Shep and I traded in our skis today for a pair of Vipers and took to the skies instead of the slopes. In what’s become standard ops for me, we were to be Red Air for an ACM ride.
Naturally, we had 2 wing-mounted fuel tanks, while the adversaries had only one centerline tank. Just to make it that much easier for them.
The most challenging part of the flight today was the ILS through the snow band. I was 400′ high before I saw the runway. I haven’t shot an actual approach that low since about March 2002. I had wanted to do a no-HUD approach off the "steam gauges," and while the flight ahead of us didn’t sound like they were having any problem, we ended up getting a report of reduced visibility, so I terminated the no-HUD practice and dialed the HUD steering symbology back from no intensity to medium intensity (the HUD wasn’t actually off, no one in their right mind actually turns it off because that’s just begging to have it stay off when you really need it; medium intensity works best because at high intensity it actually becomes difficult to see through rain or snow). To be honest, with the HUD on, it wasn’t really very challenging.
It was still a lot of fun!