came online and then a generation who'd flown it as students came back to instruct in it, the FTI and the IP tribal knowledge of dos and don'ts didn't improve much from the T-34 days. For example, putting the VV on your runway aimpoint and why that is a huge no-no for a carrier approach, I learned that indirectly from posts here on AW (mostly posts about the "deliberate practice" guy who was putting out bad gouge at the F-18 RAG)... nobody in the FITU or the squadron really talked about that and the FTI certainly failed to mention it (CNATRA's job to ensure once they started beating up AoA and HUD more in the syllabus guide). Or the simple gouge of putting a "bug spot" on your windshield using the stick on your aimpoint and using the throttle to maintain the AoA indexer in the donut- again, picked that one up on here instead of around the ready room. Or techniques like leading a bit with the green V as you roll out of your approach turn into the groove, or why the T-6 pitches up a little when you add power but the T-45 goes straight or pitches slightly down (correct me if I'm wrong), or....

The layout and symbology is the same as the F-18. There is also an F-16 setting but the avionics people have to change it from one to the other, it's not a switch the pilot can reach. I think I heard the T-38 HUDs have the same two choices, which is pretty smart.

On cross countries a lot of guys would have their students turn the HUD on. Other than those times, you were either supposed to leave it off or it just didn't got used much.

Going back several years now, when the T-6B was still fairly new a lot of aircraft had a weird problem with the HUD in that it would turn on full bright at random times, day (mildly annoying) and night (quite bright). You couldn't turn it off and the bright-dim knob didn't seem to be connected to anything on those fault airplanes. The only way to turn it off was with the avionics master since there was no dedicated circuit breaker. NAVAIR farted around with this problem for what seemed like a year or more (shocking), claimed it would require an airframe change to disconnect the cannon plug and zip-tie it off back there and that would be just way too much paperwork. Eventually the problem quietly went away. In the meantime guys got tired of getting randomly blinded on night flights and we would just lay an approach plate on top of the projector- it fit almost perfectly. The other weird problem with the HUDs is some of them were way out of focus- some were blurry all the time and others would start out sharp (yay!!) and become fuzzy halfway through the flight (f---!!).

I think a new collimator is like $10 or 20k, maybe even more who knows.


@PMPT , you can input IFR and VFR named fixes in the T-6 FMS and you can input radial-DME cuts from navaids too. I can't remember if there is a way to hand jam lat-long (you'd think there would be, but I just don't remember ever needing to do it).
 

PMPT

Well-Known Member
The Thrust-to-Weight is about the same (1100 SHP on the '6 translates to about 2,700 lbs of thrust for an airplane that weighs half as much), but the jet is faster by virtue of being a jet, so maybe that's what you're getting at. Your next airplane will very likely redefine "Mo powah" in a whole new way. 😎

Curious about the HUD- are there a lot of HUD failures in the T-6B fleet? I've heard students aren't "allowed" to use the HUD for a portion of the syllabus as well. I trained in T-34s and T-45As, so a HUD wasn't there, or wasn't worth using until I got to the Hornet RAG.
I couldn't say for absolute certain, but i think i recall lots of gripes in the ADBs about HUDs not functioning. Since they are used so seldomly, they're practically never a priority item for repair. TBH it kind of makes sense anyways since - in theory at least - primary is about learning basic attitude flying. That being said, since you don't want to bust altitude (+-100 for CTS), my experience was that we referenced the ADI or PFD constantly in the T6 anyways so ended up flying basically on instruments quite alot of the time. Bit of a negative in that respect but I guess CNATRA knows how to get the product it wants.
 
Top