IF YOU AIN’T A PILOT

A Memoir by Ray Wright

Cockpit chaos and classroom camaraderie fuel the entropic adventures of Second Lieutenant Ray Wright and his fellow classmates of UPT Class 88-07 at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.

Though competing against one another for the flying assignments of their dreams, like the fearsome F-15 and F-16 fighters, a good mission sometimes takes a backseat to a good party or punch line in this classroom of cut-ups. The high stakes, however, loom over Lt. Wright. In a program where one out of three students fails, not everybody who starts UPT will finish it. And not everybody who does finish will get a desirable flying assignment. Some won’t even escape the Columbus Air Force Base.

Will Lt. Wright get his dream assignment flying a C-141 cargo plane based out of beachside Charleston, South Carolina? Or be forced to perpetuate the If you ain’t a pilot… system as the dreaded FAIP (First Assignment Instructor Pilot) in Columbus, Mississippi?