‘I plan for the 6th order effect and I do it in about half a second.’
If I had heard that from anyone other than another fighter pilot, I would’ve laughed them out of the room but, from my buddy, Jim – I knew it was true.
I flown with him many times before. He was the kind of guy that radios weren’t invented for – he just didn’t need to use them. I knew what he was thinking before he’d even thought it because we’d both been trained in exactly the same way. We’d gone through flying training together and even served on the same front-line squadron; his actions were fluid, predictable and, when leading other aircraft in dynamic situations, was very much appreciated by other pilots.
But, Jim was in trouble.
He was explaining to a young Air Traffic Control Officer why he had gone against their direction – a serious offence.
He looked over at me – not for reassurance – he was annoyed and I understood why.
If you haven’t spent the last two decades flying military fast jets, you’d be forgiven for thinking that fighter pilots must have amazing reactions to do what they do.
But, it’s not true.
My reactions are probably just as good as yours, I’m now over 40 and they might even be worse. But, that’s OK as I do something that you probably don’t.
I know to ‘respond’ and not to ‘react’.
More here – Fast Jet Performance