Air Force

June 6, 2014

Pilots take plunge for survival

Tags:
Senior Airman MARCY COPELAND
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Maj. Brendan Shannon, 309th Fighter Squadron director of operations, follows a parachute seam May 28 at Luke Air Force Base during annual Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training. If a parachute lands on top of the pilot during a water landing, following the parachute seam will guide the pilot from beneath the chute to safety and could save his or her life.

In a place of sand and scorpions, landlocked and hundreds of miles from an ocean, pilots at Luke Air Force Base are receiving a water survival course as part of their annual Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape course.

Providing relief from the hundred degree heat, pilots dressed in full flight gear are zip-lined into the Silver Wings Pool to simulate being dragged by the strong tides of the ocean. A pilot has to quickly think in this case and must release the parachute before being dragged beneath the water. The possibility of landing in the water and having the parachute land on top of them is a very real scenario, and pilots learn during this course how to calmly find a way out before the parachute entangles and drowns them.

Despite being in a desert, Luke’s pilots will likely fly over oceans or lakes when deployed or assigned to other duty locations making the training vital to every pilot trained on base.

“A water landing is always on our minds when we have a water crossing like the Atlantic,” said Maj. Bailyn Beck, 309th Fighter Squadron chief of scheduling. “Being in the middle of the ocean, we think about how long we might be out there. However, we always travel with a wingman and someone always knows where we are.”

When a pilot ejects from an aircraft, survival gear weighing 30 to 40 pounds and containing basic first aid, water and a small one-man raft also eject with him. There are other items such as smoke flares, a signaling mirror and a radio for communication. During training, pilots learn how to lift their weighted-down body out of the drifting ocean and up into a raft. They also learn how to protect themselves from dehydration and the sun, which are among the many perils of being stranded at sea.

“The sun is very dangerous and it can start burning you within minutes,” said Senior Airman Jose Ochoa, 56th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman. “The sun can start tearing at your skin. That’s why there is sun screen in the kits to help.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Fly, fight & win! Luke plays unique role in AF mission

The mission of the Air Force is to fly, fight and win. The Air Force’s “motto,” as it was originally called, was adopted October 2010. Capt. Gregroy Bollrud of Hurlburt Field Florida, wrote, “It succinctly captures what our Air Force has been renowned for ever since its creation in 1947. Also, the specific choice of...
 
 

Wingman for life

“I look after my wingman. He looks after me. We work together. We fight together.” — Col. Gabby Gabriski, WWII ace Having a wingman has been an essential part of combat flying since the beginning. A wingman is able to watch your “6,” provide support and can offer a different perspective on a situation. These...
 

 
141119-F-HT977-165

Chiefs announced

Senior master sergeants selected for promotion to chief master sergeant at Luke Air Force Base posed in front of the static F-16 Fighting Falcon in front of the wing headquarters building. They are, from left, Kelbey Norton, 56...
 
 

Enlisted promotion system changes continue

WASHINGTON — This January, changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System will continue with adjustments to the scoring model for promotions to technical sergeant and below, all designed to help ensure job performance is the most important factor when evaluating and identifying Airmen for promotion. The current WAPS enlisted performance report calculation model for technical...
 
 

News Briefs November 21, 2014

Kachina Gate closure The Kachina Gate will be closed to inbound traffic Dec. 8 through 19 for gas valve repair. Outbound traffic will not be affected. For more information, call 623-856-7051. Kids cooking class Kids Kamp Cooking Class is 4 to 6 p.m. for ages 8 to 12 and 7 to 9 p.m. for ages...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin