No I don't see aerial combat as being any different, with the exception that modern aircraft have sensors, and I think there is a big difference in combat and self defense. In combat you are typically expecting the enemy to attack you so there are controls measures and sensors leading up to the attack. That is, unless, it is a complete ambush, which at that point the attacker has seized a huge advantage and you are either way behind and most likely dead.
In Self Defense I think in terms of worst case in which your sensors have failed you are were not available and therefore, the attacker seizes the advantage and thus controls the OODA loop. You could be highly skilled and he could have little skill, but he can still beat you...thus I believe "hard skills" are secondary to simply agility.
In aerial combat, and really any combat, you are working on a much finer edge and the degree of control of the loop may be very close to the tipping point either way....maybe 50/50 like Roger said? in that case, I believe skill and experience becomes the tipping point.
however, even though it may be 50/50 in skilled combat, it is NOT random and chaos...it is controlled and much like a tactical chess game...so yes, you practice moves and countermoves and all the branches and sequels committing them to habits.
Ok, interrestng. It seems to sence the attack before it happens is of vital importance then..?
As well as the ability to set up an ambush and mow down your opponent..?
And then train hard offcourse..
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.