For the most part, the U-2 will be the last Air Force aircraft a person will fly. It is harder to go back out and fly something different once you are qualified in the U-2. Part of that is the select nature of the job and how much goes into training a U-2 pilot (time and money). Some do go on to fly other stuff temporarily, like a trainer for pilot training, but they will usually find their way back to Beale. For most U-2 pilots, I would say the number one reason they don’t go on to something else is that it is one of the most kickass pilot jobs on the planet. I mean: drive fast, fly fast, and fly high! What more do you want?
So then what did I go on to do? Just like many of the pilots who have retired or separated, I found my way into the comfy right seat of a 737, eating “nice” meals, and being able to get up and walk around (for those pilots who will give me grief about how “tiny” the 737 flight deck is, just remember that it’s a freakin mansion to me).
This photo was taken at a much more mundane altitude of about 35,000 feet. And…that’s ok for me. I’ve had an amazing experience in the U-2 and I get to relive it through my photos, videos, and writing. And now I get to live the good life with the airlines… (Coronavirus sneaking up from behind to put a knife in me and all my plans)