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Tactics for Top Guns

Here is flight instructor Robert Shaw's three-point flight plan for achieving victory in the air.

Before you enlist with Fighter Pilots USA, check in with instructor Robert Shaw, a former Navy and Air Force Reserve pilot and author of Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering (1985), which military services all over the world use to train their pilots.

Speed is your sanctuary - altitude, your advantage.

"Speed wins the fight, and altitude gives you speed. When you're flying high, dive to fly even faster."

No guts, no glory.

"Hesitation is a killer. When an opportunity to strike presents itself, take it. There are no points for second place."

Play it cool.

"If you get too excited in air combat, you make mistakes. Don't let the pressure get to you. In the flying services, keeping cool is a way of life."

Coordinates: $895 per person for the introductory course. Fighter Pilots USA, 800-568-6748,

A version of this article appeared in the October 1998 issue of Fast Company magazine.