Highway to the Danger Zone – Jet Set Flies into OLN, February 7
Step into the cockpit and follow the highs and lows of seven pilots and five navigators as they learn how to fly the British Royal Air Force (RAF) primary attack aircraft in the new six-part series, Jet Set. Premiering Thurs., Feb. 7 at 8:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT on OLN, each half-hour episode of this high-flying series chronicles the gruelling six-month training course pilots and navigators must complete to become world-class aircrew on a top strike-attack jet. Narrated by Ewan McGregor (Star Wars, Long Way Round), Jet Set offers a fascinating look into the world of the RAF as the pilots and navigators learn complex flying techniques while undertaking tough tasks that push them to their physical, emotional and psychological limits.
Set at the RAF’s largest and busiest fast-jet base, RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, the course is the culmination of years of training for the 12 students from the United Kingdom. Following the trials and triumphs of the trainees, the physical and emotional impact of the course is evident as they take the high-pressure course in the Tornado GR4 bomber. Capable of supersonic speeds exceeding 2,000 kilometres per hour, the Tornado GR4 is incredibly complex to operate. If they fail to make the grade, these students will face reassignment, possibly to administrative work in the British Forces. With the fear of having their career hopes dashed, get a behind-the-scenes look at life for the trainees, including the camaraderie and the rivalry between pilots, navigators, instructors, air crew and ground crew. With the stakes this high, who will make the cut in the elite air force training course?
Episode highlights from Jet Set include:
Jet Set: “Ground School”
Thurs., Feb. 7 at 8:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT
Watch as the rookies arrive at RAF Lossiemouth to face the toughest test of their careers to date. The seven pilots and five navigators are all motivated by the same burning ambition – to complete the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) course that could make or break their fast jet careers. Before the students get their hands on the Tornado GR4 jet – the RAF’s primary attack aircraft – they have to successfully graduate from Ground School. This pre-flight phase lasts five weeks, during which the students have to prove that they have what it takes to tackle the Tornado. The Tornado GR4 is one of the most potent jets in the Air Force’s artillery and is also one of the most challenging to operate.
Jet Set: “The Sims”
Thurs., Feb. 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT
Two weeks into their training, the 12 student pilots and navigators are ready to move on to the critical simulator phase of the OCU course. The simulator the students will use is much like a multi-million dollar computer game which is the Tornado GR4’s virtual sister and one of the most advanced simulators in the world. Over five weeks, the trainee pilots and navigators will fly 11 increasingly difficult flights in the virtual jet before being let loose in the real thing. Flying the simulator is incredibly realistic; the only difference is that it can’t replicate G-force. It is both physically and mentally demanding, but with one major advantage – here, mistakes can’t be fatal.
Jet Set: “Flying Solo”
Thurs., Feb. 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT
The students at RAF Lossiemouth are getting closer to achieving their ultimate dream – to fly the Tornado GR4. Some, however, are not as close as others. One exam stands between them and the complex aircraft. Watch as the students get ready to take to the skies, initially with an instructor, and then on their first major solo attempt. To add to the challenge, monsoon rains hit Scotland and make the flight test even more difficult. The stormy weather poses no problems for the course’s top performers, but can all the others be just as successful?
Jet Set: “Bombs Away”
Thurs., Feb. 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT
The pressure is mounting for the trainees who are ready to embark on the most critical stage – the weapons phase. The jet is equipped with both guns and bombs that are capable of destroying armoured convoys, hardened bunkers and aircraft shelters. The practise bombs the trainees will be using simulate the thousand-dollar bombs that are used on the front line. The students must now prove that they can get the bombs on target on time, within a 10-second time parameter. This test is designed to prepare the trainees for combat when the pressure will be extremely high, both in terms of survival and dropping weapons accurately. It is not just in the air that the students are feeling the heat; the time has come for the trainees to undertake some survival training which includes nuclear, biological and chemical instruction along with a rigorous fitness test.
Jet Set: “The Dark Side”
Thurs., March 6 at 8:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT
In the penultimate episode of Jet Set, the students find out where they’ll be posted for the next three years if they pass the course. It is also time for rookie pilots and navigators to become more comfortable with low level night flying. It’s hands off for the trainee pilots as they put their complete trust in the jet’s autopilot technology while coasting at 76 metres from the ground at 643 kilometres per hour.
Jet Set: “Make or Break”
Thurs., March 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT
The rookie Tornado pilots and navigators are nearing the end of extremely intensive training. With the finish line in sight, the pressure reaches new heights. In their final outing, the trainees will be tasked with attacking targets and dropping bombs and weapons, all the while undergoing ground attacks, such as surface to air missiles. If this isn’t enough to contend with, they must also out-manoeuvre instructors who will adopt the guise of an enemy aircraft. Don’t miss the final flight test that uses all the GR4’s capabilities to determine who will graduate the course and join a front line squadron.
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