I Flew In a Fighter Jet (And No, It's Nothing Like Top Gun)

I Flew In a Fighter Jet (And No, It's Nothing Like Top Gun)

A wargame gives a writer a taste of war.

Here's What You Need to Remember: Flying is hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of stark terror (no terror on this flight, but definitely a lot of transit time—but such is life).

In this clip, Vodka 3—myself and pilot Tsar—are headed back home to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, after flying as an aggressor during Atlantic Trident 17 several years back .

After being unceremoniously shot down by a Royal Air Force Typhoon, we were ordered to return to base because of the need to maintain higher than normal fuel reserves in case we had to divert to another field. Part of the problem was that other airfields in the area including NAS Oceana were also socked in with awful weather. That meant we would have to fly a long way if we did have to divert—and as I mentioned before—even though there were tankers flying with us, the T-38A does not have aerial refueling capability.

You can see some of the awful weather as the clip progresses. One thing with flying is that no matter what cockpit you’re in, there is one truism that holds with all of aviation, this: Flying is hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of stark terror (no terror on this flight, but definitely a lot of transit time—but such is life).

This article is being republished due to reader interest.

Image: Wikipedia.