Fly By?

Russian fighters, bombers intercepted off Alaska for 2nd ...

It used to be an occasional event, but now it’s more common.

Russian bomber escorted by US Fighters
Chinese aircraft fly within Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone.

No big deal, right?

Well yes and no.

The pilots involved tend to be very professional in dealing with each other, at least in most cases. Of course, there are always a few pilots–from any country–who watched Top Gun a few too many times and act flamboyantly (Hey, what pilot DOESN’T imagine themselves as Tom (or Theresa) Cruise?

In any case, their bosses may have different intentions.

If I’m a leader of your enemy country and I want to know how you’d react to an attack, here’s what I’d do. I’d fly a little too close, by accident (of course) to see which of your defenses lit up. Oops! Sorry! My pilots would be instructed to smile and wave before they flew off.

No harm, no foul, right?

What? Sorry, I need to finish dictating my notes before I land back home.

Dasvidaniya! or 再见, as the case may be.

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