When you’re leading a formation, there’s a wingman to your side, just behind your shoulder. You don’t normally turn your head to look at him (it’s his job to look at you), but you can see the nose of his jet in your peripheral vision.
When I walk from one end of the house to the other I have a wingman too, my trusty dachshund Schatzi. She stays just behind my wing line, but I can see her questing snout keeping pace with me, down and to the right or left. It hit me strongly this morning how very like the nose of a wingie’s jet her little muzzle is, and how rare it is for her to fall out of position. And I know that if a goddamn MiG ever breaks into our house, Schatzi will cover my six. She’ll defend me with her life.
God I love that dog. I love our auxiliary dog, too, but Maxie was never trained and doesn’t know about flying formation. She scampers ahead of me, weaving from side to side, trying to anticipate where I’m going, violating every principle of formation flying and mutual protection.
© 2014 – 2015, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.