Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Malan's Ten Rules for Air Fighting

I'm going to introduce the #SavingPharma hashtag in this post but I'm also going to introduce WW2 fighter pilot (and apartheid opponent)  Adolph Gysbert Malan (better known as Sailor).  Some of what these combat pilots had to say is still relevant and resonant today.  One of my favorites is the cricketer Keith Miller (and former Mosquito pilot) responding to an interviewer's question about the pressures of Test Cricket by noting that, "Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your arse, playing cricket is not".  Malan's Ten Rules for Air Fighting can teach those who would claim to be leading Drug Discovery and I reproduce them here:
1. Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Fire short bursts of one to two seconds only when your sights are definitely "ON".

2. Whilst shooting think of nothing else, brace the whole of your body: have both hands on the stick: concentrate on your ring sight.

3. Always keep a sharp lookout. "Keep your finger out".

4. Height gives you the initiative.

5. Always turn and face the attack.

6. Make your decisions promptly. It is better to act quickly even though your tactics are not the best
7. Never fly straight and level for more than 30 seconds in the combat area.

8. When diving to attack always leave a proportion of your formation above to act as a top guard.

9. INITIATIVE, AGGRESSION, AIR DISCIPLINE, and TEAMWORK are words that MEAN something in Air Fighting.

10. Go in quickly - Punch hard - Get out

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