Pilot Slang

Just a little something here to help people add a little flavor to their pilot-y conversations. A mixture of real world fighter pilot terminology, and phrases seen in use in the games/novels.

  • Alert 5 - A manned aircraft, on standby to launch on less than five minute's notice.
  • Alpha Mike Foxtrot (or simply AMF) - Adios, Mother Fucker
  • Angels - Search and Rescue Shuttlecraft
  • Back to Taxpayers - Where a wrecked spacecraft is said to be sent
  • Bag - Flight suit; or if used as a verb, to collect.
  • Balls to the Wall - At Maximum Speed or Maximum Effort.
  • Bandit - Contact positively identified as Hostile
  • Behind the Power Curve - Not meeting expectations
  • Bent - Damaged or Broken
  • Bingo - Minimum fuel for a safe return to base
  • Birds - Spacecraft
  • Blue Balls - Jump Points (from the spehrical blue projections emitted by the jump buoys)
  • Blue on Blue - Friendly Fire.
  • Boat - Any Navy vessel, regardless of size. A pilot's own Carrier is THE Boat.
  • Bogie - Unknown radar contact
  • Bolter - A carrier landing in which the pilot fails to engage the landing tractor beams, resulting in a complete fly-through of the deck.
  • Booming - Loud, raucous partying
  • BOREX - A dull repetative exercise (Also: SWEATEX for a busy, tense exercse and LEAPEX for a pointless exercise whose immediacy is demanded by one's superiors)
  • Bought the Farm - Died. Originated from the early days of flight on Earth, where the life insurance payouts for the deaths of young pilots commonly served to pay off the mortage on their parents' property.
  • Brain Housing Group - Mock-Technical Term for the head.
  • Brass - High Ranking Officer
  • Bravo Zulu - Praise for a good job
  • Bugging Out - Disengaging.
  • Burner - Afterburner. A system which dumps fuel directly into the engine exhaust, greatly increasing speed and fuel consumption.
  • Bust - To break a regulation
  • Charlie Foxtrot - Clusterfuck. A complete disaster.
  • Cherry (also Nugget) - A pilot on his or her first combat tour
  • Chicken Switch - Button which activates the ejection system
  • Contact - Engagement with the enemy.
  • Dash Two (Three, Four, Etc) - The second (or other numbered) spacecraft in a formation.
  • Delta Sierra - Dumb Shit. Used to indicate a stupid action
  • Dot - Refers to a spacecraft far enough out it is only visible by its radar signature. "I'm a dot" means "I'm out of here"
  • Driver - Pilot
  • Dursateel Shower - Debris produced by an exploding fighter craft
  • Earned the Wooden Cross - Died. From the old Earth practice of burying battlefield dead under simple wooden crosses, and the large number of medals named the <something> Cross.
  • ECM - Electronic Countermeasures. Systems for jamming or misleading enemy electronic systems.
  • Elevator - Ejection Seat
  • Envelope - Maximum rated performance parameters of an aircraft.
  • Fangs Out - Eager for a dogfight
  • Fangs Sunk in Floorboard - Concentrating on a target so intently the pilot's own craft is destroyed instead.
  • Feet Dry - Leaving combat zone. See also 'Feet wet.'
  • Feet Wet - Entering combat zone. See also 'Feet dry.'
  • FM - Fucking Magic. A way to describe something highly technical which the pilot does not understand the operation of.
  • Furball (also Kitten) - Kilrathi
  • Gangbang - A fighter engagement where one side has overwhelming numerical superiority.
  • Gizmo - Any piece of high-tech gear.
  • Go Juice - Spacecraft Fuel. (also Coffee)
  • Goes Away - Is destroyed. Only applied to enemy craft.
  • Gripe - Mechanical issue with a spacecraft. 'Out' Gripes are ones which do not prohibit flight operations. 'In' gripes are ones which do.
  • Hangar Queen - An aircraft which suffers frequently from 'in gripes'
  • Head on a Swivel - Paying attention to one's surrounings.
  • Heater - Javelin Heat-seeking Missile
  • Jink (also Juke) - Maneuver violently to avoid a threat
  • JO - Junior Officer.
  • Kick the Tires and Light the Fires - Request to hurry or shorten preflight inspection.
  • Kitty Litter - A destroyed Kilrathi fighter.
  • Knife Fight - A close range, slow speed dogfight.
  • Lead - The formation commander's aircraft
  • Light Show (also Throwing Fireworks) - Engagement between two or more capital ships.
  • Military Power - Maximum speed without engaging afterburner
  • Milk Run - Easy Mission
  • Mort - "Killed" in a simulator mission.
  • Mother - Carrier or Installation from which a pilot is deployed.
  • Music - Communications Jamming.
  • My Fun Meter is Pegged - Sarcastic expression for "I am not enjoying this"
  • No Joy - Indicates failure to perform a task.
  • No Load - Underachiever
  • Office - Cockpit
  • Opportunity to Excel - A disagreeable job with little chance of success
  • Painted - Scanned by Radar
  • Pass - The point at which fighters closing head-to-head flash past each other.
  • Passed Gas - Refueled in-flight
  • Peel Off - Break formation to engage
  • Pewter Planet (also Tin Tie) - Terran Confederation Medal of Honor. Named such because the medal is a silver planet and is worn around the neck.
  • Pit - Rear turret of a Fighter
  • Play Pussy - Hide in asteroids, a nebula, or other Terrain.
  • Playmates - Pilots on the same mission
  • Pointy End - The front of a ship.
  • Pucker Factor - How scary something is
  • Punch Out - Eject
  • Pussy Pod - Ejection Pod
  • Ramp Strike - Missed the landing tractor beams on a vessel without a fly-through deck. Usually fatal.
  • Rocks - Asteroids
  • Roger - Radio communications term for 'understood' or 'agree'
  • SA - Situational Awareness. An all-encompassing term for keeping track of what's going on when flying.
  • Shot down in Flames - Romantically rejected.
  • Sierra Hotel - Shit Hot. All purpose expression of Approval.
  • Smoking Hole - Planetside crash site.
  • Sortie - A single mission by one spacecraft
  • Speed of Heat - Very, Very Fast
  • State - Amount of fuel, listed in hours and minutes of flight availible before running completely out.
  • Stick-Throttle Interconnect - Mocking Term for Pilot
  • Stooge - Any Deputy or Assistant
  • Tango Uniform - Tits Up. Broken.
  • Tank - Refuel.
  • Target - Derisive term for a non-fighter craft.
  • Throttle Back - Slow down, Take it easy.
  • Torched (also Antimatter Terraformed) - Destroyed by Space-to-Ground bombardment.
  • Trap - Carrier Landing
  • Up to Speed - To understand what is going on.
  • Vulture's Row - Area on the landing deck where one may observe incoming spacecraft making their landings.
  • Warm Fuzzy - Feeling of confidence or security
  • Wash Out - To fail flight school
  • Whiskey Charlie - Who Cares
  • Workups - Flight exercises usually undertaken before a deployment.