Flying and the Perrier Bottle

Flying and the Perrier Bottle

Flying is a Performance just like a sporting competition. And once we grasp this concept, our approach to preparing for flying missions changes because we realize the strains that we are going to put our bodies through. When we demand extraordinary performance on a fighter mission set or during a test mission, everything matters. Fighter pilots ‘dogfighting’ one against each other demands the best of each of us. Get into an F-16, pin yourself to the back of the seat, crushed at 9g during a fight, and you quickly realize just how physical the act of flying is. Nutrition and proper hydration and what you drink matters. And so does warding off Tactical Dehydration.

Balkan Rats – 25 Years On

Balkan Rats – 25 Years On

The Canadian CF-18 Composite Wing, the ‘Balkan Rats’, that flew combat during Operation Allied Force, 25 years ago, propelled a peacetime air force to mold itself into a more capable and lethal fighter force.

Fate, Luck and Choice – Gifted…or Not…

Fate, Luck and Choice – Gifted…or Not…

It’s not how you fail; it’s how you get back up. I want pilots who have failed and showed the strength to recover and succeed. If they don’t have scars, they don’t have character and when the shit hits the fan, they won’t know what to do and will cave. I want the ones who failed, got back up and moved forward.

NATO vs Russian Pilots

NATO vs Russian Pilots

Who is better?  Western trained fighter pilots or products of the Russian system.  Most fighter pilots know that Russian and ‘Eastern trained’ pilots are not as capable as Western trained aviators.  We all likely agree that NATO would win handily in any air battle with Russian forces.

Fate, Luck and Choice – The Kenny Switch

Fate, Luck and Choice – The Kenny Switch

None of us live long enough to make all the mistakes so learn from others. In fighter aviation, flights seldom go as planned. We can learn from mistakes of others so that we don’t make them ourselves instead of pointing fingers and ridiculing others. I choose to learn. June 4, 1985, I was on the wing during a formation takeoff of CF-18s when my flight lead could not get airborne, aborted but could not stop in time and ultimately ejected as the aircraft exploded. He lived fortunately. It turns out that a simple pilot-induced trim setting error prevented the jet from getting airborne.

There was so much to learn from this, primarily to avoid distraction from media and outside attention when flying, to always be vigilant, especially when we change procedures and habit patterns, that it is okay to make the small mistakes so that I don’t make the big ones and finally, to trust my instincts when I sense that something is not quite right. Lots to learn each time we fly.