Today Drago, Motor, Sox, and I flew a pit-and-go pair of ACM sorties. Drago and Boat flew Blue first sortie, Sox and I flew Blue on the second. We had a great time on both sides (so to say).
It went like most ACM sorties. The one interesting moment happened when Motor intelligently used the sun as a backdrop to dive in on me, preventing me from seeing him. Sox called out for me to evade, but since I couldn’t see which direction Motor was coming from (up, down, or sideways), I elected to simply fly in the circle I was going in and make some small jinking maneuvers, essentially remaining predictable so Motor could fly around me. A lot of fighter pilots would likely have taken the opportunity to practice a vigorous no-sight defense. I wasn’t comfortable with that, and maybe I ought to have been, since I knew Sox saw Motor and could have knocked off the fight if I’d rolled the wrong way into Motor, and maybe I’d’ve saved us from the browbeating I would (probably rightly) get in the debrief for not being aggressive enough getting out of Motor’s gunsight.
After we got back and reviewed tapes, Motor was pretty excited that he had in fact gotten some "Frames" on me from his attack, meaning if he’d been firing his gun, the shells would have hit my jet. He was so impressed with himself he kept crowing about it for several minutes. He only stopped when he noticed I was counting "Frames" in my tape on his jet.
The difference: I knew he was there and simply chose to not maneuver aggressively without being certain where he was, thereby ensuring no close passes would occur. He just didn’t know I was attacking him at all.
If in real life, it would have been like the difference between performing damage control (or lets face it, probably having to bail out) while wondering what I could have done better (a no-sight defense) and wondering "Holy Smokes! What just happened!?!"
Sometimes the lesson learned isn’t exactly about the technical aspects of the flight!