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Pardo Push

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A pilot's aircraft (or space craft) has been damaged, and has lost an engine, or is leaking fuel, but is still airworthy. Due to the damage, he won't be able to make it back to friendly territory, and may be forced to eject and become Trapped Behind Enemy Lines. That is, of course, unless the Ace Pilot is able to help him get out of enemy territory somehow. But how?

If he is crazy awesome enough, he might just push the other guy to give him a boost.

Because Reality Is Unrealistic, the Trope Namer is the Real Life Pardo's Push, with Alliterative Name to boot.

Not to be confused with a Tractor Beam. If you end up with an Ass Shove, then you have done something horribly wrong.


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  • Done in the X-Wing Series novels during the Wraith Squadron arc. An X-wing is damaged and its pilot unconscious, so another pilot uses his own X-wing in an attempt to nudge the damaged craft into a less pointed-at-the-ground trajectory. He almost manages it, and gets a medal for trying (and living through the attempt). He considers it a Medal of Dishonor because he failed.
  • In the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, Anakin uses his fighter to push Obi-Wan's damaged fighter into the Invisible Hand's hangar.
  • Temeraire: Badly injured dragons that are having trouble flying are often mentioned to have other dragons coming in to help lift them. This maneuver is presumably easier for dragons than planes, having things like limbs and fine motor control.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica: In the miniseries, Starbuck pulls this maneuver to get Apollo back to Galactica after his Viper is crippled in combat. Of course, rather than just pushing his fighter as in the other examples, she actually forcibly slams into his, locking their ships together before afterburning back to Galactica. Apollo being (at the time) not as ballsy as Starbuck, yells that she's beyond insane the whole way in.
  • JAG: Harm, being the embodiment of all that is great in fighter pilots, does this to help a stricken fellow Tomcat make it over a coastal mountain range so he can eject over the ocean rather than over Serbian territory. A Title Card at the end of the episode references the Real Life example of this trope, as they tend to do when borrowing particularly outlandish flying feats from history.

    Web Videos 
  • Occasionally employed by Scott Manley in his video's for Kerbal Space Program to retrieve or de-orbit non-functional space craft. Mostly of the automated variety, but on at least one occasion to rescue a Kerbal stranded in orbit after a staging accident.

    Real Life 
  • During the Vietnam War, Captain Bob Pardo had his wingman, Captain Aman (whose plane had been hit by anti-aircraft fire and had lost most of its fuel already) lower his tailhook, while Pardo carefully moved his own jet up so he could use the windscreen of his plane to push against the tailhook of his wingman's plane, reducing Aman's rate of descent enough so that they were able to make it over Laos before ejecting (Pardo's own plane suffered an engine fire and ended up running out of fuel as well). Pardo was initially criticized for his recklessness, and for not saving his own, less damaged plane as well, but he, along with his Guy in Back, Lieutenant Wayne, was later given the Silver Star, nearly two decades later.
  • An earlier example (which gets covered by Dogfights) involving a pair of F-86 Sabres from the Korean War: then-Captain Robinson "Robbie" Risner used his fighter jet to push his wingman to keep him in the air long enough to get near friendly forces farther south. Tragically, after his wingman made it clear of enemy territory and bailed out, he became tangled in his parachute cords and drowned.