We have been having a blast learning about flying air force jets! Don't tell my Army friends! I love this stuff and I know a lot of my readers are into jet technology too...Our pal Kurt Tek sent in this installment of Jet Pilot Lingo.. We need to understand what the pilots and crew are saying right?
CHECK SIX: Off the nose of the jet is 12, directly left is 9, right is 3, behind is 6; and all the other "clock" positions in between. Example: "Cobra 1's engaged bogey, right 2, 5 miles." Or, "Cobra 2 break right! Bogey your 6, 2 miles, 10 degrees high"
Gang, this video is fantastic...really good video of the F16 in action.....Loved it
Fighter Pilot Lingo – Official and non-Official
AAA- Triple A, anti-aircraft artillery. Explosive rounds fired from a ground site at aircraft; either radar-aimed or visually. Different calibers have different ranges and rates of fire. Mainly avoided by staying out of range or moving the airplane around and limiting exposure time. Once a round’s out of the barrel it’s ballistic- not hard to “Jink” away from. Jinking is the maneuvering performed to defeat ballistic ordnance, either from a AAA site or another fighter.
AMRAAM- Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile. Active radar guided air to air weapon. Should be supported with guidance be the parent aircraft to a certain point, then it can be “cut loose” and complete the intercept on its own. Host aircraft radar support is not an absolute requirement, but the longer you can help it, the higher the chance of success.
AWACS- Airborne Warning and Control System. Big 360-degree rotating radar on a 707. Assists fighters locating enemy aircraft, among many other things it does. Like a “5th” wingman, in that the assistance and long-range eyes of the radar can be invaluable in the outcome of a BVR (Beyond Visual Range) engagement.
Afterburner- Or AB, Burner, Blower… Section of the engine exhaust just prior to the variable area nozzle where fuel is burned adding 50-70% more thrust. Fuel consumption and IR (Infrared) signature goes way up. Usually only used in short bursts. When you can see flame out of the exhaust of a fighter he’s in burner. Full power short of afterburner (nozzle closed) is called “MIL power” (for Military power)
Bandit- Aircraft identified as enemy IAW theatre ROE (Rules of Engagement). It doesn’t mean you can shoot it. Has to meet “Hostile” criteria, which typically is based on him committing a “hostile act”, such as penetrating a no-fly zone, shooting at us, or crossing a political border. Again, depends on the specific ROE (can be complicated and frustrating)
Bogey- Unknown aircraft (unidentified). May require intercept and visual ID (VID). If he’s aware of your presence and a threat, this is a difficult situation, as he’s likely not bound by the same constraints. May have to fight your way in for the VID. Again, depends on the ROE. Most ROE allows for self-defense which would make it moot, except for having to get shot at first. An aircraft that meets all ID and ROE criteria to be shot is called “Hostile”. No one ever uses that word unless absolutely sure, and IAW ROE procedure.
BFM- Basic Fighter Maneuvers. 1 v 1 dogfighting, with the end objective of achieving a gun kill. All fighters have guns. The F-16 has the M-61A which is a 6-barrel Gatling gun that fires 20mm HEI (High Explosive-Incendiary) rounds at 6000/minute (100 rounds per second, or ~16 rounds per barrel per second). Also slang, as in, “I had to BFM that mother f___ing truck to make the exit off the freeway…” and many other creative applications.
Bingo- Fuel state which requires immediate RTB (Return To Base) in order to land at a preplanned fuel state. Again, used in other applications as slang, like in, “Hey, the Men’s shitter is BINGO TP!!” or, almost out of toilet paper. Frequently applied to low liquor levels, as well.
Bitchin Betty- The automated female voice that provides spoken cautions and warnings in the cockpit for various sub-system failures, or impending danger (“Altitude, altitude”, or “Pull-up, pull-up”), or an advisory to turn on a self-protection system (“Jammer, jammer”)
Callsign- Identification of a fighter and wingmen. Like “Cobra 21”; wingies would be “Cobra 22”, 23, 24… Also, a given permanent nickname of a fighter pilot, usually assigned early in his career and related to something funny or stupid that he did, or maybe an unusual physical feature, etc. It seems cruel, but fighter pilots will defend one another in the air or in a bar to the death. Lots of “Lurch”s, “Ugly”, “Dog”, “Slap”, “Gomer”, “Sly”, “Meat”, “Chunks”, etc..
CAS- Close Air Support. Attacking ground targets in close proximity to friendly ground forces, often during a firefight.
Chaff- Bundle of hair-like metal fragments of various lengths to produce false radar returns and or cause radar break-locks in enemy aircraft. When you dispense it under G-loads (turning) it quickly “blossoms” in the wake vortex and produces a radar return typically larger than the fighter. The FAA hates it because it stays airborne a long time and drifts out of the military training airspace sometimes. Some places don’t allow its use because of this.
Checkride- An evaluation sortie. You have to do an Instrument-Qualification and Mission Qualification checkride every 18 months. Everyone hates them because the guy checking you typically is a command/staff guy who flys at a much lower rate, and may not be as qualified as you are. (Irritating) And everyone hates evaluations anyway. They are preceded by written testing and an Emergency Procedures Simulator profile.
Check Six-Visual observation of the rear quadrant, from which most air-to-air attacks can be expected. Refers to the clock system of scanning the envelope around the aircraft; 12 o’clock is straight ahead, 6 o’clock is directly astern. Also a common salutation and greeting among tactical pilots. ...
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