Shoeclerks: Essentially ‘non-flying folks’ who are put in jobs to hinder, harass and annoy pilots. For the most part these folks sit behind nice gray steel desks, creating empires. We encounter them at Personnel, Finance, Weather, Intelligence, etc. When these folks rise higher up to the Headquarters Level, they are often referred to as “Command Queers,” with no intentional disrespect to gays. It is at this level that some pilots – pilots you would not want on your wing, or in your cockpit – make it to their empire. At any rate…
This is an interesting picture:
It was taken from the front cockpit of the Nr. 5 aircraft in the formation. And this is what brings me to this morning’s post. We were not allowed to take off in a 5-ship formation. As a matter of fact, we were not allowed to have 5 aircraft on the runway at the same time, lest it even gave the appearance of a 5-ship formation! While I was on active duty I never really explored the origin of the “be no,” I didn’t have the time. But I imagine it came from some shoeclerk, somewhere. For there is absolutely no operational reason at all for lining up 5 jets on the runway at the same time.
Take off as a 5-ship? Oh, hell no! What are you, stupid? You send the 4-ship off, as briefed, then roll the 5th jet. As it was, we had to hold the 5th jet short of the runway until the 4-ship was airborne. Then Nr. 5 was given clearance to take off. Took damn-near 3 counties then for him to catch up! But, some shoeclerk, looking out his window at Headquarters was happy, and that’s what was important, I suppose – never the mission… (Assholes).