Talk:Flying ace

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Aces in a minute[edit]

Does anyone find this probable?? --Sam 15:44, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

No, & it smells of the usual Pakistani overclaiming. How reliable are these sources? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 15:54, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Review the international source included. --lTopGunl (talk) 16:49, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
And you can stop claiming there are any "personal attacks" & making threats of blocks on my talk page. You've reverted just as often, & the only content removed has been off-topic for the page. You're the only one thinking it's personal, the one adding irrelevancies about decorations, & defending improbable claims. I frankly don't give a damn if he did it or not. I do want better than a source liable to be biased. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 17:23, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
You should read WP:BRD. When you are reverted you need to discuss here and not keep on reverting. It is your responsibility to come to talk and stop reverting since you are the one being reverted. It doesn't matter if you are discussing here along with your reverts, your reverts are still counted towards WP:3RR. As for the topic, Have you read the edit summaries at all? I did not revert you for removing export details and origin of the Hunter fighter. You were reverted for moving content out of the reference tag. Adding awards for the scores is normal practice, you can refer to the whole lists of pilots in the very same article. And I don't think you even looked at the sources I gave. The book by John Fricker is a reliable source as per wikipedia policy. I'm not bound to provide you sources to your personal satisfaction. --lTopGunl (talk) 17:40, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Calm down, folks[edit]

Documenting the actions of flying aces is an uncertain and potentially contentious task. It is real easy for the adrenalin and verbal bile to flow, and very difficult to mend relationships later. If you find your choler arising, it's best to take a break until you are calm. It's easier on your blood pressure, and on your fellow Wikipedians.

Aviators–especially fighter pilots–are not lacking in ego. Some of them arouse passionate responses that give rise to flame wars. Rene Fonck, Pappy Boyington, and Duke Cunningham come readily to mind. Debate about Billy Bishop's record has become a cottage industry, with books and websites pro and con, and has even sparked a government inquiry. It seems that the feat(s) of M. M. Alam arouse the same response.

The arena for these debates is the Discussion pages of their respective biographies. There is no need for that contention to spill over into this article. This article's focus is the definition and explication of the phenomenon of flying aces. Reputable aviation historians have covered this phenomenon extensively. We contributors should be cherry picking sources to find the absolutely most reliable for inclusion in this article, because so many other articles are dependent upon it.

Neutral Point of View is difficult to achieve; we all have our pride in our heritage. Non-NPOV usually creeps in in several ways:

1) A contributor's insistence on listing rank and/or position, especially that which postdates the feat in question. This is irrelevant. A private can be just as daring and courageous as a general. Puffing up an entry with a rank which is later achieved is doubly irrelevant, for obvious reasons.

2) Our personal disbelief in certain improbable events. The improbable does happen–occassionally. However, the achievement of the ordinary and expected is not the basis for heroic deeds. On the other hand, the accomplishment of the well-nigh impossible often is.

3) National and/or ethnic pride intervenes. If it does, try considering if the feat in question would be noteworthy if achieved by someone of a differing national or ethnic background.

4) The converse of this is denigrating the deeds of someone of a national or ethnic background toward whom you feel grudgeful.

5) Fanboyism. Term says it all.

This is a call to damp down the tempers, be a bit introspective, avoid personal attacks and extend good faith to one another. We have a vital task here.

Georgejdorner (talk) 17:35, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi, Georgejdorner. You said it all. Thanks for pouring in!! --lTopGunl (talk) 17:46, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Notice, I deleted nothing based on my disbelief. My disbelief isn't fact. The rv's were on irrelevancies & deleted links or other format or content issues. Somebody chose to take my disbelief personally. I disclaim any responsibility for that. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 18:56, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
And I quote your edit summary:
& in your defense of Pakistani nationionalism, you've buggered the Hunter link, easter egged the IAF link, & added trivia that belongs on Alam's page, not this one
Read WP:Civil, WP:NPA & WP:GOODFAITH. I don't mind your disbelief, but we follow civility here. Also see the comments you used on my talk page. Block warnings are not to be taken as threats, I reminded you for WP:3RR for your own good. There is a reason these templates are created, there are written in a polite tone and you need to follow the same. My reverts to you were not on your disbelief but on the content you moved to the end of the paragraph leaving the references in the middle as if it was not as per the references which was not the case. The info you deleted was not an issue as I explained before. I'd prefer if you don't reply to this comment since there's no use of talking about this anymore. --lTopGunl (talk) 19:06, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
""Read WP:Civil, WP:NPA & WP:GOODFAITH." Seriously? This from somebody who deleted a perfectly good link to Hawker Hunter, piped a link to Indian Air Force with "Hawker Hunter Mark 56", complained about me deleting both the Hunter info & the decoration (both OT), implying I'm somehow on a crusade against Alam. Where's the "good faith"? And what part of that edit summary is uncivil or personal attack? Moreover, when you slap a warning of a block after a content dispute, I take that as a threat, & I don't take kindly to it. I'm even less impressed with warnings about "abuse" of the warnings. Or do you think you're specially entitled somehow? Finally, you've made this about me, instead of about the content, because none of what was deleted is on topic. So what happened to the AGF there? Oh, wait, I'm not entitled to it, right? Just you. But then, you've already said you aren't even listening... TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 20:26 & 20:28, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't care anymore about what you have to say. I guess we should stop wasting time. --lTopGunl (talk) 07:48, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
"I don't care anymore about what you have to say." You never have, have gone out of your way to keep my view from appearing on the page, & you accuse me of lack of good faith?
And after all that, after you rv me when I leave the feat in & change the details, & somebody else removes it, you don't bat an eye. "Personal attack"? Who's attacking whom? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 10:24 & 10:36, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
One, this page is to improve the article and not discuss user behavior (for which user talkpages are present). and two, the other did not revert me and infact adjusted the content. Lets see what you are doing right now, I'm willing to not respond to you any more and you are still flame-warring. This discussion is over. --lTopGunl (talk) 10:42, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Alright,lets take it down a notch.@Topgun posting warnings on people's pages just because they reverted you is not acceptable.That aside,can we actually get to the subject at hand? I say that the notion that he shot down 5 aircraft in a minute is outright absurd.Also,from the stuff i read,i did not find anything about it being done in a minute.That said,I haven't gone through all of it.Can someone look into it? --Sam 19:12, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Go through the publication by John Fricker (for which I've a quote as well). Hope that answers you. As for it being absurd, so many of feats here come into that category but I guess that's the reason they are listed here. In anycase I have given the references to point it out and for you calling it absurd comes under your original research, which does not matter as per WP:OR. Cheers. --lTopGunl (talk) 19:39, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

To whom it may concern,

I am a neutral party to this disagreement. I have edited the M M Alam sections of this article that were the bones of contention. I checked all given references in the process.

Georgejdorner (talk) 01:50, 17 November 2011 (UTC)


Thanks. But I think the reason he became an ace was the speed shooting and not the total no of kills. Wouldn't it be better to keep that in the first mention as well (probably with minimal redundancy)? --lTopGunl (talk) 07:46, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Alam notched up several kills during the war. In this particular case he was fortunate that the Hunters set themselves up for him - more or less flying through his sights. GraemeLeggett (talk) 20:08, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, he had some luck obviously as the article and his own comments have conveyed. What I aimed to say here was, if you remove the mention of this ace in a day feat from the top section in the article (he doesn't have much kills other wise although his score is still the highest in the region, but is that enough for a mention in that heading?). --lTopGunl (talk) 21:03, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
You are not a part of this discussion, I think you should refrain from wikihounding as per the ANI decision. This source in addition is out weighed infront of the fricker's book. We have a previous consensus for that. --lTopGunl (talk) 21:35, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Which wiki rule prevents me from discussing MM ALAM on a wiki article?? i am completely within my rights in sharing the link http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/History/1965War/Chapter5.html among the editors who are interested in checking out more about the incident. --ÐℬigXЯaɣ 21:49, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
For your info: this consensus binds you [1]. --lTopGunl (talk) 21:53, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I dont see anything written saying me to stay away from wiki articles of my interest. and yeah STOP misleading the Discussion and talk about the article, not useless stuff on the wiki TALK PAGES. --ÐℬigXЯaɣ 22:07, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Not the article, me. And this included articles. And as the neutral user above said, this is not the place to discuss edits but the relevant biography or the war article I'd say. We were discussing the part that should be mentioned here in the first mention which has nothing to do with your edit. I think you should stick to the place where it is supposed to be discussed. WP:POINT. --lTopGunl (talk) 22:14, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
i have commented on the content of this article (i.e. MM ALAM) and the comment is directed to the editors of this page . I am raising my doubts regarding the recent edits. --ÐℬigXЯaɣ 22:37, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that content is to be discussed at the war or biography article. Please read the comment above under "calm down folks" heading: "The arena for these debates is the Discussion pages of their respective biographies." --lTopGunl (talk) 22:44, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Hello, all,

When I made the edits in question, I could not find any evidence of the elapsed time between Alam's Sidewinder victory and the subsequent victory over the gaggle of four IAF fighters; therefore, I did not mention the "within one minute" timing.

There was no need for duplicate listings at two different locations within the article, either. That explains my conversion of the first listing to that of an overall listing of M M Alam's victories during the war. I reported the total victories for which the man was credited. The origin of the accreditation, as always, is the intelligence branch of an ace's air force.

Now, as to the dispute in question...the fact that warfare is confusing is a no-brainer. Reports of casualties inflicted on the enemy are thus pretty much always suspect. For whatever reason, reports of aerial warfare casualties are an unusually contentious topic. Aviation historians make a career of sorting through clouds of information on the subject.

We are not the historians here; instead, we are the recorders of history. The equitable approach is to note that a given incident is controversial and supply an array of sources. Curious readers can follow the wikilinks to sources, educate themselves, and think about information instead of just reading. That's one of the beauties of Wikipedia's format.

Contributors can agree to disagree. All sides of a controversy can be presented. But it takes a calm and rational approach, and civility in written language. Remember, print on a page does not convey the body language that accompanies an oral discussion, so you must be cautious with words. It's easy to unintentionally give offense. Even more poisonous to rational debate is the fact that printed words linger to be brooded upon, so intentional offenses in language linger and fester.

There is nothing wrong with spirited debate, if it is CIVIL spirited debate. It could even lead to an improved article.

Georgejdorner (talk) 17:14, 18 November 2011 (UTC)


I took your edits in complete good faith and pointed out the quotation about the time in return. My reply to your last comment was more of a question than a counter argument. I got your point now. You're right about the approach and additions. Such topics are bound to get contentious, but as per that we would be calling a DRN for every single edit. The facts you pointed out are the only way things can work without contentions. Thanks. --lTopGunl (talk) 17:30, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

"Überkanone"[edit]

As a native German speaker and no stranger to the topic I must strongly challenge the term "Überkanone": I have never heard of it, nor read about it anywhere except in English Wikipedia articles (maybe originating from the same author?). So please – unless anyone can come up with a reliable source for this – delete it. It sounds like a verbatim re-translation of "top gun" and nothing else. 213.61.58.164 (talk) 15:48, 25 April 2012 (UTC) koookeee


The term "Überkanone" was in this article when I first began editing on it three years ago. Its precise meaning has been a matter of prior debate (since archived at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Flying_ace/Archive_1#Translation_of_the_word_.22.C3.9Cberkanone.22). I do not recall a native German speaker being party to this prior debate, nor do I recall anyone coming up with an exact definition. At any rate, to the best of my memory, there has never been a source supplied for the term.

I would recommend your posting an exact translation of the term on this Talk page before you delete it from the article. I also think that clearing this up would be a great service to the article.

Georgejdorner (talk) 16:21, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Hello and thanks. After further study, I can only say that I have encountered the term "Überkanone" only in the context of (online)-games (i.e. seafight and world of tanks), where it is used to describe "super-cannon". The prefix "über" in German is best translated as "super" (as in Nietzsche’s super-human, for example, which would be "Übermensch" in German). So "Überkanone" would be best translated as "Super" (or "Top") cannon/gun. However, the Duden (the German Standard Thesaurus) does not list the word, nor have I seen it in any German Book about the Luftwaffe, both contemporary or historic (we do still have some WWII-era books from my Grandfather). My suggestion would be to delete it until someone can really cite a reliable source. 213.61.58.164 (talk) 12:16, 27 June 2013 (UTC) koookeee

Bomber Ace[edit]

I've reverted the removal of bomber ace content from the article because the "non pilot aces" section already defines that as inclusive. --lTopGunl (talk) 15:47, 26 June 2012 (UTC)


The non-pilot aces section covers those aviators who shoot down five or more enemy aircraft in air-to-air combat. The results of bombing missions are not air-to-air combat. The deleted section is irrelevant. Even if it were properly placed in an article about bombing missions, it would still be deleted for its triviality.

Georgejdorner (talk) 20:42, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

  • I disagree. It is indeed air-to-air combat to shoot another plane down from another. It doesn't matter if the person is a pilot or not. Buffs (talk) 02:41, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Even if the bomber did shoot down five aircraft, which 8-Pass Charlie does not even claim, the credit would go to the gunner, not the pilot. Clarityfiend (talk) 02:53, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
The claim of being ace is not necessary to have been made by the ace himself, his adversaries accepted that he was an ace and that is sourced. Coming to the bomber / air-to-air combat issue, I don't think the article only covers only the scope of air to air combat. The non pilot aces section includes bomber aces specifically, that means it was for bombing missions. Also the defination given by Georgejdorner for being trivial will also put all others in the same category. It is the notability that has to be established. --lTopGunl (talk) 07:59, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
The use of "ace", as far as I can tell from the reference, is only a general term regarding his expertise, not his score. The burden is on you to show otherwise. Also, the only bomber ace mentioned was a tail gunner, not a pilot. Clarityfiend (talk) 08:49, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
The source refers to both his scoring and his expertise (just does not talk about scoring itself). And this is from the article: "While aces are generally thought of exclusively as fighter pilots, some have accorded this status to gunners on bombers or reconnaissance aircraft, and observers/gunners in two-seater fighters...". It does not say it is limited to air to air kills even though the example might be one. --lTopGunl (talk) 09:26, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
If the source doesn't talk about scoring, you haven't made your case. Also, I don't see what you're trying to show with the quote from this article (which I wrote BTW). It refers only to gunners. Clarityfiend (talk) 09:48, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I bolded what I wanted to show, that this is also inclusive of bombers and does not limit to air-to-air. --lTopGunl (talk) 09:52, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Huuh? It says "gunners on bombers", not "bomber pilots". Even if you include aircraft destroyed on the ground or taking off, there are no references to back up the claim that anybody or even everybody collectively on the bomber got five. There is only Paddy Earle's ambiguous comment, which in any case cannot be considered official. Clarityfiend (talk) 10:19, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
It is not ambiguous at all. Scoring is a primary source, this is an encyclopedia, we take works of secondary sources to identify facts and conclusions. The book is an academic work and quotes him of being an ace. --lTopGunl (talk) 10:25, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The sourcing is vague - the article on 8-Pass only mentions a single kill, and in the English idiom a pilot can be an "ace pilot" without being an ace as in kills. GraemeLeggett (talk) 11:37, 27 June 2012 (UTC)


To quote the first sentences of the article:

A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down several enemy aircraft during aerial combat. The actual number of aerial victories required to officially qualify as an "ace" has varied, but is usually considered to be five or more.

8-Pass Charlie does not qualify as an ace by dropping bombs. Read the article, folks.

Georgejdorner (talk) 18:33, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

So just chuck an ace in at random???[edit]

Hello, all,

The decision to move K. Sedghi here is an ill-considered mistake. The focus of this article is the phenomenon of acedom. Such aces as are named are either exceptionally notable even for flying aces, or the first to achieve a particular feat. By those standards, Sedghi is almost certain to be deleted from this article.

Having read such debate as there was over the deletion, I would like to note that there is a strong feeling among many of us writing in WP's aviation history niche that ANY and EVERY flying ace is notable. A Rfc would have uncovered as much. I think you were in error not to seek such.

Lastly, you ignored EricSerge's reliable source for Sedghi's last four victories necessary for acedom. The Air Combat Information Group will verify the first.

To summarize, I believe you have committed two massive errors. One, you have deleted an article about a notable aviator without even attempting to verify his notability, even though there are easily discovered sources that should be combed for info on him. Two, I doubt that any one of you bothered to take a good look at this article before deciding to chuck him in here at random.

Georgejdorner (talk) 06:34, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

I've contemplated it further and re-closed as no consensus. MBisanz talk 18:35, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

How victories were determined[edit]

Hello, all,

For some reason, some editor(s) thought the Aerial victory standards of World War I needed to be repeated in the middle of this article. Instead, why not use the link to the article, which is, miracle of miracles, even properly cited, as well as more complete?

Georgejdorner (talk) 23:50, 23 February 2013 (UTC)