Fly Like a Fighter

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Fly like a fighter: Lessons learned from a fatal bailout

Fly like a fighter | 2014, 06 17

Could the time-tested fighter pilot saying, “lose sight, lose the fight,” have misled a pilot to improperly strap in an RF-4 and contributed to his drowning after a successful ejection over the ocean?

Fly like a fighter: ‘Bail out, bail out, bail out’

Fly like a fighter | 2014, 05 05

A training engagement between an F-15 and two RF-4Cs goes terribly wrong when the F-4 pilot uses ailerons to roll left and see the F-15. The jet immediately departs controlled flight.

Fly like a fighter: Gunshot

Fly like a fighter | 2014, 04 07

How can learning how an F-15 pilot uses a gunsight help make you a more precise pilot? Retired Air Force pilot Larry Brown explains.

Fly like a fighter: Missile shot

Fly like a fighter | 2014, 03 07

With a closing speed of about 900 knots, Air Force pilots on a training mission have seconds to aim and shoot heat-seeking and radar guided missiles at a drone target. Their success came from repeated rehearsals. But as author Larry Brown writes, “there is nothing like the real thing to gain experience.”

Fly like a fighter: Circling approach

Fly like a fighter | 2014, 01 08

After a practice circling approach in an F-15, an Air Force pilot receives a call from the tower to “call the commander.” The pilot worries what he’s in for as visions run through his head of the Top Gun scene where Maverick and Goose are reprimanded for their tower fly-by.

Fly like a fighter: Radio silence

Fly like a fighter | 2013, 12 03

Your mission: Fly with eight F-15s to the Philippines, rejoin, refuel with air tankers, engage an unknown number of Red Air fighters, refuel again, and then return home to Okinawa. And fly with radio silence up to the first contact with the Red Air fighters.

Fly like a fighter: Tackle snarling crosswinds

Fly like a fighter | 2013, 11 04

Variable gusting winds can force a runway change on short notice. Pilots should be prepared to switch runways even on short final, as retired Air Force fighter pilot Larry Brown recounts from his training at the Air Force Academy.

Fly like a fighter: Lost wingman vertigo

Fly like a fighter | 2013, 10 07

Rolling out on a 15 mile final, the T-38 instructor-in-training lost sight of the lead aircraft three feet to his left in clouds.

Fly like a fighter: A humbling situation

Fly like a fighter | 2013, 09 09

With unforecast crosswinds at the destination airport that exceeded landing limitations, an Air Force pilot found himself stuck in a military trainer without a backup plan.

Fly like a fighter: Don’t let your guard down

Fly like a fighter | 2013, 08 20

When a group of fighters let their guard down on a training mission, their counterparts attacked with such force the mission lasted just 3.5 minutes. "Negative contact" in the military doesn't mean fighter pilots can relax, and a silent CTAF at an airport doesn't mean you can let your guard down either.