After lunch, Tom signed us up for some simulation time in the T-6 and T-1. In the first picture, he is showing us how they have to strap themselves into the T-6 to attach themselves to the seat, parachute, oxygen, etc. It is the simulator in which they practice egress for those times when they need to eject. Bill had a blast--I think this was his favorite part of the trip besides being proud daddy at graduation. He got to do aerobatics and fly under bridges and between really close buildings sideways, etc. And Tom showed us how he does a lot of the aerobatic moves. Maddy and I just did photo ops.
Bill also liked getting to fly in the T-1 jet simulator. He only crashed the plane twice. It had a lot different feel than he is used to in little prop planes. Maddy decided she wanted to give it a try too and Tom talked her through landing the plane. She actually did it without crashing--although she did it in the grass strip between the two runways.
And this was my favorite photo of the whole trip. They both look so good in it.
It was a pretty emotional week. They found out bits and pieces all week about orders to SERE school in Spokane and when Tom needs to be in Kansas and how it affected their Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation plans. And unfortunately Tom doesn't get to go on Christmas leave and will be by himself in Pensacola while Maddy is in Washington. But it is what it is. So glad we got to see him but wish that he could come home to see Grandma and Chris. He is in Spokane for three weeks right now--and has been in the field since Saturday in sub-zero temperatures. I certainly don't envy him that experience. I have been cold enough in the house much less going outside with our record breaking cold temperatures here in Vancouver.
So proud of our boy. So glad that he is able to realize his long time goal of flying in the Air Force.