Greg Griffith, the touchy webmaster with the penchant for banning conservatives who criticize him suggested reading from a post elsewhere on fighter pilots in combat. Here's the pertinent info for the combat with pecusa:
Each must keep sight of the other. To lose visual on the opponent almost certainly is to lose your life, and this is the only life you’ve been issued. Each pilot observes the other. That’s step one.
Now, Red breaks one way and Blue the other. Their relative positions allow some options and remove others. Each pilot must assess where he is, where the other man is, where he is heading and at what speed, and likewise where the other guy is heading and how fast. From this he builds a mental picture of the three-dimensional battle. Pilots call this Situational Awareness, or SA. SA is powerful Kung-Fu. Good SA will keep you alive. Bad SA is rapidly fatal. So each pilot must orient himself. That’s step two.
Next, each pilot must make a near instantaneous decision as to what he will do next. Will their relative positions allow an offensive move, or is the situation so desperate that he is forced into the defensive? Each has observed, each has oriented…now each must decide what to do next. That’s three.
Once that decision has been made, there is nothing left to do but carry out that decision. Each of the pilots must act. Action in this case may mean a climbing roll – the high-G yo-yo – to increase the separation for the shot. Perhaps the only answer is a Split-S out of the fight to recover lost airspeed, or a desperate Break in the opposite direction to avoid the gunsights.
Whatever the action is, whether thrust or parry, Boyd realized that it is only here, in the fourth step – Observe-Orient-Decide-Act – that physical combat occurs. Being “a good stick” will help you here, yes. But Boyd’s breakthrough was to realize that there are three mental steps that precede the physical application of a warrior’s skill, and that these mental steps are not as important as the physical talent. They are far, far more important.
It’s a cycle. It’s a loop. It’s called by its inelegant acronym: The OODA loop.
Now here’s what blew my mind, as I am sure it blew John Boyd’s mind on a level I can not and will never fully comprehend:
The winner of these battles is not necessarily the fellow who makes the best decisions. More often than not, it’s the guy who makes the fastest decisions.
Agility. Speed. Precision. Lethality. Fingerspitzengefuhl: fingertip control.