10Walk the Flight LineConnecting with Your Wingmen

IT’S RARE FOR the squadron commander to meet you at your jet after a training mission. So when I saw Lieutenant Colonel Dodson approaching my F-16 with a stern look on his face, I knew something was up.

“Waldo, we need to talk,” he said as I climbed down the ladder from the cockpit and jumped onto the tarmac.

“Yes, sir,” I replied, and waited, a little uneasily, for what was coming next. Had I messed up? Was I in trouble? I gulped. Was something wrong at home?

“Waldo, Airman Tyler told me what happened before you took off this afternoon, and I am not impressed.” His tone was serious, and I instantly knew what he was referring to.

Just three hours earlier, during my after-engine-start checklist, ...

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