Jamz, Thanks for covering my six. Great pic. Great airplane. Pity that only the Iranians are flying it now. I was at a book sale this past weekend and picked up a handful of “coffee table” F-14 farewell books to give to the kiddo for Christmas. The book is full of glossies and quotes. One of the quotes referenced one of the better Tomcat pilots who had been around since it’s intro into the fleet. One of his first flights was ferrying an aircraft from the factory to Miramar. They landed at Nellis to get gas. The F-15 was also just coming operational. The AF would not allow anyone below the rank of O-4 to fly it. So when they land at Nellis, the base general comes out to meet the aircraft, only to be met by two brand new Ensigns. I guess he was speechless. When they departed, they stuck it vertical as soon as the wheels cleared the deck. By the end of the runway they were at 20,000 ft and still accelerating. The tower operator came on the air and ask what kind of aircraft it was. The Ensign RIO replied, “It’s an F-15 Eater, baby.” And it was.
Anyhow, back to the story. This particular pilot who flew an amazing air show, was doing the same at Kalamazoo one weekend and was standing duty on the static display aircraft between flights. The Navy crew next door tells the story. They saw this particular pilot in a rather intense discussion with a 10 year old. The kid finally wanders to this next door aircraft and crew. He finally asks the question; “Hey mister, is what that pilot over there says true about Top Gun?” “What did he say?” “He says the movie is a fake, that no fighter pilot sweats in the cockpit and that they would never need a week to get laid.” “Yep, son, probably true. Just don’t tell your mom but be sure to come back and see us in about 10 years.”
Not going to give his name but he flies the airshow circuit now in an F-86.