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  Astronaut with most time flying T-38 jets

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Author Topic:   Astronaut with most time flying T-38 jets
star61
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Posts: 280
From: Bristol UK
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 07-28-2017 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for star61   Click Here to Email star61     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I read that John Young in his NASA years accrued over 9000 hours in the T-38.

This is by any measure an astonishing total, probably only possible by being a NASA astronaut for 40 years. A usual military career will entail posting to different types for numerous reasons, although I am aware of a USAF reservist Colonel with 6000 hours on the F-16.

Is 9000 hours on one fast jet type a world record? If it is I think Guinness should ratify it as such. I'm sure Young himself would not care one way or another, but I think it would be a nice addition to his list of achievements.

David C
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Posts: 651
From: Pasadena
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 07-28-2017 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well my understanding is that Story Musgrave is the high time T-38 pilot, so I'd have to say no.

And no, I don't know what his total is.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 38245
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-28-2017 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In "The NASA Northrop T-38: Photographic Art from an Astronaut Pilot," it says Story logged "more than 8,000 hours" in the Talon.

David C
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Posts: 651
From: Pasadena
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 07-29-2017 05:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I don't know where I originally heard this, but on Story's website it states he set the world record for the most hours in the T-38, doesn't mean he's the current holder I guess.

Also, in this pre STS-6 New York Times story, it states he has more than 14,100 hours total flying time. His NASA 1997 bio states 17,700 hours total, of which 7,500 is on jets. His book states over 8,000 on jets, so I don't know.

Perhaps NASA knows the answer, John must be in the running for most years flying the same type of fast mover.

sev8n
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Posts: 206
From: Dallas TX USA
Registered: Jul 2012

posted 07-29-2017 10:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Which raises an interesting question: did the pilot of a space shuttle mission accrue "flight" time?

328KF
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Registered: Apr 2008

posted 07-29-2017 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some years ago at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, I photographed Pete Conrad's pilot logbook. It was opened to the page where he logged the Gemini V mission with the total hours. If I recall correctly, he also made a notation under "landing" to add "at sea" or something to that effect.

If I can locate the photo I'll post it here.

RobertB
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Posts: 118
From: Israel
Registered: Nov 2012

posted 08-01-2017 04:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RobertB   Click Here to Email RobertB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regarding flight time, didn't military astronauts get their "flight time" bonus pay for space flights?

PeterO
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Posts: 337
From: Rochester, NH
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 08-01-2017 06:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I forget the details, but I believe one Mercury astronaut jokingly billed NASA for travel allowance. In return, NASA billed him for the Atlas.

star61
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Posts: 280
From: Bristol UK
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 11-03-2017 02:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for star61   Click Here to Email star61     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It seemed the obvious place to check was John Young's NASA bio. There it is, 9200 hours on the T-38.

I can't see any circumstance where another pilot can top that single type total. Fast jet only of course.

David C
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Posts: 651
From: Pasadena
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 11-03-2017 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Which is the point you made in your first post. Almost certainly he is, but the information on other candidates is sketchy. He does seem to have beaten Story. Who knows if there's some old grizzled MiG-15UTI instructor or Hunter instructor out there. Probably not, but...

star61
Member

Posts: 280
From: Bristol UK
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 11-03-2017 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for star61   Click Here to Email star61     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes exactly, I was pointing out it should have occurred to me to check the NASA bio first.

I'm also pretty sure no Hunter instructor would have got anywhere near 9000 hours. Certainly not in the RAF and most other services that used the Hunter had pretty restricted hours limits ultimately.

As for MiG 15UTI... wouldn't it be nice to know! I guess if there is any chance, that's where it would be most likely.

Philip
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Posts: 5629
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 11-04-2017 05:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A 21st century reference: Military pilots have yearly 200 flying hours, so on average, 5000 hours over a complete career.

All times are CT (US)

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