Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A Question for All You Fighter Jet Pilots Out There

What does the other guy do? What does the backwards-facing dude (or "female aviator" of course, but for simplicity we'll revert to the gender-neutral masculine for the duration of this post) in the back of the cockpit do? Is it just, "all of the complicated things that are involved in the operation of a modern fighter jet, that the front-seat pilot can't get to because he's too busy doing barrel rolls, shooting off missiles and buzzing the Grand Canyon?" Plus other standard combat tactics.

I guess what I'm asking is: he can't fly the plane from back there, can he? If the front guy gets shot, he can't take over can he?

That'd be amazing! Can you imagine, piloting one of those things at Mach 2, tear ass-ing all across the sky by looking over your shoulder, flying the plane backwards? I'd be all, "YEEEEAAA-HAW!!!"

My enthusiasm tempered a bit, of course, by the fact my buddy got shot. But he'd understand. I need the adrenaline rush from that rebel yell, to get me through the rest of this dogfight, and safely back to base. He and I, we have shared responsibility for a very expensive piece of equipment, and we've never failed yet to bring 'er back safe and sound. So I need to get this baby back down on the ground, safe and sound - for him. It's the best way to honor his memory.

Man, I can't wait to see the other guys' faces when they see me land this thing - BACKWARDS!

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