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

Lion Air flight 610: In the Cockpit

On the 29th of October 2018, Lion Air flight 610, a Boeing 737-8 (MAX) crashed at Tanjung Karawang, West Java after departing from Jakarta. This crash was the first public…

Crash at Pensacola: "I wasn't ridiculously low"

On Tuesday the 13th of August 2019, a Cessna 172 Skyhawk, registration N84287 crashed into a sand bar on the Escambia River near Jay, Florida, near the Alabama border. The…

Demystifying

Maintaining Focus in the Cockpit

This article by Key Dismukes, Grant Young and Robert Sumwait is based on their research at NASA to study the problem of crew preoccupation. They reviewed NTSB reports of accidents…

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…

History

The Mount Erebus Disaster

On the 28th of November 1979, a sight-seeing flight to Antartica crashed into Mount Erebus, killing all 257 on board. The Mount Erebus Disaster, as it came to be known,…

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,…

Fun Stuff

A Little Bit of Everything

There’s so much great aviation writing and video out there and I’m always appreciative when people send me fun things; it seems a shame not to share them! So here’s…

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…