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

A Lesson On Keeping The Aircraft in Trim

On the 28th of May 2019, a customer arrived at a flight school at Archerfield Airport, Queensland for their first flight experience. The aircraft that day was a Cessna 152,…

Explosive Decompression on the Ground

The Gulfstream G150, a twin-engine business jet, arrived at Kittilä airport in Lapland on a cold Tuesday afternoon on the 2nd of January 2018, carrying three crew and four passengers.…

Demystifying

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…

Small Plane Gets Stoned

This photograph has been posted to aviation forums repeatedly, each time with a thread of pilots wondering what the hell could have happened to cause the light aircraft to be…

History

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…

The Last Flight of B121-120

The Beagle B.121 Pup is a British, single-engine, all-metal aircraft produced in the 1960s. British Executive and General Aviation Limited, who traded as BEAGLE, designed the Beagle B.121 Pup as…

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…