Category Archives: Fighter Pilot Stories

Cowboys and Indians

By lex, on November 5th, 2008

As previously alluded to in these pages, the Indian Air Force came west, young men, for to try their skills at Red Flag. With them they brought the vaunted SU-30MKI, against which were counter-opposed Eagles and Falcons and Hornets, oh my.

Turns out? Not all that ** and a bag of chips.

The cowboys win again.

Comments are made about the relative merits of different vectored thrust schemes and electronically scanned arrays, pilot experience levels, the advantages of integrated fighter-to-fighter datalinks (I sense a business opportunity), a gentleman named “BOB*”, and the Perfidious French. All at the unclas level. Supposedly.

Warm commentary on the advantages of having a hot gun in a fifth generation fighter (like the F-22 Raptor has), and an evident reluctance to discussing the F-35 (which has none). Because we just never learn a damned thing.

* Blue on blue

** 08-29-2018 The link Lex cited was gone (along with the web site) and at first I was just going to decree it  so and have no link. This link is from 2008 so I don’t know if it is what Lex wanted but I decided it was better than no link 😉 – Ed. 


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Super Fox

By lex, on August 14th, 2008

There are a thousand memories and associations evoked for a generation of fighter pilots and bogey drivers from a glance at this YouTube video.

Fallon, Nevada in the springtime, last night’s revels fading in memory. The brief complete, boots on concrete 45 minutes prior to wheels up, harnesses tight, D-rings clinking, the knowledge that no man alive had a better job balanced by the very real awareness that professional glory – always a transient thing – or a more persistent ignominy was on the other side of your life’s next hour and a half.

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Neptunus Lex: Some Recommended Posts By Category

To the reader: 

Carroll LeFon – aka “Lex” –  wrote more than simple “blog posts”. Much of what he wrote I would call essays and short stories. I am heartened to see people around the world still reading these – and passing them around – years after he wrote them. Some are humorous and  some are instructive. Some, like Icarus, are simply beautiful short stories. 

Since he wrote so much over 9 years, I created both the indices “Best of” and “Rest of” to try and make this manageable for the new reader. Even then, there’s about 1,700 or so not in the large indices. 

From these indices  I thought it would be nice to organize some of these – my favorites – by category and give the new reader a “Lex Primer”. 

Hence this page.

Bill Brandt

Stories & Essays of the Navy




Naval Aviation and Safety










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Buck Fever, a Microfiction

By Lex, on June 30, 2009


The young aviator looked down into the woman’s upward turned eyes, saw her tremble a bit in the winter moonlight despite the fact that she was wearing his heavy motorcycle jacket, thick cowhide over a quilted lining. Too large for her slender frame, but still carrying his own body heat – he’d only just passed it over to her. He would have liked to take her somewhere inside, to see if the trembling went away. Or if it didn’t. But there wasn’t any inside space that they could communally share – it was just the way things were. They remained outside on the quiet street, their breathing sending out little puffs of fog that rose up to join the thin cirrus clouds scudding overhead.

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Hey, Jonboy! First flight in the TA-4 – How do you like it so far?

“Taco,” a SERGRAD (ed.- a recently winged pilot retained as an IP rather than sent to the fleet straightaway) was the instructor in the back. We took off with me in control for my first front seat hop and there was a thump when the gear came up, but I didn’t know if it was a normal thump or excessive.

We went out to the working area to run through the training items and when we reached the part where I was supposed to simulate coming into the break (ed. – a hard, airspeed dissapating turn to downwind) and then dirty up downwind, the nose gear position indicator stayed barber-poled (ed – an “unsafe / not down and locked” indication).

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By lex, on December 6th, 2011

Our mission was to attack the imperialist, running-dog, bandits attacking our valiant, progressive forces on our sacred motherland in the name of “democracy”, “liberty”, and “Obamacare.” They were fewer than we, but fierce, while we hard iron in our hearts, for we were permitted to regenerate, having once been killed. They, on the other hand, were single-shot morts, the poor b*stards, and no one promised them that it’d be all beer and skittles in the halls of the (prestigious) Navy Fighter Weapons School. Bring it hard or stay home.

A beautiful day for flying in the Fallon Training Range Complex, winds light and variable at three knots, ceilings and visibility unlimited, the air cold but as clear Waterford crystal.

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Qual Flight

By lex, on September 24th, 2011

So thanks for all the congrats and best wishes, they are truly appreciated.

It’d been a solid three days of looking mournfully at the weather, forecast and sky – a pilot’s ultimate “weather radar”. Listening into the briefs of the qualified guys to try and get a sense of the missions and mindsets. Listen to them grumble about this or that. Smile secretly to yourself, happy to have changed the environment in which such grumbling can occur.

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