FighterSweep Fans, we talked a lot in the pass about the progression one would take from pedestrian to U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. After you track T-38s and receive your coveted wings, the next flying stop in your pipeline prior to your B-Course is a curriculum known as IFF, or Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals.
In IFF, you have already have earned your wings and the goal is to learn the very basics tenets of flying a fighter. The most important thing one should remember about IFF? You’re three rides from flying something other than a fighter…or maybe even a desk. UPT washes out few students for their flying; the biggest offenses are related to their academic performance, as well as their mission planning and preparation. IFF, on the other hand, will wash you out for your flying.
This video puts us inside the cockpit with the “Black Knights” of the 49th Flying Training Squadron, a unit part of the 14th Flying Training Wing at Columbus AFB in Columbus, Mississippi. They fly the AT-38C, an upgraded version of the T-38 which features a HUD and multi-function displays, giving the fledgling fighter pilots a feel for the “glass” cockpits they’ll have in their assigned jet–be it Viper, Eagle, Strike Eagle, Raptor, and now Lightning II.
They learn the principles of flying fighters, everything from BFM and SA (for Surface Attack) in this case. This video clip takes us into the air with the IFF students at Columbus, and gives you excellent perspective on what the syllabus is like. So sit back, crank the volume, and enjoy!
(Featured Photo by Senior Airman Matthew C. Simpson/U.S. Air Force)