Fly Like a Fighter

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Fly like a fighter: Voices in the cockpit

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 06 05

On takeoff roll, an Air Force pilot rapidly accelerates down the runway with the afterburners lit. Soon he hears, from somewhere, "60 knots...80 knots..." Confused, the pilot starts to pull the throttles to idle to abort the takeoff.

Fly like a fighter: Backseat landings

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 05 21

Backseat landings in a T-38 are a challenge. Backseat no-flap landings in a T-38 without any crosswind are even worse--you can't see the runway directly ahead of you on approach.

Fly like a fighter: Weird wind

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 05 07

An aircraft cleared for takeoff took a little longer on the takeoff roll, but after becoming airborne, it climbed to 30 feet agl and leveled off slightly. Then it stayed at 30 feet agl, passing the departure end of the runway and continuing at that low altitude for at least another half mile.

Fly like a fighter: Sinus block

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 04 24

No pilot in the Air Force ever enjoys being placed on DNIF (duties not to include flying) status. But sinus congestion can ground anyone. After being treated and checked, an Air Force pilot is cleared to fly again but experiences severe pain during a formation instrument approach at only 1,000 feet agl.

Fly like a Fighter: Crosswind controls

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 04 10

The Air Force Academy had guidance for the Diamond DA40 of maximum wind for takeoff (26 knots), maximum wind for landing (35 knots), and maximum wind for taxi operations (35 knots). Former Air Force instructor Larry Brown suggests all pilots should all have their own limits for the airplanes they fly.

Fly like a Fighter: Cross-controlled in tight formation

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 03 26

An Air Force student was doing a magnificent job of flying close formation, at night and in the weather, while cross-controlling a T-38 in a slip. When the instructor instructed him to get his right foot off the rudder, there was no response.

Fly like a Fighter: Which way is up?

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 03 13

After an uncontrolled snap roll, Air Force F-15 pilot Larry Brown finds his aircraft 40 degrees nose low, inverted, accelerating toward the ground. Enter the importance of upset recovery training.

Fly like a Fighter: To go or not to go?

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 02 27

Who aborts an F-15 during takeoff because of a lack of thrust? Retired Air Force F-15 pilot Larry Brown shares why he should have aborted a takeoff in which he used 6,000 feet of an 8,000-foot runway to get airborne.

Fly like a fighter: Cheers to the man on the mic

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 02 16

In early spring our squadron in Germany was sending 12 F-15s to Denmark to participate in a NATO flying exercise. The weather was overcast over Europe, and the forecast in Denmark was for low ceilings, poor visibility, and rain throughout the day. We scheduled three launches of four F-15s each spread apart by 20 minutes. I launched with the second group of four.

Fly like a fighter: Where'd my maps go?

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 02 01

A negative-G guns jink sprays maps, charts, and approach plates onto the top of retired Air Force pilot Larry Brown's F-15 canopy, teaching him a valuable lesson he adheres to today in his Cessna P210--even though he won't be doing any negative-G pushovers.