Chris Nystrom (who occasionally comments on this blog) recently wrote a post in which he compares flying in formation to marriage (and by extension, to plural marriage).
His idea was too good not to share with my readers, so I have included it here in its entirety, with permission from the author.
I have long thought that flying in formation was a good metaphor for marriage.
Here are 8 specific points for you to consider:
1. How do they do it? The key is that there is one leader and the rest are followers. If there is no leader you are not flying in formation.
2. Due to advance communication everyone knows where they are going, but the leader leads and the followers have to keep a close eye on the leader.
3. The followers job is to position themselves correctly in relation to the leader.
4. The leader has to call the maneuvers so that the followers can expect the movements and react to them accordingly. They communicate constantly as needed.
5. There has to be at least two to fly in formation, but structurally you can add on more.
6. Not easily done. It takes intention and practice.
7. It is also mandatory for safety in aerial combat. Singles are picked off like sitting ducks.
8. You need someone to check your six. No individual has complete vision or situational awareness. But good teams are unbeatable in aerial combat.
When done well it is a beautiful thing. Formation flying is commonly seen at air shows for the appreciation of all.