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Captain Lindsay Johnson, an A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot, shows us everything she takes with her when she’s flying the Warthog.
These helmets with a black visor are used when doing a normal cross-country flight or an instrument sortie. It also has the standard masks that they hook into the CRU-60.
CRU-60 – what hooks their oxygen hose to the oxygen on the actual aircraft.
She also flies with a special type of headphones called “ACCESS”, which plugs into the helmet. These are formed and molded to the inside of her ears.
To secure the helmet, the pilots make use of the “nape strap” which is fitted to the back of the neck.
At night, pilots also use what they call a “lip light”. These lights are at mouth level and can be activated by sticking their tongues out. Lip lights are essential as it enables them to write on their knee boards without turning on a bunch of lights that could affect their night vision.
Each A-10 pilot flies with a full-body harness, which has three contact points – one chest strap and two leg straps.
Their seats are called “ACES II” and are rated for zero-zero (at zero feet and zero knots).
They generally fly with two kneeboards, which are used to store any of their data cards or any other important pieces of paper during flight. Some pilots typically use a pencil tab holder, enabling them to fly the jet and write on the kneeboard as fast as possible.
Before iPads were the norm, they would often store additional pieces of information in these bags. Now, however, they have iPads that store “tech data”. These store emergency procedures and in-flight guides – which act as quick-reference guides for different localities.
Last, but definitely not least, is the G-suit. These suits are designed to prevent pilots from blacking out or experiencing g-LOC.
If they’re expected to pull more than 4 G’s in flight, they are required to wear a G-suit. Regardless, they still typically use these suits for every single flight.
There are air bladders located in the stomach and legs of the suit, which help their stomach, ab, and leg muscles to push up against as they’re pulling multiple Gs. Each suit also has a pocket dedicated to a hook knife. If they have to eject and issues arise regarding the plane’s canopy, they are able to cut up to four line-overs without any issues.
Meanwhile, pilots who use contacts while flying are required to have their glasses on their G-suits at any point in time.