Interview With TaoShouTian, F-15C Pilot
TaoShouTian, callsign NFI_101/bird-2, is an F-15C virtual combat pilot from the Chinese NFI squadron, runner up of the last SATAC 2013 competition and currently #12 in the DCS air-to-air rankings.
This article is the 2nd of upcoming interviews with DCS virtual combat pilots. Tao’s native tongue is Chinese, so a translator was involved with this article.
Q1-Thanks Tao for being with us today, could you start by telling us when and how did you start playing war games online? what are the main titles that you played before grabbing DCS world?
Very glad to answer your questions. I started playing war games online six years ago. I spent much time playing BATTLEFIELD before FC and DCS world.
Q2- We know China’s air force is mainly Russian made or based on Shukoi’s design, how come NFI turn out to be an F-15C dedicated virtual squadron?
Yes very good question. Most of NFI members began to fly Lock On using Mig-29S and Su-27 four or five years ago, some of us began to fly F-15C because we wanted to keep NFI in an all-around development, but the more we flew F15C, the more we found it really hard to achieve good teamwork while having Russian and American jets mixed together, at last we decided to focus on the F-15C, also because there were very good teams dedicated to Russian jets like 51st and we wanted to do something different.
Q3- InSky community appears to be also from China, are you guys connected to each other in anyway, maybe training together or belonging to the same wing?
InSky was a very big community during FC1 and FC2 time, in fact we used to fly together sometimes in inSky server or NFI server.
Q4- NFI pilots are known as one of the best F-15C drivers, it would be great to tell us a bit about your training routine?
NFI is a training school actually. We train our new recruits in two 6 month parts, in the first half , we focus on basic skills (BFM, Com, Nav and weapons), in the second half we focus on teamwork training (ACM). We closely monitor performance and identify flaws to work on through ACMI files.
Q5- With that much knowledge and experience accumulated over the years inside an F-15C cockpit, could you tell us more about this popular fighter, what would be in your opinion the strengths and weaknesses of the mighty Eagle and what skills an F-15C driver must have to achieve air supremacy?
The strengths of F15C is the powerful engine and the rich information the radar provides, the weakness is that if you fly with fuel tanks you will be very clumsy in a fight, now if you get rid of them too early, you tend to run out of fuel pretty fast. F15C driver should move fast and stay high, find your enemies early and keep the initiative all the time.
Q6- SATAC2013: NFI proved to be a force to be reckoned with, you guys finished 2nd best behind the 51st PVO Regiment. How’s the general feeling among your squad-mates, are you guys satisfied with your overall performance, in what areas would you like to improve?
Yes we are satisfied with our performance in SATAC 2013, we should pay more attention to teamwork and strategy next time.
Q7- You’ve also won the Sierra Hotel contest with 16 confirmed kills, 3 assists and 7 losses just few points ahead of bird-28. Bird-1 also commented saying you guys prepared very seriously for the event. How does it feel to stand as the author of the best individual performance?
I am very glad to get this honor, and I know there are many other very good pilots like Breakshot, I got very good support from my teammates and many thanks to them.
Q8- One of the very best moments of the competition was you, last survivor of your team, chasing a 51st pilot with you guns and having 3 of his teammates on your tail, tracers all over your canopy. Could you describe that moment, what was on your mind, would you do something differently if you were to be in that same scenario again?
Actually I didn’t think too much at that moment, just tried to enjoy it as much as I could, 51st pilots are very good friends so chasing one of them with my gun was really fun to me.
Q9- Many of your squad-mates were also in the spotlight especially bird-28 and bird-3. Any comments on their performances and how does it feel to fight by their side?
They are very good pilots and I think they would have performed much better if we didn’t have to fly our matches after midnight, they are nearly forty years old, I am not sure I would perform that well at forty.
Q10- Bird-1 who I believe is your wing commander scored most assists in the tournament which indicates great leadership skills to say the least. How was that decisive in critical moments as well as leading NFI all the way to the final match?
Bird-1 is one of the key organizers of NFI, he knows every member well and have joined most of our fights during past years, so we all respect his decisions. He did very well and it will always be much easier when I fly with him.
Q11- You fought 51st PVO twice and each time you won the 1st round before loosing the next 2 and the match! Any comments? Was it the fear of winning against the undefeated Bisons, their tactical superiority or maybe a mixture of both?
It is a serious situation for NFI, I think main reason was that 51st adjusted their match strategy very quickly and they are more experienced at that.
Q12- How would you rate the performance of the 51st squadron despite the many bugs that affect the Russian fighters in FC3 currently?
51st are the best, when others keep on complaining on this and that, they just focus on overcoming the bugs and use the advantages of the Su-27.
Q13- SATAC 2014: any comments? which squadrons that did not participate would you like to see in next year?
I hope there will be more squadrons joining SATAC 2014, it does not matter who you are and where you are from, just fly together and enjoy it.
Q14- Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders, today is my favorite day.
Q15- Anything else you’d like to share?
I believe ED will solve all the bugs in DCS, do you believe it?
I’m hoping for the best like the rest of the fans.
Thanks Tao for your time, it’s great to have you guys part of the community and looking forward to seeing NFI in the next events.
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