Fly Like a Fighter

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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.

Fly like a fighter: Join the gaggle

Fly like a fighter | 2013, 04 04

While stationed in Okinawa, Japan, flying the F-15 I made periodic trips to the Philippines to fly in Cope Thunder exercises—the Pacific version of Red Flag. They would schedule up to 70 aircraft in a very dynamic war training event with airplanes split Blue Air against Red Air.

Fly like a fighter: Predicting the weather based on patterns

Fly like a fighter | 2013, 03 01

Learning local weather patterns can make it easier for you to make a go/no-go decision, whether in an F-15 or Cessna P210.

Fly like a fighter: F-15s, a taxicab, and a road grader

Fly like a fighter | 2013, 02 04

A 90-minute flight in an F-15 turns into a 10-hour ordeal culminating with a ride home in a 35,000-pound road grader.

Fly like a fighter: IFR in the cockpit

Fly like a fighter | 2013, 01 08

In the blink of an eye, everything in the cockpit of the T-38 fogged up. Accelerating through 80 knots, an instructor and his student were faced with a dilemma: conduct a high-speed abort into the grass, or continue the takeoff, flying blind?

Fly like a fighter: ‘To pee or not to pee’

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 12 17

The use of “piddle packs” in the cockpit has led to some entertaining mishaps in the F-16. In general aviation, it might just drive your passengers away.

Fly like a fighter: Dogfight's line-of-sight secret

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 12 06

With a thrust-to-weight ratio greater than 1:1, the F-15 performs amazingly in a dogfight. But there are some secrets the pilot needs to take to come out of the dogfight safely.