Category: Military

Abused fighter planes and the men who love them

A few months ago, I wrote about how to shoot down a fighter jet while flying it, the case of a test-pilot in a Grumman F-11 Tiger who managed to catch up to his own gunfire. One of the fantastic things I found out in the course of writing that piece was that Tom Attridge…

Read more… 23 Oct 20

Mid-Air Collision in Marine Training Exercise

Last week, on the 29th of September 2020, two US Marine aircraft collided over the Naval Air Facility El Centro in California while taken part in a refuelling exercise as a part of a seven-week training event, the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course. The fighter was an F-35B (Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II), a single-seater,…

Read more… 2 Oct 20

How to shoot down a fighter jet…while flying it.

The Grumman F-11 Tiger was a popular US Navy fighter aircraft introduced in 1956. At the time, it was known as the F11F Tiger. Grumman had been working to modernise their Cougar as a part of the Cold War arms race. US aircraft were being outperformed by the swept-wing design of the Soviet’s Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15…

Read more… 21 Aug 20

Survivor’s Obligation

In 2003, an unbelievable photograph was taken of Captain Chris Stricklin ejecting from an F-16 during a Thunderbirds aerial display. I wrote about it a few years ago: Ejection 0.8 Seconds Before Impact. Stricklin was flying Thunderbird 6, performing the Split S manoeuvre as a part of his solo performance with the Thunderbirds. The Split…

Read more… 10 Jul 20

Human Factors Breakdown: C-17 Crash at Elmendorf

Last week, we looked at a fatal C-17 accident at Elmendorf in 2010. I now want to focus on the analysis of the situation leading up to the stall. It’s clear that the flight crew did not react to the warning signs as they attempted their manoeuvres at low altitude without reaching their target airspeed.…

Read more… 19 Jul 19

Fantastic Video of Russian Air Force Combat Aircraft

This is a fantastic video showing the Russian air force aircraft currently in use (well, at least the ones that it is OK for us to know about, right?). Brilliantly edited, I dropped everything I was doing just to sit and watch this: The Russian Defense Ministry published the video to celebrate Russian Aerospace Force…

Read more… 26 Aug 16

Accident Reports

Runway Excursion on Take-Off

This accident happened some time ago but it is new to me. A twin-engine business jet departing from Portland, Oregon, crashed shortly after take-off with four on board. The Aerospatiale…

Aeroperú Flight 603

On Tuesday, the 1st of October 1996, Aeroperú flight 603 departed Miami for a scheduled passenger flight to Santiago, Chile, and landed in Lima, Peru for a planned stop to…

Demystifying

Maintaining the Stores

We don’t often talk about parked aircraft because it is not very common for them to be involved in crashes. However, one of the side-effects of these pandemic times is…

How Many Successful Ditchings of Commercial Airliners?

When I was learning to fly, I remember someone in the pilots’ bar insisting that all that talk about life jackets under your seat was a waste of time; if…

History

An Icon of Aviation

I have a guest post this week by Nicholas Brown, the Campus President of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. The college has been rebuilding a replica of Little Stinker,…

The Last Known Whereabouts of the White Bird

The disappearance of L’Oiseau Blanc in 1927 is one of the enduring mysteries of aviation history. The pilots eventually achieved their goal of changing aviation history, but certainly not in…

Fun Stuff

The Tetris Challenge

When the Kantonspolizei Zürich (the police department of the Swiss canton of Zurich) posted a photograph on Facebook showing the contents of a standard patrol car, they had no idea…

The History Listen

I was on the radio on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in a show called The History Listen. They asked me to tell them about a famous story in Australian and…