FAIPs in the Viper Communities

So you want to be a Viper driver, mechanic, loader, avionics technician...? Here you will learn that you will need education, hard work and steadfast dedication.
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bucknut21

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Unread post01 Nov 2014, 18:15

I am currently a T6 FAIP with a year left on station. I am looking for the low down on FAIPs in the Viper Communities. What is the perception/expectations of FAIPs? Do they usually struggle to stay in the jet, rather than being sent to a desk or back to AETC? Does it hurt their career, being a FAIP? What is the average work day? Or anything else you guys can add, like what past FAIPs wish they knew when going into B Course.
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deadseal

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Unread post01 Nov 2014, 22:36

hay man,
congrats on getting a viper, you will love it. First thing is don't talk like you know how to fly anything. Don't say a word about "when i was a faip" or "i really crushed that ILS" . Trust me when i tell you that you do not have an edge on tactical flying cause you were a faip. Just keep your mouth shut, smile, and take the criticism like a big boy. Faipdom will help you a couple hundred hours from now when you start to see the big picture of flying in a complex environment. As far as progression i recommend you try and hit a korea remote out of RTU...that will give you more time in the jet before they may be forced to kick you out.
Good luck, we're all counting on you

background: T-6 faip, f-16 sefe
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huggy

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Unread post02 Nov 2014, 19:23

Full disclosure: I was a T-38 FAIP, then off to U-2's.

I've had a ton of friends fly Vipers, plus instruct in the FTU. And we've had a number of Viper pilots come to the U-2. Best flying in the world, they say... and some of the worst quality of life, according to most of them. That, however, is pure opinion.

Going through the B-course, you will already have lots of the basics to military flying as second nature, which will give you the ability to increase your focus on the areas you know nothing about.

Deadseal can expand, but it sure appears that if you want to move toward becoming a Weapons Officer, you will need to be "all in".

Good luck staying in the cockpit.
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tjodalv43

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Unread post04 Nov 2014, 01:40

I have been stationed with several FAIPs thus far, all of them out of T-6's. They've all been awesome. Like deadseal said, I would not say their skill in the jet has any ties to their previous life and is more based on the having a good work ethic and drive to get better every day. Expectations as far as flying are the same as any other first assignment wingmen. Queep-wise, expectations will be higher though as you can expect to be a shop chief soon, if not right away.

Korea definitely has its perks, especially as far as the culture and bromanship goes, but having just left there I would say steer clear of it for your first assignment if you're looking to upgrade quickly. Thanks to budget cuts Its not the upgrade factory it once was and oftentimes extending to 1.5 years doesn't fit well into the FAIP timeline. I wouldn't expect to upgrade in 1 year there. Going to a 3 year first would be my recommendation, then maybe putting in for Korea (because you'll probably get it anyway) and go as a flight lead or IP. This is Kunsan specific though. Osan is a different story.

As far as being a weapons officer, I'm pretty sure being a FAIP closes that door based on the eligibility window, but can't say that for certain.. Can say I've never met a FAIP patch for sure though. As far as staying in the jet, right now that's easy, as long as you're cool with going to teach at an RTU or be an aggressor. Ops to ops is a bit harder but still doable.

Best of luck!
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fulcrumflyer

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Unread post04 Nov 2014, 05:52

I can name two Viper patch wearers that were FAIPs. Baba Rand, who is now the AETC commander, was a Tweet FAIP and Fingers Goldfein, one of my FWS classmates, and now the director of the Joint Staff, was a T-38 FAIP.
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tjodalv43

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Unread post04 Nov 2014, 14:50

fulcrumflyer wrote:I can name two Viper patch wearers that were FAIPs. Baba Rand, who is now the AETC commander, was a Tweet FAIP and Fingers Goldfein, one of my FWS classmates, and now the director of the Joint Staff, was a T-38 FAIP.

So I asked one of my FAIP buddies about this. He said he has had a wing commander who was a FAIP Viper-type patch before. That being said it really doesn't happen anymore. He said the timeline these days is slower and/or different than those days so that by the time a FAIP gets all the pre-reques required to apply to Weapons School they are pretty much past their eligibility window and that's why you don't see any young patches who were FAIPs these days.
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fighterdoc

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Unread post05 Nov 2014, 22:04

Deadseal nailed it. Be humble. Keep your mouth shut. Study hard. You'll do well. Lots of great FAIP fight pilots. You'll want to stay focused and perform if you want to get to FWIC.

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