Fighter pilots are not allowed to carry electronic devices with them. That includes music players. The chances of a gadget interfering with onboard avionics are rather slim, but it could happen.
However, many fighter pilots break that rule. Especially on long (and boring) ferry flights. They just get earbuds that won’t conflict with the radio earphones in the helmet.
‘I… er, “someone I know”… had a “patch cord” (courtesy of a savvy comm guy in exchange for a case of his favorite). It plugged in between the oxygen hose communications connection and the jet comm receptacle. It had a toggle switch that allowed me to patch a music player into the headset.
‘I only ever used it a few times, and even then, only on cross country flights where the only thing to do was enjoy the scenery. We had an interflight frequency that I could transmit over to share tunes with wingmen, but it required holding the mic button continuously. Whenever we started getting close to congested airspace, I’d turn it off to make sure we didn’t miss anything from Air Traffic Control.
‘Any other time, you really don’t want anything distracting. Any other kind of mission, training or otherwise, is very task intensive. Especially in combat, you don’t want any more distractions than already get thrown at you.’
‘One other note… whenever we had a tanker dragging us across the pond, it was nice when we had a KC-10. They often had music they’d patch into the formation frequency, which really helped on the long flights.’
Photo credit: Ken Hackman / U.S. Air Force
OV-1 Mohawk pilot Ken Lee is the only US Army aviator to have shot down… Read More
The Biden administration is in talks with Vietnam over an agreement for the largest arms… Read More
Mounted behind the SR-71 Blackbird RSO’s cockpit, this unit, (that was affectionately dubbed “R2-D2” after… Read More
‘The pilot said he never knew it was missing and only used a little trim… Read More
In early 1949, the B-36’s future was highly questionable but although the Peacemaker’s ability to… Read More
According to Major General Harald Vodosek from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence four KC-390… Read More