Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

How much of being a fighter pilot do you believe is genetic?

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

How much of being a fighter pilot do you believe is genetic?

Old 7th Feb 2019, 08:56
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Perth
Posts: 23
Question How much of being a fighter pilot do you believe is genetic?

This is a honest question, there are various genetic qualities you need:
  • Super-tasker - only 2.5% of world population are these (They are true multi taskers, not micro managers like most are). This can be improved on to an extent however, a super tasker's brain is wired differently and one cannot train to be a super tasker (naturals), at least not yet. Although there was a F-16 pilot who claimed he struggled with multitasking and had to work harder than most of this other colleagues.
  • Psychomotor - this can be improved to an extent
  • Your body structure - short and stubby, not a long neck will sustain high G's (Yes not all fighter pilots are short and stuby, I've met a F-35 test pilot who was quite tall and slim and yes you can make yourself bulk but a short heart to brain distance is advantageous)
  • Spatial reasoning - slightly genetic, can be improved with training
Certainly I'm not taking anything away from fighter pilots and saying that there is no hard work involved in the career, but it seems there are many genetic gifts you must posses to even get to the training itself. I'm also not saying that fighter pilots are born, I still firmly believe they are made.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Last edited by quantify; 11th Feb 2019 at 22:12.
quantify is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 09:55
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Longton, Lancs, UK
Age: 75
Posts: 1,461
Quantify,

You missed out: intelligent, handsome, witty and alcohol tolerant.
jindabyne is online now  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 10:00
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: 51.50N 1W (ish)
Posts: 1,004
Wink

I suspect the thread starter is a wind-up merchant; if the question is serious then a good starting point would be to see how many fighter pilots are eldest of several children. If position in a family is poorly correlated, then it would imply that genetics are not dominant. (and, Jindabyne, from some of the things I have seen fighter pilots do, I'm not sure intelligent is the correct word)
Fitter2 is online now  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 10:33
  #4 (permalink)  

"Mildly" Eccentric Stardriver
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: England
Age: 72
Posts: 2,785
Delusions of being well-endowed? Wrist big enough to wear an enormous watch?
Herod is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 10:39
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 120
I think I was a fighter pilot in a previous life. Once, when my instructor cut the power on downwind for 32 and told me to put it down, I cross-controlled, side-slipped, and put it down on 08 just by instinct, not what I had been taught!

Boy did he/we get a telling off on the RT from the CFI who saw it!

And I have always favoured the big watches, I am short and stubby, and have an ego to match the watch

Last edited by ve3id; 7th Feb 2019 at 10:51. Reason: To please MPN11
ve3id is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 10:45
  #6 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Perth
Posts: 23
Why would not being the first child effect genetic dependency? I also did read somewhere a very high percentage of fighter pilots are first born.
quantify is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 10:49
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 74
Posts: 5,084
A short and stubby ego? That's a new one on me!

I'll tiptoe in gently and say that the same might apply to ATCOs. You can teach all the basics, SOPs, Rules etc, but it still requires what I would call brain that works happily in 4-dimensions to be able to implement all that. And other factors too. So, yes, I accept the premise of a degree of genetics.
MPN11 is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 11:01
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 168
As soon as I read " a honest question" I thought this bloke is an idiot.........


...........or A idiot.
Minnie Burner is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 11:53
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: 350/3 Compton
Age: 71
Posts: 232
Hmmm... I was first-born son of a WW2 fighter pilot - but he only got 3 kills!
Mogwi is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 11:56
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Alderaan System
Posts: 16
Smile

Originally Posted by jindabyne View Post
Quantify,

You missed out: intelligent, handsome, witty and alcohol tolerant.
You also missed 'Great Dancer'!
Homelover is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 11:58
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 15,348
Short and stubby able to withstand high G loads..... hmmm your average pilot figure


https://theculturetrip.com/pacific/a...e-a-car-crash/
NutLoose is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 13:35
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Fresno
Age: 69
Posts: 247
One thing you should never ask a guy or gal is "are you a pilot?" If they are they'll let you know. If they're not, don't embarrass them.
Thud105 is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 14:18
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: France
Age: 75
Posts: 6,225
I thought "God's gift to women" was in there somewhere
Wander00 is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 14:36
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Under the clouds now
Age: 81
Posts: 2,123
Big ego, big ticker, small pricker.
brakedwell is online now  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 15:10
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Herefordshire
Posts: 959
Originally Posted by jindabyne View Post
Quantify,

You missed out: intelligent, handsome, witty and alcohol tolerant.
Jindy - You've just listed the attributes of a Hercules navigator!
Brian 48nav is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 15:17
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Herefordshire
Posts: 959
My ex-fighter pilot son is first born, 6'4" and reckoned he was the 'G King' when he was on Jaguars ( 1990-99 ) - big ego and I believe well-hung - I stopped checking when he overtook me at about 12 months old!

Don't know about genetics - when I had a go at a PPL just before taking my 8yr option I was absolutely useless. Perhaps my dearly beloved passed on the FP genes?

He's certainly " God's gift to women " - or so he keeps telling us!

Last edited by Brian 48nav; 7th Feb 2019 at 19:55. Reason: Wrong by 10 years!
Brian 48nav is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 15:28
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 2,163
As we used to say in Fighter Command:

big watch - big d..k - pay by cheque.
dook is online now  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 15:37
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 15,348
Please be more specific, uncircumcised, you have to be a complete prick..........



NutLoose is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 15:48
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Not lost, but slightly uncertain of position.
Posts: 181
Originally Posted by quantify View Post
This is a honest question, there are various genetic qualities you need:
  • Super-tasker - only 2.5% of world population are these (They are true multi taskers, not micro managers like most are). This can be improved on to an extent however, a super tasker's brain is wired differently and one cannot train to be a super tasker (naturals), at least not yet. Although there was an F-16 pilot who claimed he struggled with multitasking and had to work harder than most of this other colleagues.
  • Psychomotor - this can be improved to an extent
  • Your body structure - short and stubby, not a long neck will sustain high G's (Yes not all fighter pilots are short and stuby, I've met a F-35 test pilot who was quite tall and slim and yes you can make yourself bulk but a short heart to brain distance is advantageous)
  • Spatial reasoning - slightly genetic, can be improved with training
Certainly I'm not taking anything away from fighter pilots and saying that there is no hard work involved in the career, but it seems there are many genetic gifts you must posses to even get to the training itself. I'm also not saying that fighter pilots are born, I still firmly believe they are made.

What are your thoughts on the matter?
quantify,

The following link is to a thesis by norwegian testpilot "Timber" He was the first norwegian F-35 pilot and F-35 squadron commander. He made a thesis about the shift of skills required in the F-35 cockpit compared to 4th generation jets. Unfortunately most of the text is in norwegian, but the summery is in english. Maybe you can translate the text with google. To sum it up, future F-35 pilots will need better skills in areas like processing wast amount of information and skills like psychomotoric will not be as important as in existing platforms, as the plane is much easier to fly then earlier generations.

https://brage.bibsys.no/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11250/2436208/MA_Harlem_2016.pdf?sequence=5&isAllowed=y

Even though it is in norwegian, you might be able to get some useful information by looking at his bibliography. I hope it points you in the right direction.
I hope it will answer some of your questions.

Last but not least, and will all the replies you have got until now from people who didn't tell you they are fighterpilots, this joke comes to mind:

Never ask a man if he is a fighter pilot. If he is, he'll let you know. If he isn't, don't embarrass him.....

Last edited by F-16GUY; 7th Feb 2019 at 15:58.
F-16GUY is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 15:56
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 1998
Location: uk
Posts: 207
You can always tell a fighter pilot, but you can't tell him much.
Busta is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.