I’m not a pilot, but I play one on the computer.
My story: I joined Navy ROTC in 1981 with an eye towards being a naval aviator. I had been drawn towards flying since a young child. However…
At my initial physical they discovered that I was “color blind” - technically Red-Green Color Deficient, a condition genetically passed and that effects 10% of the male population. I took the test again - the Fransworth Lantern test (or FALANT test YouTube video) and a HM3 was very helpful…“are you sure about that? Try again”…what do you know! I passed.
Unfortunately the same HM3 was not around 4 years later when I took my pre-commissioning physical and failed the FALANT miserably. But seeing as the Navy had just paid four years tuition to Villanova University…I was offered Restricted Line or Staff Corps - I picked Intelligence (restricted line)…although I had to ask, “How many L’s in ‘Intelligence’, when filing out my application.”
It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Given my stick and rudder skills in flightsimulators I’m pretty sure I’d had a ride in a ejection seat-or worse-by now.
But the world of intelligence! Not “eye watering” but definitely “eye opening”. I’ve done and seen some pretty cool things…been “in the room” when key decisions were made…and often had an input to those decisions. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, not much of which I can talk about.
Still I was able to indulge my love of aviation - I’ve focused much of my career on Naval Aviation - as an Ensign, the Intel Office for VF-32 when they flew F-14s; as at LT/LCDR, as the ship’s intelligence officer on USS GUAM, essentially a helo-carrier, as a LCDR, on the Commander Naval Air Forces Atlantic (COMNAVAIRLANT) staff, and as a CDR, the N2 for Commander Carrier Group 7 aboard USS JOHN C STENNIS CVN-74. Even as the N2 for Commander Pacific Fleet, I dealt with aviation issues…OK and ship and submarine issues too.
I’ve been a flightsim “pilot” ever since I ran subLogic’s Flight Simulator on my Commodore 64. Its been my hobby and a great hobby for a military officer who has moved 12 times in 28 years…my entire hobby fits on a single hard drive - easy to move.