If aviation itself is an inherently unforgiving activity, then how much more so naval aviation—which routinely involves formation flying, ship landings, night vision goggle usage and… of course, the enemy? When tragedy strikes—as it frequently does—the US Government cares for family members of the fallen, as well as the parent unit but, inevitably, response times can sometimes be lengthy and expenses can exceed those payable by the government, per law. Oftentimes, the family and squadron need someone to come alongside to provide a little extra help. That’s where The Wingman Foundation comes in.
Founded by three US Marine Corps aviators in 2014, the non-profit foundation strives to “honor the sacrifices of our fallen air warriors and support the families they’ve left behind.” Retired CWO3 Ricky “Leroy” Savage, USMC, joins us on this episode to describe how the foundation does so, particularly in response to recent high-profile mishaps worldwide. The Fighter Pilot Podcast is proud to announce a partnership with the foundation—helping promote their mission and offering podcast listeners a convenient way to shoulder some of the grief when tragedy strikes.
This episode also features a brief overview of the Wings Over America Scholarship Foundation, a non-profit foundation founded in 1987 that provides “college scholarships to dependent children and spouses of all US Navy personnel—officer and enlisted.”
During the listener question segment, we again address simulators, discuss whether specific dogfighting maneuvers are decided formulaically, and cover how prevalent smoking is among the fighter pilot ranks.