Why Fighter Pilots Keep the Maths Simple and Why You Should Too

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Manage episode 172537407 series 1028004
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I decided that I was not going to die today. And with that I closed the throttle and, as the nose of my fighter jet lazily dropped below the horizon, I rolled out on a rough heading for home. 'Jester 3 is bingo, RTB.' I called over the radio, letting the other two aircraft that I was with know that I was heading home and on minimum fuel. I was on fumes. It's a daily occurrence when you are flying to one of the most tightly packed flying schedules in the world. In order to maximise the training value for the student pilots you have to stay in the air for as long as possible and that often means running your fuel down to frighteningly low levels. Think of it as driving past a fuel stop in the hope of reaching another one even though your car's fuel light has been on for the last 10 miles. Except there is no hard-shoulder to park in should you get it wrong. And the penalties for making mistakes become harsher depending on the discipline being flown. If you are flying a low-level navigation sortie, intending to pull up and fly home some 100-odd miles away from your base airfield, you calculate your required fuel to get home on the ground before you even get airborne. This way you can check that your fuel airborne matches the fuel you calculated in the planning phase when you were on the ground and your head wasn't trying to do a million other things. http://www.fastjetperformance.com/podcasts/-why-fighter-pilots-keep-the-maths-simple-and-why-you-should-too

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