Category Archives: Fighter Pilot Stories

T.I.A.D. Near mid-air

By lex, on June 5th, 2004

There are few words so immediately blood-chilling in their effect upon tactical aviators, as these: “mid-air.” It is an abbreviation for “mid-air collision,” and conjures up images of once sleek, purposeful and lethal high performance aircraft reduced in a moment to odd pieces of flaming trash, fluttering to earth – instant chaos from order.

Mention that you have recently heard the news of a mid-air and prepare yourself for the customary, almost involuntary response: “Did anyone get out?”

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On the wire

By lex, on April 11th, 2007

The four-ship typically comes in level at release altitude. For a 45 degree dive bombing pattern that’d be around 5000′ above ground level (AGL). Aligned with the attack heading, the lead will push it up to the planned release airspeed – typically around 450 knots calibrated airspeed – and the savvier wingmen will ensure that their jets are trimmed out in yaw as they attain release speed: Even modern jets get “bent,” and what is trimmed for level flight at 300 knots won’t always work at 450, while uncorrected yaw is a source of bombing inaccuracy. Once over the target, dash one will call, “Lead’s breaking,” on the aux radio, followed by his wingmen every four seconds or so thereafter, 2, 3, 4.

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Fight center

By lex, on August 20th, 2006

In the good old days of flying bogies at the Conch Republic, it was routine for the bandits, flying F-16’s, F-5’s‚ and A-4’s to run the fighters “out of gas”. They had to CAP at tactical airspeeds, and for the most part we didn’t. We’d run our presentations, fight, kill and die like good bandits, and then head back to our own CAP to wait for the next hack. The fighters on the other hand, were required to pretty much rage around in full grunt from the commit to the knock-it-off, since speed is life and unlike bandits, fighters aren’t supposed to die.

So after two or three runs, maybe four if we were up against Tomcats, the fighters would bingo back to the field, leaving us with whatever we had left to do whatever we might desire.

Which generally speaking, was fight some more.

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Index – The Best of Neptunus Lex

On March 6, 2012 we lost Lex. He died doing what he wanted to do, teaching Naval Aviators how to be even better.

For many of us, the Lexicans, he became more than just a blogger but a friend.  Carroll “Lex” LeFon not only enjoyed writing, but he enjoyed the interaction of the “commentariat”, many of whom he called “the best friends I never met”.

Soon after his accident, his website, Neptunus Lex, went down. If it weren’t for one Lexican, who copied and pasted most (about 70%) of his posts for later reading, “the lightness of Lex”, all 9  years’ worth of his work, would have disappeared into the digital ether.

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The Best of Neptunus Lex

LexMug

Preface

I came to know Lex through his writings. A longtime admirer of his, David Foster of Chicagoboyz.net, recommended a few of his favorite posts.

After reading the very first one, I was hooked. One could say that at that moment I became a Lexican. Some of Lex’s posts made you laugh and others made you think. He had the gift of showing people what life is like to serve on a carrier.

Until I read Lex, this old Army guy thought sailors had an easy life with clean, spacious accommodations and good food.  I just wondered if they were allowed to take their golf clubs while on a cruise.

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