Fly Like a Fighter

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Fly like a fighter: Minimum fuel

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 08 01

The F-15 can burn through an amazing amount of fuel in a short amount of time. In the dense air at sea level with maximum afterburner selected and at high speed, the total fuel flow can be more than 23,000 gallons per hour, or 385 gallons per minute.

Fly like a fighter: INS inop

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 07 18

When the inertial navigation system of his F-15 told him he was 40 miles north of his actual location, an Air Force pilot had to revert to the old standby of navigation: He had to look out the window.

Fly like a fighter: Engine shutdown

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 06 29

With the F-15's right engine oil pressure gauge reading dangerously low, the pilot faced a decision to continue, hoping the gauge was faulty, or shut down the engine as a precaution. Time to run through those emergency procedures.

Fly like a fighter: Panic moves

Fly like a fighter | 2012, 06 19

Everyone is familiar with the panic stop in a car--right foot off the gas and stomp on the brake pedal. There are a few instant moves for an airplane that all of us should have in our memory for quick recall.

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.