Sunday, November 15, 2009


Salutations once again.

After an informative interview with Lieutenant Max Cutter, I had the pleasure of sitting down with his closest rival Lt. Maggie Harper.

What a breath of fresh air. Less diplomatic than Max Cutter -- but just as sincere -- the pilot provided a unique glimpse into what motivates the people who protect our interests. Take a look at what she had to say.

Transcript follows:

JTF: Lieutenant Cutter had high praise for your ability as a pilot and he seems to genuinely like you. Does being at the top of your game ever get in the way of having friendships in the pilot ranks?

MH: Now that's a great question, JT. Honest answer is yeah. Pilots are a competitive bunch and egos sometimes clash in a big way. That's not always fun to deal with.

JTF: You tend to swap the top spot with Lt. Cutter on a frequent basis so I assume you're very competitive with each other. Does that cause tension between you?

MH: Sometimes. Max and I don't hold back. We challenge each other to push ourselves further, fly a little harder, be that much better. That's not a bad thing.

JTF: How so?

MH: When Cutter and I go up against each other, it's game on. I know when he's my opponent he's already thought ahead to exactly what my next move will be. Same goes for me. I anticipate his strategy and adjust accordingly. Sometimes that means Max comes out on top. Other times, I win. But we literally fight it out, in the air.

JTF: Does that combative edge follow you at the end of a run?

MH: Hmm. Sometimes. Sure it does. There are occasions when we go past the limit and piss each other off. We'll snarl and snipe for a bit then go have a beer. It's what we do.

JTF: You frequently use the word 'we'. Do you consider yourself and Lt. Cutter a unit?

MH: A unit? Interesting word choice. No, I don't think so. A unit implies something singular and we're two very different people. But we work well in tandem because we've developed a deep level of trust when we fly together.

JTF: And when you're not flying? It sounds like you get along well with each other.

MH: Absolutely. We're great friends. And that's sometimes rare in our field. It all goes back to that clashing of egos. But I can honestly say there's no one I'd rather have covering my six, in or out of the cockpit, than Lt. Cutter. He's a good man to have around when things go south.

JTF: After speaking with him, I can believe that. Here's hoping you'll both watch out for each other during Hell Week.

MH: I think you can count on that, JT. It ain't gonna be a picnic.

JTF: Best of luck with your qualifying runs. I look forward to seeing you fly.

MH: Thanks. Grab a good seat and hang on…it's more fun that way.

I'm not sure what she means, but I look forward to finding out. Bright and early tomorrow morning.

As always, keep those news feeds set to update for the latest, breaking information.


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