Without a doubt, the luckiest thing that happened to me while a cadet was getting to spend three weeks in the summer of ’74 at Edwards AFB, CA, where my “job” every work day was to put on my flight suit, grab my helmet bag, go to Base Ops, and look to see what flights on the board that day had an empty back seat. I got eight flights total, including four in the T-38, two in an RF-4C, one in a regular F-4, and one in a … wait for it … U-2. Unfortunately that flight was fairly ho-hum since there was an issue with the pressurization system and we couldn’t go above a certain altitude. But the takeoff and landing were both singular experiences. (Photos below.)
Plus we got several tours and got to hear a lot of war stories from the flight test center veterans. Our 3rd Lt. contingent included Jeff Hacket (’75) and fellow ’76ers Mike Berrian, Scott Britten, Ed Morley, and Tom Sawner.
On the weekends we made a trip to Las Vegas (five of us in one room at Circus Circus) and one to Los Angeles that included stops at the beach, Disneyland, and for some reason, UCLA.