Single seat fighter aviation
Originally published July 5, 2004.
In reading this I was surprised at the workload a single pilot has in an FA-18 – and it was the first Navy front line fighter that had a single seat since the F8 .
Its a long way from the Hellcat.
So on the two seat versus one seat debate rages. My 2 cents worth from the attack standpoint: the guy in the other seat is worth his weight in gold if he’s any good at all, and most are. Measured against four eyes, two brains, you single seat guys are at 50% capacity right away.
Had a deal with a BN I flew with. He was to always assume I was going to try and kill us in some fashion.
I was always to assume he was out to do the same to me.
We second guessed each other at every turn, crosschecked this and that, and meshed well, we were a team that was greater than the sum of the two crew members.
And oh yeah, each of us can come up with an instance or two or three where one of us saved the other and the airplane.
Once in a while I’d hear the endearing words, “What the #$% do you think you are doing??”
And what was really going on was that I was not thinking.
Nice to have–no, great to have–that other person.
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