“Click-click,” Time for a Beer…

The mic (microphone) button in the T-38 was located on the inside of the left throttle.  Often, when we flew in formation and wanted to communicate using hand signals between IPs, we would ‘click’ the mic button twice – ‘click-click.’  It was essentially, an ‘attention getter’ that more often then not, students were completely oblivious to.  I’ve used the technique hundreds of times myself.  Two specific times come to mind.

Thee first was on a formation approach, in crummy weather.  I was flying with Jack D.  Weather was ‘at minimums’ (really low). It was also raining.  I was in the lead aircraft with, the student flying.  Jack and his student was on our left wing.  As we broke out of the weather, runway in sight, I hit the mic – “click-click,” and looked over at Jack.  When I saw him look up at me, I made a motion so familiar to all of us – that of lifting a glass to my mouth.  I was essentially asking Jack if he wanted a beer after we landed.  He nodded vigorously and I looked back to the runway just as the student crossed the threshold for an uneventful landing.  We then taxied in, shutdown, debriefed – and then had a beer, or two.

In retrospect: in bad weather, in formation, nearing the ground at 155 knots – and I ask Jack if he wants a beer… Nuts!

(My second “click-click” is in “The Carn’s Final Flight”).

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