Flow visualization of the initial transient in a small recorderlike flue organ pipe is presented and the various stages of the jet formation are related to measurements of the acoustic response of the pipe. An initial acoustic signal, due to the unsteady volume flow of the jet, appears before the forming jet reaches the labium. This signal can easily be modeled using a low-frequency approximation. The initial trajectory of the jet makes a curve towards the exterior of the pipe. Under certain conditions, the jet may even, at first, miss the labium. This effect is related to the steepness of the pressure rise in the foot of the pipe. The initial impact of the jet with the labium appears to be a crucial factor in the triggering of the transient. Moving the labium towards the exterior of the pipe, using a steep pressure rise or putting ears around the mouth increase the chance that the jet will hit the labium. This initial impact is followed by an impulsive vortex shedding at the labium and subsequently a high-frequency varicoselike oscillation is observed on the jet. This oscillation is also observed without labium. After about three periods of the fundamental mode of the pipe, turbulence appears therefore destroying these coherent structures. Whereas the time dependency of the jet velocity dominates the first stage of the starting transient, the jet velocity fluctuations during steady-state result in a non-negligible damping. This loss mechanism is, for the fundamental mode of our experimental organ pipe, of the same order of magnitude as the radiation or visco-thermal damping.