You can’t see the trail of black smoke coming out of his engine at this angle, but it’s considerable. He manages to land, and actually does better with a broken aircraft than some other pilots who will remain nameless.
Now the ATC lady with the lovely accent clears us in to land. It really is a thing of beauty how the ATC works. I land and taxi over to my wounded comrade, just to console him and offer some friendly kidding. I get a little too close however, and my left wingtip contacts his right wing with a resultant explosion, and the loss of an aircraft and a pilot. Wow. The guy survives everything the enemy throws at him, and makes it home only to be destroyed by his fellow flyer. I am ashamed of myself and verbally warn myself to never, ever let that happen again. Done is done, so I hit escape.
And then, the unimaginable occurs. Worse than any of the mistakes in building or things I did in the mission. The monitor screen goes dark, then the lights flash on my keyboard and X-45. What’s happening here? Oh NO!! CTD! Only it’s beyond CTD, it’s CTRB (crash to reboot). All gone, erased from existence. No debriefing, no crash log to report, nothing. I hang my head and wish it were not so. It is so and I decide to try it again and see if it repeats. I run the mission again, it CTRB’s. I sigh and go back to the drawing board.
The drawing board in this case is the last saved mission file, which as it turns out, was not all that far back in progress from the one we flew. I keep the bad mission, which maybe some smart folks at LP can figure out someday what went wrong with their lab equipment, and start over, only with a pretty current build. I am fairly confident I can get this one to work, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to run it before investing more time. Remember when I suggested you save your progress? Well, here’s a good example of why that’s good advice.
I bring this last save up to speed, and then check the list I made, when I flew the CTRB mission, of things to fix . One was Falcon1 flying NOE. I check the Flight Plan; sure enough, at steerpoint 2 he drops down to 300 feet AGL. The SAM site only fired once that I know of, but it did fire. I’d like to know what the cause and fix is for the squadron based aircraft not appearing at the Marlboro base. The rest of the problems were my dumb flying behavior, which no one can fix.
We begin adding complexity. I add an SA-2 site to the target area and another gun site. With all that defense going, it makes common sense to have some protection. I add another flight to my package, SEAD Escort. Back in the ATO window, I highlight my OCA Strike package 2355 (not Cowboy1 or Falcon1), right click and choose Show Flights. The package window pops up and I add my SEAD Escort. F-16’s of course, in the SEAD Escort role, from my home field, attacking the Maribor base with 0930 as the TOT. Wonderful, and comforting. Before hitting “OK”, I add one more flight, this time F-15C’s from that squadron we placed a long time ago. I give them an Escort role, Maribor as target, check the TOT, and close out by hitting the OK button.
At this point, it would be really bad form if you looked up at the map window and saw that team icon over in upper right corner was red–opposition side. Now, the Mission Builder will let you do these silly things, after all it doesn’t know the intentions of a convoluted human mind, so it is possible. Not that I would ever do such a thing!
Remember that Carrier Group stationed just offshore? The one with the F-14 D Tomcats? Oh yeah, I do and I decide I’d like to have them fly TARCAP for us today. Go Navy!