Instructor Fighter Pilot Screams “Kill Him! Kill Him!” At Student In Hilarious Dogfight Video

Oh, the difference a good teacher makes. That is a true axiom for just about anything, but when it comes to learning to fly a Cessna 152 or a T-38 Talon, a good flight instructor can be crucial to making your flying dreams come true. This is also true when learning how to go from flying a plane to fighting in one. There are endless stories about military pilots’ struggles to catch on to the ridiculously complex art of combat jet flying. Even many of the best of the best got hung up at one point or another in training and really needed extra attention to get them over it so that they could go on to master their trade. With that in mind, the video below, which shows the heads-up display in a T-38C Talon trainer, is a great example of uniquely motivating your pupil and having some fun while doing it. 

The video appears to have been shot during the Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals syllabus, which serves as the foundation for a future U.S. Air Force fighter pilot’s career following undergraduate pilot training. The Air force describes IFF as such:

IFF is an eight-week course designed to transform newly graduated pilots selected to fly fighters into fighter wingmen. The 49th Fighter Training Squadron teaches pilots the discipline, attitude and culture of what it takes to be at the peak of combat aviation. 

“It’s their first glimpse of the fighter culture,” said Maj. Michael Overstreet, 49th FTS assistant director of operations. “We are a fighter squadron. All of our instructors are fighter pilots. We have a culture that is unique and to our own.”

Before a pilot enters IFF, they must earn their wings by graduating Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, a 53-week course designed to teach students aircraft flight characteristics, emergency procedures, takeoff and landing procedures, aerobatics and formation flying.

To ease the transition into more complex fighter aircraft, such as the F-22 Raptor and the F-35A Lightning II, IFF builds upon training learned in SUPT with a focus on the basic fundamentals of tactical aviation in the familiarity of the T-38C Talon.

“We try to help shallow the learning curve from pilot training to that B-course, or formal training,” said Capt. Cole Stegeman, 49th FTS chief of scheduling. “That’s why we use this program as a means of that indoctrination of fighter culture and what it means to be a fighter pilot.”

In addition to learning the basic fundamentals, students are taught how to become better wingmen. As a fighter pilot, you never fly alone. The term ‘wingman’ is not just a phrase, it’s a specific term that means so much more in IFF and carries a lot of responsibility in the world of aviation. Wingmen have the supporting role in the flight. They help the flight lead plan and organize the mission. They have visual lookout and sensor responsibilities and provide backup navigation for the flight as required. Wingmen execute as briefed or when directed by the flight lead and provide mutual support throughout all phases of the mission.


The video seems to have surfaced about ten years ago. From what I can summarize, it is of a student in a T-38C getting a handle on basic fighter maneuvers (BFM), more commonly and broadly referred to as dogfighting, in a one versus one engagement. You can see the gun funnel HUD symbology flop around as he struggles a bit to get the T-38’s nose pointed in the right direction to take advantage of his foe, then opportunity strikes! His instructor, gleefully declares ‘there’s the overshoot! Kill the motherfucker!” A number of maneuvers are executed with corrective commentary coming from the instructor in the backseat before the student has his adversary nearly in his sights. 

Sensing a kill is near, the instructor starts doing his best Sam Kinison impression, screaming in blood-curdling fashion “Go get him! Kill him! Kill him! Killlll himmmmm! Put the nose on him and killl himmmmmm! Come on he’s out front, shoot him!” Meanwhile, the student exclaims frustratingly “I’m trying! Aaaaaaaahhhhh!”

Then, right as the student’s jet hits ‘bingo fuel’—alerting that there is just enough gas to return to base—and the fight is called off, he has his opponent in his gun funnel and his instructor lets loose a Joker-like victorious laugh. 

Check out this little gem of a video below, as well as a bit tamer T-38C BFM instruction tape below it (also note the difference in energy states):

The HUD tape is hilarious and it really does underscore just how aggressive and ‘fangs out’ dogfighting is. I have heard countless stories about the lowest key guy in the squadron being just an animal when it comes to the dogfight. It seems to bring out a colorful part of some pilots’ personalities. And really, for good reason. If it happens in real life, it is very possible either you or the other guy won’t go home in their plane, or at all. The stakes are incredibly high and should you lose, many others could be put in danger as a result. 

So, here’s to you T-38C instructor pilot. Truly a teacher that is molding students’ lives through extra care!

Just don’t use the same teaching style when your kid gets their learner’s permit, ok!

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Tyler Rogoway Avatar

Tyler Rogoway


Tyler’s passion is the study of military technology, strategy, and foreign policy and he has fostered a dominant voice on those topics in the defense media space. He was the creator of the hugely popular defense site Foxtrot Alpha before developing The War Zone.