F16 Cockpit, Asian Aerospace 2006
Code 1/2/3- Aircraft maintenance status. Code 1 is nothing wrong with the jet. At least nothing else wrong with it- sometimes maintenance gets deferred for non-safety discrepancies. Code-2: something messed up but not a flight safety (or combat effectiveness) issue- non-critical fault codes on the radar system, etc.. Code-3: needs to be fixed before it flys again. AB blow-out, flight control anomaly, etc..
Crew Chief- Maintenance guy assigned to a particular aircraft. Knows the status of the aircraft like his own car. Does refueling, pre-flight maintenance, tire changes, and other light MX (maintenance), schedules and supervises specialized MX performed on the jet. Pilots like these guys to be very experienced.
Dash-1 or -1: Aircraft flight manual; contains all normal and emergency procedures plus descriptions and schematics of all the basic systems (unclassified) in the jet, such as hydraulics, electrical, fuel, engine, flight controls, etc…
DNIF (pronounced, “d’niff”)- Duties Not Including Flying. Flight Surgeon assigned status when you’re too sick to fly. Usually stuff like sinus infection, earache, anything where ascending and descending in a partially pressurized cockpit could cause physiological problems. Obviously broken bones, surgery, and serious stuff will get you on DNIF as well. Then the Flight doc has to return you to flight status, and that’s where the trouble between docs and pilots starts. I’m bad, but I haven’t been officially DNIF in nearly twenty years. Just take care of stuff privately and avoid the ass-pain.
Doofer Book- Squadron unofficial history book and record of all flying incidents or other significant happenings in the squadron. Usually involving pilot errors, and always humorous. Due to their inherent lack of political correctness and foul language, they’ve been largely OFFICIALLY outlawed, if you can believe that! Entries must be validated to at least 10% truth.
Exposure Suit (or Poopy suit) - Rubber “dry” suit you wear when operating over extremely cold waters to enhance survival chances after an ejection. The “poopy suit” name comes from the fact that once its on, its not coming off til you land, and normally they’re used on trans-oceanic flights. I once flew an F-16 from Bodo Norway to Shaw AFB SC in the wintertime and it took 10.5 hours. That’s about 12.5 total in the suit. 5 air refuelings. There is a zipper so you can manage to pee in a bag full of absorbant stuff that looks like Jello powder, but that’s about it. The pee bag is called a “piddle pack”.
FEB- Flying Evaluation Board. For when you really f-up, can’t successfully complete an upgrade, or any serious flying safety incident caused by your error. Often ends up with a pilot losing his wings.
Fence-in/out- On a combat sortie just before you cross into bad guy territory (the “fence”) you do some final cockpit switch changes and checks to ensure you’re ready to defend yourself- arm chaff and flares, ensure air to air missiles are ready for launch, gunsight wingspan setting is correct for who what you expect to encounter, etc.. Call would be, “Cobra flight, Fence-in”; Fence-out is the opposite- disarming weapons, etc., when you’re back over friendly territory.
Flares- IR decoy device deployed to decoy or pre-empt the launch of an IR weapon against you. The bright things coming out of fighters when CNN shows fighter combat action on TV.
FNG- F__ing New Guy. Generic nickname you get in a newly assigned unit before you get your callsign.
Fox-1/2/3- Call made to announce the launch of a semi-active radar missile (F-1), an IR missile (F-2), or an active radar missile (F-3)
Frat- Killing a friendly. (Short for fratricide). Usually because of sloppy ID procedures or non-compliance with ROE.
G- Force of gravity. Sitting still you are 1G. When you turn an aircraft, the force of turning is decribed in G’s. F-16’s can pull 9G’s plus or minus a little. I’ve seen 10.2 in an early model F-16. Brought it home right after due to the over-G occurrence. Flight controls were out of rig.
Gonk- Any foreign currency when you’re deployed. They all use Gonk.
Go pills- Amphetamines used (legally) by pilots in combat flying long or unusual hours or both. In Iraq I flew typically from midnight til dawn. Took them every night- great things! Like throwing on a light switch in your brain… wish I could get some more.
They will also give you downers (“No-go” pills) if you need them to sleep. I never did because I was afraid of over-sleeping and being late for a flight brief. I’d take a Go-pill at about 2:30-3:00am and be jazzed for the rest of the sortie, get back, have a coffee and work off the rest of the effect in the gym, do laundry, read the paper, skype with my wife and kids, crash for about 4-5 hours, and start over. Our base got mortared every morning and night, so I also didn’t want to be too out of it at any time.
Gouge- Inside info on an exam, or other needed info. Cheating scandals have reduced the application of this to formal testing, but pilots know what they really need to be good at and what’s just administrivia not worth studying for. May be used completely innocently, as in, “Hey, you got the gouge on getting reservations at the Hale Koa?” (Military resort on Waikiki)
Ground Pounder- Derogatory term used to refer to all USAF non-pilot personnel. Sometimes shortened to just “Pounder”.
Heavy (or “Target”)- Non-fighter aircraft
HARM- High Speed Anti Radiation Missile. Used against SAMs (Surface to Air Missiles), homes on SAM radar emissions. The call denoting the launch of a HARM is “Magnum”, as in, “Cobra 01, Magnum, 6, bullseye 270/15”, which translated, means, Cobra 1 just fired a HARM at an SA-6 SAM located 15 miles west of a common navigation reference point, generically known as “bullseye”.
Hook- Tailhook on a fighter. Yes, USAF fighters have hooks too, for landing emergencies, brake failures, high speed aborted takeoffs, etc. All fighter base runways have at least one cable strung across both ends of the runway for this. Also a term given to failing an upgrade sortie (“He hooked the ride”), because the final grade is a U for Unsatisfactory. U’s are kinda shaped like hooks. Also “taco” is used for this, as a hard-shell taco viewed from the end has a U shape.
IP- Instructor pilot
Jeremiah Weed- Or just ‘Weed. Traditional toasting liquor at fighter pilot parties.READ THAT STORY HERE
KIO- Knock It Off. Radio Call in training scenarios directing all participating aircraft to cease all tactical maneuvering because a crash or severe emergency has occurred or a dangerous situation is developing. Everyone acknowledges the call in sequence by their callsign.
Landing Fee- Usually when a squadron deploys, each pilot chips in a certain amount to cover beer for the squadron fridge, parties, gift to the host unit, etc… Usually the youngest Lt in the unit is in charge of this.
LGB- Laser Guided Bomb. Several variants; it free-falls/glides to the target with guidance to a coded laser “spot” held on the target by the pilot in the dropping aircraft via an IR or TV sensor. Again, like when you see cockpit video of something getting bombed on CNN, it’s generally an LGB.
Mach- Unit of speed where Mach 1 = the speed of sound. The Viper can do Mach 2.05 (at high altitude); most fighters are Mach 2 class aircraft. Based on the variables of pressure altitude and temperature, Mach is more commonly used at high altitude (above 30,000’), whereas indicated airspeed in “knots” (1 kt = 1.1 mph) is used at lower altitudes. The Viper’s limit at low altitude is 800 KIAS.
Mort- Getting killed. A pilot who gets killed in a dogfight, hits the ground, or is shot down by ground fire and killed is a “mort”. Typical bottom line objective in a flight briefing is “No morts”
Mutual Support- visual and non-visual- Checking each other’s six o’clock position to avoid unseen attacks, (not common in the modern age of BVR weapons and sensitive self-protection devices on fighters), sharing radar search responsibilities, etc… Teamwork in a flight of fighters.
NVG’s- Night Vision Goggles. Provides a 40 degree field of view of enhanced vision at night provided there are some sources of light to amplify- starlight, moonlight, diffuse city lights, etc. When its pitch-black, they don’t really offer any advantage. They attach to a bracket mounted on the pilot’s helmet.
PCS- Permanent Change of Station. Getting reassigned from one base to another for more than six months.
Pickle- To release ordnance. “hit the pickle button” = fire something off the jet
Punch out- to eject out of a fighter. Used as slang even when just leaving the squadron, as in, “See ya guys, I’m punchin’ out for the day- my wife’s about to pickle.” Guy whose wife is about to deliver.
Push- Starting a tactical route to a target to have bombs on target at a specific time. Also used as slang when guys are TDY (Temporary Duty,) like on a training deployment to Miramar MCAS. San Diego, Honolulu, Las Vegas, etc…, are all desirable training locations. “Push from the hotel to the Hard Rock is 1900”
Push it up- Go faster, accelerate. Push the throttle forward. Slang for a night of partying and heavy drinking.
RCH- Red c**t hair. Reference to an infinitesimal unit of measure. To be within an RCH is to be extremely close.
Remote tour- Assignment to a place like Korea, usually for a relatively short period of time like six months to a year. Normally unaccompanied due to the nature of the assignment or theatre of op’s.
RTB- Return to base. Heading for “home-plate”, or the base you took off from.
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