AIR FORCE T-38 TRACK INTERMEDIATES
pilot training pattern. The Air Force runs its pilot training pattern radically different from the
Navy. The Air Force does not have several OLFs to conduct pattern training; they do all their
pattern training at homefield (this will be discussed later). Air Force students have only one duty
and that is RSU duty. You can either be a wheels watch (but you are in the RSU shack with
binoculars, the Air Force does not have "paddles"), or you document takeoffs and landings with
tail (side) numbers. The RSU is a small building near the respective runway (Air Force pilot
training bases usually have three parallel runways, one small T-37 runway, a large center and a
medium length, outside runway for T-38s). The RSU has two instructors who watch/run the
pattern and the two previously mentioned students. Visiting the RSU is a great way to learn the
AF Pattern short of actually flying in it. Learn all the calls and all the potential conflicts so when
you are learning to fly the T-38, the pattern is one less thing you have to learn from scratch.
Get your T-37 trained flight buddies and do a "pattern party."
They are going to look at you funny because they did that at the beginning of T-37 training, but
ask them to do it for you. A "pattern party" is putting a diagram of the pattern on the ground
(say in the flight room) and have five to six students walk around in the "pattern" making calls,
entering and "breaking out" of the pattern.
Study the Air Force and Vance flying instructions.
Here is a list of required reading that you want to get started on.
T.O. 1T-38A-1, T-38A Flight Manual
The "Dash-1" for any Air Force aircraft is the Air Force's equivalent to the NATOPS. The
Dash-1 is something you are going to be intimately familiar with very early on as you learn your
systems and operating limits for the T-38. As with NATOPS, the Dash-1 is going to have some
pertinent information on operating the T-38 in the weather.
Air Force Instruction 11-202, Volume 3, General Flight Rules
AFI 11-202, Volume 3 is the Air Force's OPNAV 3710, it is the Air Force's all-encompassing
instruction on flying Air Force aircraft. Scour all the chapters for pertinent information, but pay
special attention to chapter 8 for the Air Force version of whether an alternate is required and
what weather you need in order to file to a destination.
Air Force Instruction 11-205, Aircraft Cockpit and Formation Flight Signals
AFI 11-205 is the source document for the signals found in Appendix A of this FTI.
Many USAF instructions are available via the Internet. Try the website at +-+-
INTRODUCTION TO USAF T-38 TRACK INTERMEDIATES 1-9