Riding the back seat of 331 with Roy Jolly going to Nellis for our first Red Flag planning session. On the way out, while we were on hot mike, I heard what I thought was Roy snoring. I started talking to him asking if he was sleeping. The next thing I knew, he inverted the aircraft and asked me if I had ever seen the Grand Canyon upside down. On the way back to Tinker, he let me have some stick time and I was able to do some cool rolls - it was fun. I always thought pilots should have paid to fly it was so much fun.

L. Ferraro
If the enemy is in range, so are you.
My memborable ride with Ron Williams in 8287, after startup he said take her to the runway, well I knew how nose wheel steering worked, but couldn't see squat from the rear cockpit. He suggested I "S turn" the thing like a tail dragger, so like a snake we made it across 12-30 and over to 17-35 where he took over for takeoff. He let me fly a bit to Smoky Hill. After acquiring the target what happened next took me by surprise as we did a hard bank rolled inverted and back to level where I thought the rudder pedals had gone mad as he lined her up for the pass. After the pullout he asked "did you see the bomb drop" (I had no idea I was supposed to have some functionality back there...but he knew where it was) I replied "no" and he said to use the mirrors. Oh great and here I was pre-occupied trying to figure out which pocket my barf bag was in as I'm squashed down in the seat on pullout! I'm finally getting used to the bomb runs as I watch the airspeed pass 350-450 and almost 500 knots then squash into the seat (reason I'm still so short?) After one such run the range officer calls out "foul" and I'm clueless other than it can't be so good as Ron is livid using some of his best Navy accolades ;-)

Asking what it's about he states that our pull out was below 100 feet... uh-oh...so that immediately took my concentration from barf bag location to ejection seat handles, like it would have done any good!!!

The rest of the range time was uneventful and we looked for any damage to the rest of the flight afterwards...I swear our canopy was no further than 5 feet from the belly of the overhead Thud as this was achieved.

The best ride of my life and thanks to Colonel Ron "Won" Williams and may he RIP!
J. Beeler
It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area are you just bombed.
Rules of the Air, Part I

1. Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory.

2. If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller. That is, unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back, then they get bigger again.

3. Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous.

Whoever said the pen is mightier that the sword, obviously never encountered automatic weapons.
Rules of the Air, Part II

4. It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here.

5. The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

6. The propeller is just a big fan in front of the plane used to keep the pilot cool. When it stops, you can actually watch the pilot start sweating.

Tracers work both ways.
Rules of the Air, Part III

7. When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky.

8. A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the plane again.

9. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

Five second fuses last about three seconds.
Rules of the Air, Part IV

10. You know you've landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp.

11. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and vice versa.

12. Never let an aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.

Any ship can be a minesweeper. Once.
Rules of the Air, Part V

13. Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane going in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide out in clouds.

14. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of take offs you've made.

15. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.

Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.
Rules of the Air, Part VI

16. You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.

17. Helicopters can't fly; they're just so ugly the earth repels them.

18. If all you can see out of the window is ground that's going round and round and all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger compartment, things are not at all as they should be.

If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up to him.
Rules of the Air, Part VII

19. In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminum going hundreds of miles per hour and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.

20. Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, the experience usually comes from bad judgment.

21. It's always a good idea to keep the pointy end going forward as much as possible.

Yea, Though I fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.
Rules of the Air, Part VIII

22. Keep looking around. There's always something you've missed.

23. Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It's the law. And it's not subject to repeal.

24. The three most useless things to a pilot are the altitude above you, runway behind you, and a tenth of a second ago.

And that concludes the Rules of the Air installments. Remind you of any good stories? Send it our way!

You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3.
Thoughts about drones...

"Drones will not be late to briefings, start fights at happy hour, destroy Officers Clubs, attempt to seduce others' dates, purchase huge watches, insult other military services, sing "O'Leary's Balls", dance on tables, yell "deceased insect", or "Show us your tits", or do all of the things that we know win wars!"

That is all......

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.
God created aircraft mechanics so pilots could have heroes too...

You've got to hand it to the maintenance crews for some creative solutions occasionally!

Problem: IFF inoperative.(Identification Friend or Foe)
Solution: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

Problem: Evidence of hydraulic leak on right main landing gear.
Solution: Evidence removed.

Problem: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
Solution: That's what they're there for.

Problem: Left main tire almost needs replacement.
Solution: Almost replaced left main tire.

Problem: DME volume unbelievably loud.
Solution: Volume set to more believable level.

Problem: Autopilot in altitude hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent.
Solution: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

A mechanics favorite: It's not a leak, its a seep.

J. Beeler

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