Militaria

What does check six mean?

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2009-12-02 21:54:26
2009-12-02 21:54:26
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Check Six - This is a phrase used by fighter pilots that means to look behind you for enemy aircraft. References from the pilot's position and the direction of the aircraft were given by the clock. 12 O'clock was straight ahead, 9 O'clock directly off the left wing, 6 O'clock was aft (i.e. directly behind), etc. Thus, check six was short for check your 6 O'clock position. Since 6 O'clock is also the most vulnerable spot (it's both difficult to see and the best place for an enemy to fire guns or missiles) the term became synonymous with "watch your back" among aviators who were looking out for each other on the ground as well as in the air.


Clock numeral locations are similarly used by air traffic controllers with certified radar displays to more accurately tell pilots where to look for traffic that may impact their route of flight.

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