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-   -   How much of being a fighter pilot do you believe is genetic? (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/618095-how-much-being-fighter-pilot-do-you-believe-genetic.html)

quantify 7th Feb 2019 08:56

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?

jindabyne 7th Feb 2019 09:55

Quantify,

You missed out: intelligent, handsome, witty and alcohol tolerant.

Fitter2 7th Feb 2019 10:00

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)

Herod 7th Feb 2019 10:33

Delusions of being well-endowed? Wrist big enough to wear an enormous watch?

ve3id 7th Feb 2019 10:39

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

quantify 7th Feb 2019 10:45

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.

MPN11 7th Feb 2019 10:49

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.

Minnie Burner 7th Feb 2019 11:01

As soon as I read " a honest question" I thought this bloke is an idiot.........


...........or A idiot.

Mogwi 7th Feb 2019 11:53

Hmmm... I was first-born son of a WW2 fighter pilot - but he only got 3 kills!

Homelover 7th Feb 2019 11:56


Originally Posted by jindabyne (Post 10382824)
Quantify,

You missed out: intelligent, handsome, witty and alcohol tolerant.

You also missed 'Great Dancer'!

NutLoose 7th Feb 2019 11:58

Short and stubby able to withstand high G loads..... hmmm your average pilot figure :p
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....68850c7e6e.jpg

https://theculturetrip.com/pacific/a...e-a-car-crash/

Thud105 7th Feb 2019 13:35

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.

Wander00 7th Feb 2019 14:18

I thought "God's gift to women" was in there somewhere

brakedwell 7th Feb 2019 14:36

Big ego, big ticker, small pricker.

Brian 48nav 7th Feb 2019 15:10


Originally Posted by jindabyne (Post 10382824)
Quantify,

You missed out: intelligent, handsome, witty and alcohol tolerant.

Jindy - You've just listed the attributes of a Hercules navigator!

Brian 48nav 7th Feb 2019 15:17

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!

dook 7th Feb 2019 15:28

As we used to say in Fighter Command:

big watch - big d..k - pay by cheque.

NutLoose 7th Feb 2019 15:37

Please be more specific, uncircumcised, you have to be a complete prick.......... :p


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....5b9f9a753b.jpg

F-16GUY 7th Feb 2019 15:48


Originally Posted by quantify (Post 10382745)
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.....

Busta 7th Feb 2019 15:56

You can always tell a fighter pilot, but you can't tell him much.


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