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Jay Arbore
Name: Jay Arbore
Company: US Air Force
Position: Aircraft Commander
Current Aircraft: C-17A Globemaster III
Age 41 years old
Country USA

Airline experience: no
Corporate or fractional experience: no
Cargo experience: no
Military, government, or law enforcement experience: yes

Mentor profile:
I've been around aviation my whole life. My grandfather was an Army Air Corps pilot and TWA Captain for 30 years, and my father flew gliders and ultralights. I started by attending the University of Arizona and became a part of the ROTC program. I majored in Criminal Justice and picked up a slot to pilot training along the way. I spent 9 months on casual status as a new 2nd Lieutenant where I earned my PPL through the IFT program. It's basically the Air Force paying for 50 hours of time towards your PPL. After that, I attended UPT at Laughlin AFB, TX where I flew the T-37 and the T-1 (a Beechjet). After land and water survival training, I attended C-17 co-pilot initial qualification at Altus AFB, Oklahoma with my follow on assignment to the 7th Airlift Squadron at McChord AFB in Tacoma, WA. I've been operational in the C-17 since mid April of 2003. I've upgraded to a First Pilot, airdrop co-pilot, Aircraft Commander, and instructor soon, and accumulated over 1500 hours in the C-17, including close to 400 combat hours and plenty of NVG time. I've flown into over 25 different countries, including numerous combat missions into Afghanistan and Iraq. In the C-17, we have some great strategic airlift experiences such as staying in 5 star hotels and touring new countries. On the flip side, we are a tactical aircraft. I've lived in tents, flown too many 26 hour round trip days to Afghanistan from Germany, been shot at over Baghdad, and landed a 550,000 pound aircraft on 90 foot-wide runways on night vision goggles. What an experience it has been in the past few months. The C-17 is truly in the fight, the tactical workhorse of the Air Force's mobility system, comparable that only to the C-130. I'd be glad to answer any questions you have about the mobility airlift world, UPT, or whatever you would like. Please don't hesitate to ask! I wouldn't have signed up for this program had a not wanted to make a difference.

Favorite thing about flying:
Its tough to begin because I have so many favorite parts about flying. The challenge of making a 580,000-pound airplane do what you want it to isn't a bad start. Nothing beats breaking out of the clouds at 200 feet over a snow covered runway and bringing it down, not to mention breaking out of the clouds into the morning sun, where the weather was gray and horrible below, but wonderful above. You've still got to take time to enjoy the view. Taking people home is one of the best parts of flying this airplane. One memorable occasion was taking 82 airborne troops, who had been gone for 180 days, out of Afghanistan back to Pope AFB. Hearing an entire airplane erupt in a cheer when we landed and seeing all their family members cheering for them and waving flags and signs was such an awesome experience. Anytime you get to bring someone home back to his or her family makes the mission worthwhile.
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
No question about it, time away from home. The airlift life is great for seeing the world and having some incomparable experiences, but it is difficult on families. In the C-17 world, I've been gone over 450 days since May 2003. Its not only TDY on missions, but TDY to training schools, such as co-pilot initial qual, airdrop school, aircraft commander school, etc. Not to mention ground deployments running stage operations in Germany and Al-Udeid, Qatar. If you don't like putting up with the uncertainty of military life, moving every 3-5 years, and the military "owning" you, military flying is not for you. Despite all this, I wouldn't trade my experiences for the world.

What you would have done different:
Not Available
Advice to aspiring pilots:
It may sound cheesy, but persevere, adapt, and overcome. Pilot training is the most difficult experience you will ever have, so don't give up!
Problems encounterd along the way:
Medical problems can always wash you out easier than anything else. Its unfortunate, but it's the most difficult factor to control. I was one of the lucky ones, but I saw too many of my friends become disqualified due to one problem or another. As for pilot training, as long as you are working as hard as you can, you should make it through the program. Most guys that wash out are because they aren't working as hard as they can be or getting distracted. Hardly anyone ever washes out because they are a poor stick (although it does happen). It's a 13-month process that's unrelenting, so don't get distracted, work as hard as you can, and don't lose sight of your goals.

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