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Top Ten Rules

Posted by Jolly on October 31, 2011

Top Ten Rules For Flying Fighters 

I got these from a Weapon and Tactics Officer and have taken the liberty to modify them a bit to make it non-weapon system specific but rather some rules to live by for anyone who straps a fighter to their ass on a daily basis and attempts to perfect the art form of aerial combat. I think you will find these rules common sense but great advice for both FNG’s (F—k’n New Guys) and Old Heads alike. So without further adieux, Fighter Pilot University’s Top Ten Rules for flying a fighter are:

10. Don’t panic! All is well. Your jet is a Warhorse. It won’t let you down, it doesn’t explode. Take a breath, look outside, and then analyze the situation. Get to the right page in the checklist and use it.
9. Turn it off, turn it back on, and run a test. Something we all learn in our training days but we still have ground aborts for buffoonery. If that doesn’t work, cycle the central computer, do something else for a little while then turn it off and back on again. Cycle the flight controls (it may not have anything to do with the problem, but it always seems to help.) 
8. Look out the window. There is a lot of drool bucket magic two feet in front of your face but it will never replace the SA you get from looking outside. There will come a time in combat when having that habit pattern will allow you to see something coming that all the magic never saw. You may save a buddy’s life and never have to buy a drink when he’s around, ever again…and that makes it worth the effort.
7. Stay in shape. Sounds kinda hokey-new age, but it matters. If you are strong and feel strong then that has a direct impact on your attitude. It makes you confident. It makes you aggressive. As an added benefit, for every 5 minutes in the gym, you can drink another whiskey that night at the bar. You may need a new liver at 50, but who cares…you won’t be flying fighters then.
6. Build combat habit patterns. When you take off, there is a switch right above the gear handle (the MASTER ARM). Touch it every sortie. Crew coordinate and verbalize your full Fence Check every time you fly. Practice! Run the radar and employ your training weapons all the time. When you Fence Out of the airspace, if your configuration allows, if the weather allows, turn the Master Arm back on, leave your weapons hot and practice killing stuff. 10 miles from the field you can say, “Landing light on, parking brake off, Master Arm safe.”
5. Listen. Or as some wise old sages would say, “never pass up a chance to shut the f--k up.” It took me a long time to figure this one out. bigcupofshutthefuckup.jpgNow I know what I’ve been missing. I learn more by listening to people of all ranks, skill and experience levels than I ever did arguing the ways of the world. If you are all liquored-up in the bar, this rule does not apply.  
4. No excuses. Unless you can prove it was a system/mechanical failure, take responsibility for every miss, every mort, every bad sort, etc. The “hatch does NOT just fail.”   The younglings and old craniums will respect you a hell of a lot more if you just admit you f—ked it up.
3. Know your jet, the systems, and the real capability of your weapons. If you know that stuff cold, then look at reports of weapons tests next. Save your mastery of Weapons and Tactics manuals for 4-ship flight lead upgrade. The initial fighter training you receive, unit mission qualification training, and daily flying will give you all the tactics you need as a wingman. Knowing systems and focusing on airmanship will make you a better 2-ship flight lead. Knowledge of system capabilities will influence your view of tactics as you progress in leadership positions and get to be on the pointy end leading a large group of fighters into combat.
2. If it's comfortable, you're doing something wrong. Speed is still life. Practice flying the jet at 500+. You should hear the double rate beeper (over 90% of max allowable G) a lot. Your neck should be tired of looking around. Radar Warning Receiver volumes should be painful. Flying fighters right should always “hurt so good!” 
1. HAVE FUN! You are strapped into the ultimate power machine! You can go straight up, down, upside down. If you want to get somewhere, then move the jet like you mean it. If you fly this way – aggressive but relaxed and smiling – you will be better prepared when it comes time to do some killing. This doesn’t mean violate the rules or fly reckless…it means look for every opportunity to turn JP-8 into legal fun and training. If nothing else, look out the window and appreciate the ultimate view. It will never get any better than flying a fighter. Cherish every moment the canopy comes down and the gear comes up.

For all you F-15E bubbas at FU, some FU Garb is a must have in your wardrobe!




Posted by waltbj01 on
1. What you don't know can kill you.
a. Know your weapons system - be able to use it to ITS limits
b. Know his strong and weak points vs your system
2. Always know your cockpit blindfolded
3. Be aggressive but know when to fold them
4. Fight as a team
5. Snap shots better than nothing (see 1a)
6. Track everyone's fuel
7. Keep eyes and ears open but mouth shut except for mission things
8. Be in shape to fly
9. Think mission and nothing else until in the chocks again.
10.Debrief honestly completely and always correct mistakes
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