CP, the copilot announced, "Heat-seeking, lit-up and on our six”. Nick, a pilot referred to as ‘Cobra’ by non-team members and only “C” by a small, elite group of pilots took a short breath, looked over at the digital screens and pulled back on the stick.
The plane’s nose began to rise and the engines fired up as he started an evasive climb into the clouds. C began to hum a song, mimicking a military march ('ta-tata-da-da') and started to add a sound that, in his mind resembled snare-drums.
CP chuckled and asked, “Feeling good, huh”?
“Yep”, raising a thumbs-up to the back seat where CP sat.
“Well, could you get us the heck out of here?”
“Yep”, C responded as he grinned.
The plane continued to climb while the proximity alarm blared, the ryhthm of the "ah-ah-ah" alarm seemed to increase in intensity as the trailing missile played cat-and-mouse with the crew.
C grinned, wishing he could look CP in the eye and said, “Hold on to what you’ve got”.
CP grinned and responded, “Bring it”.
The pilot pushed the stick toward the front of the plane and then immediately pulled to the left. As the vehicle began to gyrate left-and-right the descent toward the hard-deck below increased. Both of their bodies transformed into distorted blobs of flesh while the chase of the streaking missile continued.
“100 meters”, CP called out and continued, “Things are getting big, really fast and I can officially say I no longer want to be on the ground”.
"This is going to be one to tell your grandkids about when your an old man, my friend” the pilot barked.
At that moment he jerked back on the stick, rotating the plane and allowing him to momentarily face the belly of the plane toward the missile as it continued to streak toward them, but the final position offered the missile was the plane’s six.
Just as CP started to scream “Whooo-hooooo” C pushed the stick forward again. With the plane in an inverted position the men actually began to dive toward the surface again. But before the missile could realign its pursuit the plane’s canopy momentarilty faced directly at the missile. The two flying aeronautical engineers could see the missile closing and CP screamed, “What are you doing”?
“Having a little fun! I told you this would be something to tell the grandchildren about one day”, he said.
As seconds seemed to extend into minutes the missile continued its trek. The plane continued in the stick-forward rotation and resumed a near perfect horizontal leveling with the surface. This placed the men in a dead-ahead projection with the missile.
C went pickles-hot with his two sidewinders.
“50 meters” CP announced.
“Not a problem. Fox 2 away”, he announced.
The plane maintained a low trajectory as the two watched the radar and digital display countdown. The intelligent military devices neared their 'end-of-life'.
“20 yards – impact”, CP announced.
It was that quick.
Although the maneuver had seemed unorthodox to even CP both men knew that it had been a calculated risk that paid off.
CP asked, “Now, can we get out of here”?
C just grinned and said, “Yep”
CP knew his pilot well and grinned too.
I hope you enjoyed this. I just wanted to write something while watching the NBA Championship Finals, game 7 (2010).