Wingman in a Pontiac- page 2 | Military Aviation | Air & Space Magazine
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The driver tailing the U-2 is himself a U-2 pilot. (Caroline Sheen)

Wingman in a Pontiac

It takes two to land the dragon lady.

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(Continued from page 1)

This afternoon, Milder is simply shooting touch-and-go landings to stay current. This particular landing is a simulated engine flame-out, and he’s fighting gusty crosswinds that are making the airplane float sideways just above the runway.

“Two feet,” Watson radios, speeding along in Milder’s wake. “One. Left rudder. One and a half. One. Left rudder. Inches. Inches.” The rear tires touch and with a puff of smoke the airplane settles gently on the mains. “Very nice,” Watson says as Milder applies takeoff power to the General Electric F118-101 turbofan. Fifteen seconds later, the aircraft is merely a speck in sky.

To position the G8 for Milder’s next pass, Jones whips around and blasts down the runway at 140 mph. “This sure beats sitting at a desk,” he says, “but I’d rather be flying the airplane.”

Preston Lerner, a frequent contributor, wrote “The Kids Are Trying to Crash” (Dec. 2011/Jan. 2012), which chronicled innovations in radiocontrol model aircraft.

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