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Do You "shoot" Or "fly"

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It bugs me when I read the phrase "shooting an approach".


I would say "flying" the approach.


Is this an American phrase, or do all pilots use it?


Why then not "shovel" an approach , "drive", "chop", or any other non-flying relevant word?


What is the history / origin of this phrase?



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“Shooting an approach” is definitely of “American slang” origin and quite possibly first uttered by an assault-helicopter pilot in Vietnam. The term is frequently used in Vietnam War-era literature, stories and recounts. Two of thousands of examples:


Re: a Huey incident (UH-1D Reg #66-01119): “The pilot noted that the area was a pinnacle covered with scrub brush, elephant grass and scattered bamboo stalks, which would make a touchdown impractical. He elected to shoot the approach to the clearest area and hold the aircraft at a hover above the brush to offload passengers.”


Re: Wayne R. "Crash" Coe, 187th Assault Helicopter Company, Thanksgiving 1967 telling: “Jim Morrison is singing Riders On The Storm in my headset, I feel the hypoxia creeping up. I can see the lights from Tay Ninh and I start my descent. I shoot my approach right to my revetment and put the thrashing machine away.”


But that’s not to say it doesn’t go back earlier, perhaps to the Korean War or back to WWII---just haven’t seen it. I was thinking it might’ve perhaps been muttered a time or two by a fighter pilot when a target was in range versus in reference to a landing where timing is everything. There’s also “shoot and scoot,” an enemy artillery counter-attack.


Shoot the gap (dodging between cars in traffic), shoot the hoop (basketball), shoot the messenger (person who didn't cause problem but is readily available and catches h*ll instead of the true culprit), shoot the bull or shoot the breeze (as in endless b.s.-ing), shoot yourself in the foot (literally or figuratively), shoot the moon (to win every trick or point in any given hand in card games), etc., etc.


What can I say? Americans like to shoot. Yeah, leave that alone (!)---unless, of course, you have a better answer to mstram's question. B)

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