Pucker factor

“Holy #$%@ – we’re going to chew his tailwheel off!” That was my first (and only) thought as Tim McDonald slid us into the #3 in-trail slot. It was my first time in the #3 plane, backseating for Tim McDonald. Tim is a crisp, aggressive pilot, and he doesn’t mess around when it’s time to get into position. I’d finally gotten comfortable with the “sight picture” for echelon, diamond and finger formation – not that it hadn’t taken me a while – but when Wes, our wing leader waved us into in-trail, I was sure something had gone terribly wrong.

But no, Tim told me, this is exactly what it was supposed to look like, hanging on to Martin’s tailwheel, bouncing through the thick July afternoon air. “Ahyup,” he said, “there’s a bit of pucker factor the first time you see it, isn’t there?”


The shiny side of N555Q:

The dirty side of N555Q:

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