Exhibit - F16 Combat Pilot
" The head-to-head was a bit limited sadly, but my mate Tom and I soon found a way of making
it exciting - formation aerobatics!! When the flight would start, you would be on the runway,
so we would take-off, dump all the external stores and rendezvous at a pre-determined point.
With practice ( we found out we could collide...) we were able to do loops ( both sided-by-side and follow my leader ), barrel rolls ( both as one, with the inside aircraft moving slower so the outside one can keep up ), and opposing loops ( head-on at same speed and altitude, then as we passed we would pull up, passing each other at the top inverted, and finally passing each other again at the bottom to complete ).
This was made a bit trickier by the fact you only had the in-cockpit views to work with. We also managed formation landings and take-offs, and the most spectacular one of all....
One would be on the runway ready to launch (1), while the other would be on finals (2).
Number 1 would start his take-off roll while 2 would land in front of him.
1 would take-off ( just missing 2 ) and fly over him.
2 would then take off without ever coming to a full stop, and be in trail behind 1.
Go out tonight and buy a bucket load of patience or two from your local personality store and give it a go - you'll tear a few hairs out in trying, but when you get it right.... Oh boy, it feels good!! "
MiGMan thanks Rob "Bomber" Henderson for these recollections.