Welcome to Extreme Ross again. Make sure to share this and any others as a story for your friends Today I’m giving love to the other “companion” of the U-2. The super duper sexy and glossy black T-38 Talon.

For #askextremeross, @mbartoletta asked “I’d like to ask about the T-38, do you fly A models? I am at UPT phase 3 and was wondering if you had any advice about starting over on a new airframe/platform.”

U-2 pilots do indeed fly the T-38A model. The Air Force has been using the newer T-38C models, with fancy “glass” instrumentation for pilot training for almost 20 years. Manly men (and kickass females) like to fly off of what we call “steam dials” or round dials which provide a sketchy, if not completely erroneous, picture of where exactly you are. We don’t need some pink line on a computer screen to point us where we need to go, we just need a shaking needle pointing to a radio beacon that might be turned off, a useless whiskey compass, and a really good look at the ground to find a road/lake/town/airport to point us in the right direction.

All joking aside, I loved flying this sleek jet. It was fun but it was also a challenge. It kept basic airmanship skills alive. About starting over in another aircraft, every aircraft we fly will improve us as a pilot. Take the challenge head on. If you ever feel like you just can’t fathom learning another aircraft, it’s probably time you hang it up for good. It means you’re not growing as a pilot and that will eventually make you a dangerous pilot. Staying proficient on the side in a 1964 round dial trainer, despite being completely different that the U-2, helped push us to stay on the top of our game. Plus it was a blast (if you weren’t flying through weather)

This is just a short raw clip of me having some fun over Mount Lassen in Northern California. Turn on the sound to experience it fully

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