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U2 @ Akrotiri

Old 8th Dec 2011, 11:39
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SAM

"Not many USAF FJ pilots could endure that - but quite a number of (young) ex USAF personnel who were recruited by the CIA were up to scratch."

How can ex USAF be up to scratch but USAF FJ pilots not be ?

Are you saying the successful one's were not FJ pilots, just USAF pilots ?


Either way, it's a very general statement, bit like saying all orphans make good SF Soldiers because they are independent.


Re age, here are the ages of 2 CIA pilots who died.
"Carey was less than three weeks shy of his 34th birthday when he died. "
2nd one "He was 30 years old"

Gary Powers was 27 when he joined the CIA, having resigned the USAF as a Capt.

Are these the type of ages you were talking about ? I got the impression you were talking younger than that.


Also, how come in a list of U2 pilots, the majority tend to be Capt, Maj, a few 1 Lt and a few Lt Col's and Col's and a few Sqn Ldr's / Wg Cmd;s in there from the RAF. Now you don't make Capt / Maj by Aged 22.

SAM
Be very specific - What ages do you think most U2 pilots were ?

Last edited by 500N; 8th Dec 2011 at 11:55.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 11:43
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And Sam's ravings continue as well.......

Pop Quiz - age of F.G. Powers when shot down "sausage side" ??

Sam - this is PPRuNe, there are some old farts on here with real, truthful and serious knowledge. They know what to brag about, what to talk about and what to keep shtoom about..............

And we haven't heard anything to corroborate your WIWAL bunker heroics.......Funny that.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 11:51
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As the U2 had no AAR capability how could a pilot have no human contact, physical or voice, for 24 hours, or what was that "Requirement" based on?
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 11:57
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Guys,

Why are you asking SAM questions? He never responds to anything, just pitches up here every couple of days to deposit the latest piece of creative prose and disappears.

Look:

HELLO, SAM. WHAT DAY IS IT?
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 12:03
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Because I am twiddling my thumbs waiting for the US (or Israel) to drop Big Blu before the 15th December.

And SAM opened his mouth again with a definitive statement (Re Age of U2 pilots) that is worth probing further because quite a few people think he is wrong - as he has been on a few things re the U2, like what the chase cars do !!!

Gary Powers -30 or 31 years old ?
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 12:09
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Once again, SAM is talking tripe.

Interestingly (I thought), they don't have to have a USAF or FJ background either. When they looked after me (very well! though I would skip trying the toothpaste food next time) for a day there was one ex USN guy, a c130 guy a B52 guy and a couple of others I can't remember. I could be slightly out on the types but I remember thinking that it was a very diverse bunch. The USN guy had to join the USAF once accepted. They were certainly not young. It was an Evo chase car at the time where I got the back seat ride. Amazing how close they get to the exhaust, made the windscreen shake.

They said anyone could apply and then those that pass screening they let try to land it. Supposedly the trick is that you have to stall it on from about a foot and must land back rollerskate wheel first. If you don't it can go horribly wrong.

I strongly believe that what is given to the pilot as he exits the cockpit should be mandatory for all pilots on all flights!
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 12:22
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Tourist,

I too was treated to a tour of their toys and recall pretty much the same as you. Did you get the story about the toothpaste tube pipe through the lip?

Anyway, all the evidence everywhere, and collective recollection points to the majority of these guys being a lot older than early 20s and from all sorts of backgrounds.

500N,

Yes, Gary Powers had his 31st birthday in a Soviet prison about 3 months after being shot down.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 12:29
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SAM
Please answer this.

Why did you write your post about Chase cars holding up the wings of the U2 on landing when all evidence on the 'net (including hundreds of U2 landings on video) and facts presented by forum members who have had close contact with the U2 says otherwise ?

Do you bother to research anything before you post, even if it is to check what may have been your personal experience ?

Last edited by 500N; 8th Dec 2011 at 16:02.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 12:56
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SAM! Wake up!
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 13:00
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Having spent a few years at Akr working with those guys, most of them were C135 people with Instructor status on T38's a few ex bomber guys and only one ex F16 pilot that springs to mind. All of them late 20's to early 40's, Det cdr Lt Col his deputy was a Major. All had to undergo a phsyc evaluation and were of the same general type. The chase car has a pilot and ther is one in the tower, the pogos are put back in by the engineers once the ac has stopped. If the pilot is having a good day he can play with the fuel and keep the wings level until Pogo gets there, if not the underwing edge is made of titanium and is designed to allow the pilot to rest the ac on the ground. Finally regarding the posts about the strength of the tail wheel, one pilot called to say, 'tower i may have landed short' the reply was yes you have the approach end barrier trailing the ac down the runway.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 13:12
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During our APC dets in the mid 80s, the OH Major was an outstanding player of the bagpipes, which impressed our scots people no end....
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 13:13
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500N

Come on, get real; any response will go tangential within the first five words.

Incidentally, I spent some time working (well, attending) at a major NATO Air HQ - nearly 4 years, culminating in redundancy - where I worked alongside a USAF major who had flown 'Dragon Lady'. He was late thirties, straight from a U2 flying tour, having a little rest and ticking boxes for promotion (staff, tour, overseas tour, NATO tour, all rolled into one). I think his background prior to the glider/spaceship was F4 Wild Weasel; seemed to be a level-headed stable sort of guy who was happy to discuss his U2 flying - apart from the mission related stuff.

Mister B
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 13:54
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HTB,

That was my experience of them too.

Looks like we both finished out time in a HQ. Hope yours was nicer than mine.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 14:39
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Ramstein...
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 15:10
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It was. Good for you!
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 15:59
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When I did ATC Camp at Akrotiri in 1986, I saw the TR1 pilots frequently in the dining room and they looked to be mid/late 40s. Never got to speak to them unfortunately. (They weren't there officially of course!)
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 16:36
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SAM

I found what I was looking for, the background info and application to be a U2 pilot.
Might as well get it from the horses mouth if you can.

"Operational sorties average 5 to 9 hours in duration, exceed 70,000 ft " "
These last 6-12 hours, depending on the mission."

"The demanding high-altitude reconnaissance mission of the U-2 program requires motivated aviators with a high degree of self-confidence, professionalism and excellent airmanship skills." "we're looking for a few good aviators who possess the extraordinary combination of outstanding flying skills, airmanship, officership,"

Seems to me they want pilots who have "been around a bit", not just out of flight school.


"The U-2 program continually seeks new applicants for this competitive selection process. Currently, about 38% of applicants become U-2 pilots. Those selected for the interview phase generally possess a strong flight evaluation history, strong OPR's, their wing commander's recommendation, and meet or exceed the minimum flying time requirements. As always, an applicant's breadth and depth of experience weigh heavily in the selection process. There are a wide variety of backgrounds in the U-2 pilot cadre, to include B-1, C-130, F-16, FAIPS, TPS graduates, B-52, EA-6B, A-10, KC-135, S-3, C-21, P-3, F-18, T-45, etc... Aviators from the Air National Guard or AF Reserves are encouraged to explore this extraordinary opportunity. If you're interested in performing a unique and demanding mission in a uniquely demanding aircraft, then the U-2 may be for you."


Could some of the pilots on here give a time scale for how long it would take to get the required number of hours up that are required.

"Flying Requirements

Possesses at least 1300 rated hours, or 800 rated hours in T-6, T-37, T-38, T-45, or T-34, or approximately 500 hours in fighters. "Rated hours" means we don't want you including hours flown as a pilot training student.
Do NOT include pilot training time or civilian time when computing these total hours.
Possess at least 500 hours in fixed wing aircraft
Possess 15 months as pilot-in-command in primary mission aircraft
An SCI/SBI or capability to obtain one"

"
If you're passed over, but not Active Duty USAF, you won't be eligible to come onto active duty. If you're an active duty Captain who is passed over to Major, it is unlikely we will consider your application. If you're an active duty Major passed over to Lt Col, your chances are much higher that we will favorably consider your application. Call us."

Seems to me that most applicants are in the Captain / Major range, doesn't say much about Lt's.

.
Edit
A very quick scan of 853 US pilot list by name, rank and when they went solo from early 1950's to 2009, the only Lt's found were all in 1956/7. Everyone from 1970 onwards was USAF Capt or above with the odd civilian thrown in.

All the above is publicly available info, no secret squirrel stuff.


Last edited by 500N; 8th Dec 2011 at 17:04.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 16:53
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You Guys!

Hey, leave SAM alone - he's busy looking into his crystal balls getting me the 6 winning numbers for Saturday! Doh, some people!!! CB
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 17:37
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Well found, 500N. I think I can help with some of the that. I was an IP (Instructor Pilot) on the F-15 RTU (like our OCU, teaching pilots to fly/operate the F-15) for a few (sorry, a lot of) years, so have some insight into what they're talking about. But only fighter hours, I'm afraid.

These guys are graduates so that's around 21 years old before they start. Air Force Academy (etc), flying training is another 3 years (or so, depending on how well the system is working). RTU (learning to fly, let's say, the F-16) is another 6 months or more. So the guy (generic term, which can, but may not, include female pilots) will now be knocking on the door of 24/25, absolute minimum.

500 hours, assuming this doesn't count RTU time would take at least one front line tour (or more, but being on ops could push up the flying hours), another 2-3 years. So he's now well into his late 20s, assuming everything has gone smoothly AND he's had the time/opportunity/ability to get the gradings they're asking for. Of course, by the time he's got all that, it may not be a natural break point in his career so he'll probably be looking for qualifications on type so that he can come back to the F-16 (in this case, but same for other fighter types) with a future.

ANSWER: Late 20s absolute minimum, but unlikely for fighter guys. More than likely early 30s. The bit about being a passed over Lt Col, MUCH later.

No youngsters in there.

Courtney

Last edited by Courtney Mil; 8th Dec 2011 at 18:02.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 19:15
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Thanks Courtney.


In some instances, I think SAM writes the complete opposite of what something is used for (ie Chase cars) or what the requirements are (Age of pilots). A bit like throwing a hand grenade into a crowded bar and walking away to watch the mess.

Either that or as we suspect, he really is deluded.

Anyway, roll on the 15th.
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