Here's a simple question from a simple test, every fighter-jock answered hundreds of these at the Academy.
Hypothetical Situation: You and your wingleader, flying Scimitars, are on a Strike mission against a Ralari-class destoryer. En route, you see two damaged Jalthi-class heavy fighters, the survivors of an engagement which must have just ended.
Ordinarily, you would not wish to engage the larger fighter-craft. However, both of these craft are in dire straits. One is tumbling helplessly, all stabilization hardware destroyed; the other is limping away, his thrusters blasting intermittently, his maneuvering obviously impared.One target lies a few seconds to port of your flight path, the other a few seconds to starboard.
Your wingleader is not inclined to go after either of these marks; he persses on, plodding toward the strike objective.
Question: Do you (a) keep with your wingleader, ignoring these easy marks; (b) roll out for a couple of seconds to destroy the completely-helpless fighter; (c) roll out for a very brief engagement with the seriously-damaged fighter; (d) go after both damaged enemies; or (e) none of the above?
If you answered (e), do the corps a favor: Resign your comission and stay away from civilian piloting jobs. Indecisionkills faster and more reliably than making the wrong decision.
If you answered (b), (c), or (d), well, everyone who's ever put on an acceleration suit knows how you feel... but you know it's the wrong answer. It's not "by the book," as boring as that may sound; you've left your wingleader unguarded for a few critical seconds.
If you answered (a), you deserve congratulations... but perhaps you don't deserve many. It's easy to pick the right, by-the-book answer when filling out a test in the placid atmosphere of your own quarters or a testing hall. It's a little tougher in the cockpit during an actual mission. In the field, the urge to mark up a couple more kills - especially safe ones, and especially when you're only one or two kills short of your Ace classification - will ofter overcome your Academy-drilled, by-the-book impulses.
Of course, this is only a hypothetical situation. Unfortunately, it's only hypothetical for you: It was real for Captain R.A. ("Mule-Skinner") Skinner and Lt. Larry ("Tooner") Dibbles.