Getting the Nod

Almost two months have passed since I got the PC (pilot in command) talk. In the meantime, I have spent hours preparing; answering personal questions about the importance of being a PC and studying to ensure I could pass the test. My plan was to get to a point where I would be ready for the job about half way through the deployment. It seems things have come together as planned.

While I was troubleshooting the our personal Internet system one night last week, the pilot who talked to me last month about my progress paid me a visit. Amid the network cables and new RJ45 connectors, he sat down and began to talk.

"Just wanted to let you know that there was another PC meeting and your name came up again ... blah blah blah."

I was not paying close attention to his words because people were yelling to me as I labeled network cables and tried to make sense of the system layout. I heard him talking, but my attention was focused elsewhere. Then it struck me, he just said I would be next to train for becoming a PC. I stopped what I was doing and had to ask him, "Say again?"

"Its been decided you will train for pilot in command, starting tomorrow. You're ready."

All I could think about from then on was my upcoming performance. How much pressure would the instructor pilots impart on me while in the cockpit? How long would the interrogations last? What will the training involve?

By Bert Stover |  August 2, 2006; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Al Taqaddum, Iraq
Previous: Should I Become a Pilot in Command? | Next: PC Training Begins


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You must be an "NB"!!
Not a "wannabe" and definitely not an "NNST"
Bert you have the best IP's that you will ever find!!
Listen to them extract as much knowledge, from those IPs, that you can about the aircraft, its' systems and how it preforms, because as you listen to them and learn from them they will make you an excelent PC.

Posted by: dawg28 | August 2, 2006 08:46 AM

Proud of you, kiddo! You have a strong sense of responsibility. I know you'll take good care of your crew. You're in my prayers.

Posted by: MamaBear | August 2, 2006 10:43 AM

Bert, Way to Go! Learn and grow with your new challenges!

Posted by: KR | August 2, 2006 11:51 AM

Nice work, Berto. Keep doing your thing, and know that you've got an NYC trip waiting for you when you return.

Posted by: Guiney | August 2, 2006 12:10 PM

it is very nice to hear you guys are getting tecnology info and studies

Posted by: Dr.Q | August 2, 2006 12:24 PM

Congratulations! Surely you are ready to accept the challenge. The other guys would not want to put their lives and those of their crew in jeopardy by having an idiot assume such an important role. Now it's up to you to prove that their confidence was well placed. I must confess that I do live a little vicariously through you and your experiences as a chopper pilot. When I was in college, I was enrolled in the ROTC program and had planned to do what you are now doing. Two months before getting my butter bars, I came down with cancer. Fortunately I was able to overcome and beat the odds, but that stopped my military ambitions in their tracks. I tried to get back in, but was not allowed to continue because of the military regs. To make a long story short, take every detail in and enjoy what you have. Some of us didn't get that chance. I'm sure that there are a lot of other guys and gals that had their heart set on doing what you are doing but for one reason or another were unable to see their dreams come true. You are being provided an exceptional opportunity, so don't screw it up. Your instructors actually have learned a thing or two that they are willing to share with you so don't disparage their teachings. One of these days you'll pull one of their tricks out of your hat and say, "That old coot actually knew what he was talking about!" When that happens, thank him if you can or say a little prayer for him. Continue the fine job you're doing.

Posted by: James | August 2, 2006 12:29 PM

Congrats on moving to the next step Bert! You will be fine. Remember - trust in your abilities - the others wouldn't have given you "the Nod" if they didnt see that you were ready!

Tell your Commander I said hey! I sent you guys a treat (care of your C.O) it should be there soon. Enjoy.

Posted by: CW3 Gordon Cimoli | August 2, 2006 05:33 PM


You seem to be a guy with few strings attached at home. Therefore, your deployment may not be as difficult as some of your comrades...Speculation of course, correct me if I am wrong. What I am getting at is, how are the other folks, with kids and such back home, getting along over there?
One of my friends is with you and he does have a young family back here. I'd like to hear how he, and those in similar situations, are handling it.

Posted by: Bill | August 2, 2006 10:00 PM

Congratulations! My prayers are with you. Another stellar performance! The one thing I loved about the AF, I was always pushed to and beyond my limits. This is the only way I matured and succeeded. In addition, I had the confidence of my superiors. What a great life!

Posted by: aces | August 3, 2006 10:10 AM

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