As you all know, I have complaining recently about not getting enough flight time. Ive had missions cancelled for weather and other reasons while everyone around me flew. Well, karma caught up with me yesterday. Here is what happened.
I checked the flight schedule on Saturday night and saw that I was not scheduled to fly at all on Sunday. I knew that I would be transitioning to a night schedule soon so I decided to stay up late. I was doing crunches in the Gym when the commander walked in. "Do you want to fly a mission tomorrow" he asked, adding that the show time would be 0425. "Of course" I replied. His next order was to go to bed immediately so that I could get some rest prior to the flight.
I woke up after about 4 hours of rest and got ready to fly. After a diet pepsi and two double caffiene power gel packets I felt pretty good. I pre-flighted the aircraft as the sun was rising and we took-off as a flight of three aircraft just at sunrise. The mission was essentially personnell transport or, in Army lingo, battlefield circulation. We flew some big wigs in the iraqi government and some high ranking military officials to various bases around the country. A lot of the flying was in the Northwest region of the country. That area, formerly known as Kurdistan, is mountainous and quite pretty.
We had several unexpected mission changes during the day causes us to fly back and forth more times than we had anticipated. The mission that started at sunrise ended several hours after dark. It was a good thing our Pilots in Command had the foresight to bring the night vision goggles. In the end, we logged 10 hours of flight time each. This is an impressive feat. In fact, it is possible that no other crews will beat this record the entire time that we are deployed.
I was exhaused. My back and legs were cramped and sore and my eyes were strained and tired. Still, it was great to get so much stick time. I will just hesistate next time before I complain about not flying enough.