Lost and Found
Look what I found! I wrote Awol 21 from memories of my time as a T-38 IP at Williams AFB in Arizona; this week, while searching for a book, I found my checklist and in-flight guide. The details of our departure and arrival routes, flying areas, radio frequencies, standard and emergency procedures – all there! I have been saying I was going to re-work the story and start promoting it, and this is just what I need.
That base is closed; the flight rooms once full of activity are gone, the whine of jet engines no longer fills the days. A budget-conscious Air Force no longer eliminates a student from pilot training so readily as they once did, and many classes lose few if any students to flying deficiency (my class, Vance 74-07, graduated 58 out of 80), and not all pilots train in the T-38. It is a different world. Here is my promo:
We called her the white rocket, and for many of us, she was our first true love. She was sleek, sexy, and fast. When you climbed the ladder into her cockpit, wearing a flight suit, g-suit, parachute, and helmet, and strapped into her, you were tense with apprehension, sweaty with fear, brain buzzing with procedures, excited with anticipation. We also privately called her a bitch and a whore, because she could kill you, too, and she did kill some friends of mine. When you rolled her over on her back and pulled her nose down, and shoved her throttles into afterburner, you’d be supersonic in a couple of seconds. As we said, she flew like a bat out of hell.
AWOL 21 is a story about that love affair. Tom Harter is the new IP in the squadron; he has captains bars on his shoulders, wings on his chest, and the sun devil on his sleeve.
Here as a link to the Kindle version. If you read this story, I would love some feedback.