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.
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.
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).
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.
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.