The Delta Democrat-Times from Greenville, Mississippi on July 24, 1960 · Page 3
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The Delta Democrat-Times from Greenville, Mississippi · Page 3

Greenville, Mississippi
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 24, 1960
Page 3
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Train Space Age Pilots GAFB Instructor Is Devoted Profession, His Student, His To His Country By HARRY MARSH The three men huddled around a handkerchief size table, their faces earnest with concentration. "Watch my hand signals, I'll let you know \rhcn I want you in close," said the oldest. A captain's bars were on the shoulders of his flight lult. . The two younger men's eyes never left his faca or his gesturing hands as he indicated planes in formation. He talked quietly, rapidly and with great authority, describing maneuvers, reminding of r o u t i n e checks, repealing weather conditions and a myriad of other things. Then the trio rose and moved through tlte big room crowded with other groups of conferring Air Force men. Tiny model planes hung from the ceiling. Charts indicating progress of student pilots adorned the wall. A speaker's podium in the shape of a big figure two painted gray indicated this was Gray Two flight room of the Fabulous 3505th Pilot Training Squadron at Greenville Air Force Base. On The Runway A half hour later on the nm- way the instructor captain and one student were in the lead jot trainer and tlic other student was solo in a second T-33. They scooted down the field, lilted n few feet off the ground. Their landing gear came up and they swept up through the Delta haze to a brighl blue sky lillcred with puffs of cumulus clourl. The maneuvers described earlier by the captain became real as the two planes banked and turned, fell slightly apart for cockpit checks and then closed up again, within spitting distance of each other, For the captain this bringing together of pilots just learning and planes almost capable of the speed of sound was nothing unusual. In his hands was the responsibility of transmitting the complex knowledge of jet-age flight to them, pushing their learning capabilities to the maximum and gelling them back on the ground safely. Each of his four students in 115 flying hours during basic flight training nt GAFB gets 35 hours of transitional flight, 33 formation, 30 instrument and the rest miscellaneous and navigation. Responsible For Lives "The instructor is responsible for the very lives of his students. The quality of instruction he gives means their very life or death in combat," is tl»e way one instructor, Capt. Gregg Nevbeck, put it. This is the vocation of the jet pilot instructor in tire U. S. Air Force -- his fabulous profession. Almost any way this profession is viewed, it is fabulous: Its value -- the preservation of our nation and of democracy throughout the world. "The free air you breathe is a product of the U. S. Air Force," said one highly proficient instructor. Its end result -- a superior aerial fighting man. The kind of fliers who marked up the USAF's 1-1-1 kill ratio against Russian MIGs during the Korean war. From Top Graduates Its qualifications -- the instructor is selected from among tlie op pilot training graduates. He goes to basic flying instructor's ·school for 85 flying hours. II he assigned to Greenville Air 7 orcc Base, he probably spends nother 40 hours in the air developing his flying proficiency be- bre he meets the requirements of he wing standardization board. He must be very good since his greatest instructional aid is a Krfect demonstration accompanied by a verbal explanation. Then he goes to the flight line and is assigned students. His relationship to them is completely military. He.cannot allow easy familiarity to prejudice his rating of the student or possibly damage the strict discipline necessary in the air. To the student, the instructor is "a little god" who holds the fate of his military and aerial career in the rating cards he files after each flight. To the instructor, his students are his greatest source of nride, and the transformation ol a green student into a finished jet pilol the culmination ol his career. The average instructor has 1,000 hours of jet time, works a 10-12 hour day. serves a tour here of three to four years producing 25 jet pilots and then moving on, usually to a "front line" flying post with a combat-type unit. Family Men At GAFB 85 to 90 per cent ol the instructors are family men Many are married to Greenville girls. The instructor usually takes his flying talk home and on cross country flights leaves his family for week ctids to spend five hours a day in the air letting students come as close to making mis-, akes as. possible so they will earn from them. He comes home completely worn out. He appreciates tlie tremendous amount of knowledge the student receives in academic c l a s s e s which require 40 per cent of the student's time -- covering sulv ects from survival in desert and iungle lo career development. He especially apprecialcs the job the maintenance forces do in keeping him flying. "Most of these crew chiefs are young boys with real good supervision who take a lot of pride in maintaining their planes," said one instructor. Guiding the instructor in his instruction is a five pound loose- leaf guide book filled with texl, outlines, plans, tables, charts, pictures, maps, drawings and regulations. Revisions are stapled into it regularly. His knowledge of the material in this book must be complete. The standardization board checks him on it regularly. The "Stan Board" is a group of expert instructor pilots, who have had 2.000 hours or more of et time. They examine instructors and students regularly to make sure they meet the qualifications required of them. Hundreds Of Questions To rale an excellent in a "Stan Board" inspection an individual or unit must average less thanj one error per man -- and this mny include the answers to hundreds of questions. During recent years the rigid application of "Stan Board" testing has resulted in greatly in- of Instructors who might be expected to know "everything." The other 50 per cent were among slu- dents, indicating high transmitlat ot knowledge from instructor to student. Two Safety Awards In addition GAF'B has received two USAF Flying Safety Awards. Awarding of this honor to a base where the mission includes large number of take-offs and landings which are described as "inherently dangerous" by inexperienced students is especially unusual. This record includes a two yea period in which the wing flew 123,231 hours and 45 minutes, togging 212,017 landings. The base had an excellent safety record of 189 accident-free days from August 195S through January 1%0. The base has averaged 50,000 flying hours a year since its re- jactivilation in 1353. The flying jtraining wing has graduated ·),- 206 jet pilots of which 3,633 were American and 573 were foreign Delta Demomt-TImei Sunday. July 24, '60 S nationals. These pilots Include 15 per c«nt of the pilots flying the Strategic Air Command plants our nation's chief deterrent from foreign attack. Among the GAFB grids «r« wo members of the Thundcrblrds, the lop Air Force precision flying team. This outstanding record is unparalleled or approached by any other base in the Air Training Command. Many of the officers and airmen at GAFB feel it is a direct reflection of the capabilities of Colonel Bell and the Joy- ally that the members of his command profess for him. Non-Cancellable Hospital Insurance YS--Hawy'ol Etpt.ii* S-j^ivii ftn D»ro-i Co''i O-t PaHe-J BenefJU O-.'y You Con CcrciT Na ti. Causey Insurance Agency ra ED ?-0934 Hwy 1 Soulh RECOGNITION FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE -- Col. Loren S. Nickels, executive officer of the 3505th Pilot Training Wing at GAVB, on behall of Col. Jasper N. Bell, GAFB commander, presents certificates of merit to individuals and a unit of the 3505lh Pilot Training Squadron as I.I. Col. Fred Frilsh, 350j|h Pilot Training Group Commander, and Major Kelvin C. Des Voigne (fourth from left), squadron commander, stand by. Certificates of Merit for three consecutive excellent Standardization ratings in both procedural knowledge and flight instruction techniques went to 1st. LI. Donald L. Sclimenk, Captain Hugh Miller, Lt. Richard C. Gerard, Lt. Ernest W. Rutlcdge and Lt. Jcrdy A. Wright. LI. Rutledgc also received the Masters degree of instruction for completing 1,000 hours of accident free jet time including 800 hours of instructional time. Capt. Rolert L. Mitchell,-Red One flight commander, received on behalf of the flight the Flight Excellence Certificate for obtaining three excellent rating by the Standardization Doard in which both instructors and students made an average of less than one ·error per man in Stan Board tests. INSTRUCTOR AND STUDENTS -- Capt. Skyler Kissel gestures to illustrate a point during a pre-flighl briefing in Ihe Fabulous 3503th Pilot Training Squadron Gray Two Flight room at Greenville Air Force Base. The briefing preceded a formation flight with Capt. Bisspl nud the student on the left in the lead plane, and the student in the center flying wing man. cd four Air Training Command awards for Fxccllcnt evaluations ation of in- knowledge *1 V-^lll^^ *···---·--·-· *"i~ - -~- ~~.T.s.^T.^Vfr**=^^ creased instructor proficiency and student performance as reflected by the quality of students received in standardization of induced at GAFB and its low acci- and in-flight techniques. Since Col. Jasper N. Bell be- These awards came in October commander of Greenville 195S, February 1959, September *!"-*.·--**--*--*·-- --'^»^--^Vi: ~^i - - r *^?**;~sk---y. i ;: 1959 and April I960. Many bases number of outstanding achievements. GAFB has receiv- record of less than one $7.50 Down $5.50 Weekly j n i L r f . c ^ ' G I - ' --"-c cno ^ e o L. vAdthed Hare -TO** n/vji » i l h 12 t-c- . Uisi cr-.fa.'QCd \or dcloil. ·EE SPECIALS IN OUR WINDOW: U rFL^ 2 4 3 W A S H I N G T O N A V E . IN FORMATION - Captain Skyler Kissel, a Greenville Air Force Base jel pilot instructor, and two students in T-33 jets form a two plane formation training flight. Captain Jack Brots, assistant operations officer for the 35- 05th Pilot Training Wing, piloted the T-33 carrying Ihe photographer. (Staff photo). STUDY HIGHWAYS JACKSON (UPI) -- A professional organization will be employed to determine shortcomings] ar.d forecast future nced-i of Mis-' sissippis' highway system. ! Stale Rep. 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