First Week of UPT

So some of you may know that my husband, Trevor, is training to be a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He officially started UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training) on Monday with his physical fitness test at 0600 then came home with a stack of reading material a foot tall. That evening we got him some binders organize the sky scraper.

On Thursday Trevor had PLF training. (Parachute Landing Fall) where they learn how to land properly when using a parachute. He invited me and Abigail to watch.  They did this training over at the Aerospace & Operational Physiology Building bright and early.  

Trevor's UPT class is comprised of active duty and reserve personnel from all military branches.

Aren't these helmets stylish?

These are some of the harnesses they use for training.

First they jump off a 2 ft block practicing falling from every angle; right side, left side, front to the left and right, back to the left and right because who knows what angle your parachute will be heading to the ground. 

Luckily there was pea gravel for them to land into. Not fluffy feathers, but better than just hitting hard ground.

 After the two foot block they jump off a 5 foot platform practicing the same 6 falls. Once they complete the 5 foot platform they use a short zip-line that is about 10 feet high to mimic the decent of a parachute towards the ground.

 Following the zip-line training they move to what is called, "the drag" where they hook up into a harness and simulate being pulled by your parachute once you have hit the ground. They practice flipping over and releasing in cases where their risers (cords to the parachute) are twisted. 

After they have completed the drag they move onto the tower where they are trained on what to do after they eject and their risers are twisted while in the air. 

After they have ejected they move their legs to gain momentum to untwist their lines and then they to a decent check list of visually checking the lines, raising the shield on their helmet, removing their mask, and then guiding their parachute while they assess their landing options and determing what else they need to do to have a safe landing. While hanging, the instructor asks them questions about what do they do if they are landing in trees, water, or power lines and what procedure is in other situations.

 Also on the tower, which is about 25-30 feet off the ground, they practice the 6 landing techniques by hooking up to large metal hoops then stepping off the platform with resistance from a belayer on the ground simulating drag from a parachute slowing their decent before making contact with the ground.

Abigail was really tired so we left after Trevor did his first jump off the tower.

She really enjoyed watching them train...until she got tired.

On Friday they had a fighter physical where they test your strength to see if you can handle the G-forces fighters can pull. He passed! Woo! One step closer to getting the F-16!

It's crazy how we are finally here at UPT (undergraduate pilot training) we've been waiting 4 years for this to be at this point! It really exciting and scary at the same time. Last week, Trevor was foot printed that way they can identify is body if the plane crashes. Apparently his flame resistant boots and rudder pedal shield his feet from the explosion. I know. Grimm right! These are some of the scary facts of being in the military. I feel like Trevor is very brave for going to work everyday with the possibility of that happening. I try not to think about the negative side of things. He will be doing something he has wanted to do since he was little and I am here to support him! Way to go Trev for following your dreams!

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