Air Force job can be tough but full of adventure

Would you like to travel the world but risk your life at the same time? Well, that’s what people in
Kaitlin Pritchard
Kaitlin Pritchard

Would you like to travel the world but risk your life at the same time? Well, that’s what people in the Air Force do every day.

I sat down with my dad, Brian Pritchard, who happens to be a crew chief of the Air Force and former graduate of SCS.

Every time a plane flies, my dad goes with it to inspect and repair it to keep it safe and flying. The plane has to fly all over the world to exciting and amazing places. His plane is a large cargo airplane equipped with skis to land on ice and snow. The skis allow the plane to go all the way from the North Pole to the South Pole. It can carry people, equipment and supplies to these remote areas.

Pritchard had just returned from a trip to Antarctica. He had to bring supplies to scientists who were living on the ice doing research on environmental changes. They live in remote camps around the South Pole. Pritchard explained to me that flying in this kind of environment can be very dangerous. The icy surface is unstable and can have large cracks. Some cracks are even bigger than the airplanes! It is so cold that the airplane can break down often and has to be repaired by my dad.

There are many dangers of traveling, but there are also many adventures and exciting places to see. He has to work on the airplane while being surrounded by many penguins! The runway sits between icy mountains and an active volcano. To get home to Scotia, the plane had to land in many exciting places. First it landed in New Zealand. Then it crossed the equator and landed on an island called Pago Pago. It then landed in beautiful Hawaii. It finally made its way to the United States and landed in California. After one week of flying and one more eight-hour flight, he was back at home in New York.

I think the Air Force is an amazing job, and after this interview, I’m considering becoming a crew chief also. My dad is my hero!

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