View Full Version : Bud Holland's Low Pass at Yakima Range.

8th Jul 2007, 05:54
Hi All,

There is a really interesting thread running here in D&G (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?p=3400490#post3400490) part of which makes reference to Bud Holland's exploits in Czar 52. You guys may find it interesting, however, the purpose of this thread is to ask for some of the accumulated knowledge in this forum please.

I am looking for the whole video of Bud Holland's infamous low pass at the Yakima bombing range, where he cleared a ridge by (reportedly) 3 feet or so. I have seen it before on the net but after 3 hours of searching today I cannot relocate the darn thing.

There are hundreds of videos of the crash that killed him, the best of which is here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQa4PpIkOZU), but I am looking for a complete video of the Yakima range pass...

Can anyone help?:}

Cheers All.


8th Jul 2007, 06:07
Also, to avoid getting a lecture on the search functions here at Proon :} I tried to search for "Bud Holland B52 Yakima Range" and various edits of similar words, with and without the quotation marks, and I kept getting this message:

PPRuNe Message The search term you specified (bud) is under the minimum word length (4) and therefore will not be found. Please make this term longer. If this term contains a wildcard, please make this term more specific.

I feel pretty sure that the topic would have been discussed at length here before... maybe my search technique needs refining?:*


Bo Nalls
8th Jul 2007, 09:50
Google is thy friend (http://www.alexisparkinn.com/photogallery/Videos/B52%20bomber%202.wmv)

This opens a video link where the ridge pass is shown. NB the filming stops as the ac reaches the ridge because the cameraman thought the plane was abouit to crash!

Pontius Navigator
8th Jul 2007, 10:10
Also, to avoid getting a lecture on the search functions here at Proon :} I tried to search for "Bud Holland B52 Yakima Range" and various edits of similar words, with and without the quotation marks, and I kept getting this message:

The pprune warning message is actually missleading as your request had 5 words therefore was over any 4 word limit. What is really means is your search term included a term with less than 4 letters. Both Bud and B52 disqualified your search although pprune does have some TLA and TN exceptions.

Danny explained that this was necessary to reduce the time of the search requests.

8th Jul 2007, 11:43
Search for "Holland+Yakima+Range": You'll get this thread:)

It throws its toys out of the pram for ANY word of less than 4 letters unless it is on the tiny exclusion list.

8th Jul 2007, 15:29
Which is, by the way a real pain in the ass when you're looking for info on Eos.... (although google for the search term you're after +pprune sometimes works!)

Two's in
9th Jul 2007, 02:56

Before you watch any of those videos, you might want to look here;


It has been posted before, but the memory of those who died at the hands of this individual is better served by people fully understanding just how needless their sacrifice was, and not lending any credibility to his reckless and selfish acts.

9th Jul 2007, 04:29
G'day Two's,

Thanks mate, been a long time since I chatted with you here. Actually the link you posted is the very reason for this thread and my search for the videos. Down in the D&G forum we're discussing Bud and the breakdown of CRM and procedures etc, your link above was posted and I've been off in search of the videos that would make up the full picture.

BH seems to have totally lost the plot and while the videos of his antics are spectacular, they are mostly spectacular in their stupidity - as his final act shows.

As one poster commented on the D&G thread, the link you provided should be compulsory reading for all pilots, after reading it several times, I agree.



9th Jul 2007, 09:21
I think the low pass is on this clip.
I can't check it myself (work PC restrictions etc), Good luck.

9th Jul 2007, 10:33
As one poster commented on the D&G thread, the link you provided should be compulsory reading for all pilots, after reading it several times, I agree.

And supervisors too. Having read the expose report published on the internet, one cannot help but marvel at the lackof supervision.

9th Jul 2007, 11:58
A good case study for the Flying Supervisors' course?

There is still such a thing, I presume?

9th Jul 2007, 12:09
In what Beagle (and I) fondly refer to as the olden days, good but overconfident pilots were usually sent for a first tour on something single seat. At a time when the RAF had hundreds of them and not that expensive, these young men either frightened themseves :mad:less and moved on or killed themselves and hopefully nobody on the ground. Obviously times have changed and close supervision is today's answer, something which seems to have been sadly lacking in the B 52 debacle.

PPRuNe Pop
9th Jul 2007, 14:07
Ummmm! Something the subject of a thread recently BEags. "Why does an aircraft lose speed in a turn." I suggest this an example of low and slow and in a turn and a stalling inside wing and all that goes with it. Bloody sad but def over confident.

RIP all on board.

mr ripley
9th Jul 2007, 14:40
A good case study for the Flying Supervisors' course?

Attended the Flying Supervisors Cse about 5 years ago and the Fairchild Crash was one of the case studies.
We also had to sit through a collection of flying indiscipline clips that were collected after the C130 South Cerney accident/incident - they were not good viewing for the Herc mates who were on the cse.

9th Jul 2007, 19:49
A good case study for the Flying Supervisors' course?

There is still such a thing, I presume?

Course still running, and the whole sorry saga of Bud Holland is one of the key case studies (correct as at Apr 07).

Seem to remember that the lack of supervision stemmed from a succession of quick postings of Holland's superiors - the USAF apparently often moving people onwards and upwards after only six months or so in post. Therefore each instance of flying indiscipline was dealt with as a one-off, not just the latest in a long-running saga. From the case study, two things that struck me as particularly remarkable: one of the Sqn Cdrs decided not long before the crash to fly with Holland on each display/practice, apparently partly to encourage him to behave in the air and partly to save his junior pilots from unnecessary risk. This gallant man died in the crash. The other: many of the families at Fairchild used to go out for the afternoon when they knew that Holland was going to be practising a display, as they didn't want to be underneath the crash which many viewed as inevitable.:uhoh:

9th Jul 2007, 19:59
Pprune Mod
Why did you remove my reply to this thread?
It was valid, in context to Air Safety, and of interest to our audience
Bud Holland was an ars*hole and a disaster waiting to happen - he got away with cowboy flying for years by intimidating his juniors and seniors, and then took a lot of experienced people who believed in him into the ground - unfortunately, the supervisors who wrote him up, were not on that fateful flight

PPRuNe Pop
9th Jul 2007, 22:08
I can state quite categorically that NO post has been removed or deleted on this thread. I suggest you review where you might have posted it but it wasn't here.


10th Jul 2007, 00:43
Bouy15. Was that Bud Hollands fault or the supervisors fault.

Could it happen today?

19 May 1991

Fairchild Air Force Base held an airshow and Holland was aircraft commander of the exhibition. During the event, he exceeded the B-52's banking and pitch limits. He also flew directly over the crowd which is a violation of FAR (Federal Aviation Regulation) Part 91 policy. Though both his commanders were present and realized the violations, nothing was done.

12 July 1991

A change of command ceremony took place and Holland was aircraft commander. He performed the same maneuvers as he did during the air show except now he accomplished a "wingover", where the pilot rolls the aircraft onto its side and allows the nose of the aircraft to fall towards the Earth to regain speed. Damage can occur during this maneuver. This time his commanders realized this was setting a bad example for the younger B-52 crews, yet it is unknown whether Holland was punished.

17 May 1992

During the airshow Holland exceeded the recommended bank angles and performed a flyby down the runway. At the end of the pass he completed a high pitch angle climb, or pitch up, at about 60 degrees nose high, and leveled off with a wingover. Though it is known that Holland was verbally reprimanded, there is no documentation.

14 & 15 April 1993

This time Holland was mission commander of a two aircraft exercise to bomb ranges in the South Pacific. During an exercise named Global Power, Holland permitted his crew members to photograph his wingman at close visual formation, as well as allowing one of his crew to film live munitions being released from the B-52. Both acts disregarded regulations. During this episode, the leadership both encouraged and discouraged Holland to act in the way he did. There was no disciplinary action taken.

8 August 1993

Holland was the 1993 Fairchild B-52 exhibition commander. Banking and pitch angles were exceeded. Holland was able to fly the aircraft at nearly a 90 degree angle. By this time many younger pilots wished to emulate Holland. At least two incidents occurred where less experienced pilots attempted to imitate Holland with a pitch-up and a fly-by at 60 degrees, both were successful. Holland was not disciplined.

10 March 1994

This day Holland flew practice munitions to a range in Yakima. An authorized film crew recorded the event. He was taped flying within 30 feet of the ground and during another pass prompted the film crew to duck for cover. During one of these passes the aircraft would most likely have crashed if the co-pilot, Captain Eric Jones, had not intervened. After the mission Jones stated he would not fly again with Holland to the squadron commander, Lt Col Mark C. McGeehan, who then recommended Holland be grounded. Holland was never grounded and these events prompted McGeehan to make the decision restricting his crews from flying with Holland unless he was in the aircraft. Holland was upset by the fact that McGeehan had attempted to have him grounded. Holland verbally confronted McGeehan by stating he did not respect him as a man, commander, or pilot.

17 June 1994

Holland flew the practice route in his B-52 in preparation for the upcoming airshow. He exceeded pitch and bank restrictions. His commander witnessed the display and concluded it was all within Air Force parameters. During the briefing for the show a few days earlier Holland had stated that he would perform another wingover and no one objected. By this time Holland's actions had polarized the air crews, many refused to fly with him. Also, the B-52 Wing was being dismantled at Fairchild so this airshow may have been the last one.

Time and time again the same phrase is repeated. "Nothing was done".

Now I for one agree that Holland was a complete and utter...... BUT, I would hope that today someone would stand up and say STOP.

Pontius Navigator
10th Jul 2007, 08:13
Search for "Holland+Yakima+Range": You'll get this thread:)

It throws its toys out of the pram for ANY word of less than 4 letters unless it is on the tiny exclusion list.

I thought the is a new trick. It isn't, just a longer string than

holland yakima range

no quotes no pluses

Cornish Jack
10th Jul 2007, 20:14
I venture to suggest that your hope will NOT be realised:(
Why so? Just look at the admiring comments which follow the various film clips of low flying and associated aerial stupidity which appear from time to time. There is a breed of flyer who will insist on ignoring all the tenets of commonsense and airmanship and indulge their exhibitionist streaks. Nothing new in this and it is not limited to the less skillful either.
It's not just supervisors who need to say STOP! The onus is equally on anyone who is aware of these practices; but the strength of character required to 'stand up and be counted' is beyond the majority of those involved in career aviation. I say this from a background of some 50-plus years in aviation and the loss of far too many friends and acquaintances from other people's idiocies. We are all wise AFTER the event but there are far too few who are prepared to be wise beforehand.:ugh:

PPRuNe Pop
10th Jul 2007, 21:22
I have witnessed in the past pilots who push the boundaries of an aircraft and their own ability. They have often ended in heap. Don Bullock, in an A26, was one such who defied the display director. He asked for an extra two minutes "why do you want an extra two minutes?" the display director asked. "So I can do a barrel roll at the end of my sequence" NO said the director again.

He did it anyway with 6 people on board, into the valley at Biggin Hill. Irresponsible, over confident and a plain old showoff. Holland and Bullock will be remembered for those. Sadly the people they kill get forgotten somehow.

Uncle Ginsters
10th Jul 2007, 22:43
Sorry, i haven't checked the original thread, but a full case-study highlighting the failings in leadership surrounding the whole incident can be found here:


(Sorry, can't get the link to work)

I think the case study is still used at Bentley Priory (if it's still there) on FSOC/FLAC/FSS-type course. It certainly used to be.

Uncle G :ok:

10th Jul 2007, 22:44
This is a smally w4ankers opinion. From all that I have read and seen it strikes me that Bud Holland saw himself as the Hero in a Dale Brown novel.

This does not strike me as the most professional way to fly an aircraft. The thing I cannot get over is the repeated warning bells that were just ignored..............

I would hope some of our colonists over the pond would be able to respond and say there is a system in place now to sort out this kind of behaviour.

YouTube - Spitfire Fly LOW over reporters head. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3NjBg80AMc&feature=related)

11th Jul 2007, 00:32
Cornish, in this particular case though it was the supervisory chain that failed, as a lot/most of Holland's peers/subordinates had already refused to fly with him! Surely that would make someone sit up and realise something is amiss?

11th Jul 2007, 02:08
There was yet another senior officer on this flight, in the jump seat i believe, i think he was an OC Ops equivalent or OC Stds. Anyway i am told by guys from Bud Hollands squadron that it was the guys last flight in the airforce and that his wife and kids were stood on the dispersal with a tray of champagne and glasses for 'Dad'. How tragic does it get? We must learn from Bud Holland, whether a junior pilot or a supervisor. Nobody up the chain had the bo****ks to say NO!

11th Jul 2007, 02:45
Tigs, the really scary thing is Bud Holland was "OC Stds"....

11th Jul 2007, 13:39
absolutely right sir! I think therefore the Senior Officer in the Jump Seat that was on his last flight must have been OC Ops. Can anyone help?

Great question. All i know is that many people on type said that he regularly flew the aircraft 'beyond limits'. Now that implies to me that checks should have been done, if they were or not, i have no idea.

11th Jul 2007, 14:22
Killed in the crash were Lt Col Arthur "Bud" Holland, the Chief of the 92d Bomb Wing Standardization and Evaluation branch. Lt Col Holland, an instructor pilot, was designated as the aircraft commander and was undoubtedly flying the aircraft at the time of the accident. 4 (http://s92270093.onlinehome.us/CRM-Devel/resources/paper/darkblue/darkblue.htm#4) The copilot was Lt Col Mark McGeehan, also an instructor pilot and the 325th Bomb Squadron (BMS) Commander. There is a great deal of evidence that suggests considerable animosity existed between the two pilots who were at the controls of Czar 52..
This was a result of Lt Col McGeehan's unsuccessful efforts to have Bud Holland "grounded" for what he perceived as numerous and flagrant violations of air discipline while flying with 325th BMS aircrews. Colonel Robert Wolff was the Vice Wing Commander and was added to the flying schedule as a safety observer by Col Brooks, the Wing Commander, on the morning of the mishap. This was to be Col Wolff's "fini flight," an Air Force tradition where an aviator is hosed down following his last flight in an aircraft. Upon landing, Col Wolff was to be met on the flightline by his wife and friends for a champagne toast to a successful flying career. The radar navigator position was filled by Lt Col Ken Huston, the 325th BMS Operations Officer.

Taken from one of the links on page 1.

11th Jul 2007, 16:23
the C130 South Cerney accident/incident Can someone explain that one ? What was the matter ? Thanks.

RAF pilot 'in deadly game of chicken' - News - The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/raf-pilot-in-deadly-game-of-chicken-1327162.html)

11th Jul 2007, 19:00
One of the C-130 community might like to answer this, but it was a fatal accident involving a C-130 and a soldier on the ground.

Pontius Navigator
11th Jul 2007, 20:21
Chris, I read your unedited post. It was indeed sad.

Maybe it should not have been posted here, and indeed it would not have been had the aircraft not been too low.

11th Jul 2007, 23:57
did the airframes need extra inspections or repairs after these flights?

According to this account (http://www.check-six.com/Crash_Sites/Czar52Crash.htm) he popped over 500 rivets on at least one occasion.

14th Jul 2007, 15:55
I imagine that the post flight inspection would have been expensive!

Two's in
14th Jul 2007, 23:13
It does demonstrate that the UK's approach to Authorization levels and approvals, QHI/QFI check rides and standardization check rides make it harder for this type of behavior to happen (but not impossible). In this case, the individual was part of the Unit Standards set up, so stopping it was a case of everyone in the chain that let him get there having to admit that gross errors in judgement had been made, sadly face saving took a higher priority than life saving.

15th Jul 2007, 05:05
Two's in

excellent post. It's also worth considering that he was 47 years old, had been a military pilot for 23 years, and had over 5000 hours on the B-52. I have faith that had he shown "rogue" traits early in his career he would have been shown the door.

15th Jul 2007, 11:14
I believe there is a book called the "Rogue Pilot" which (amongst others) outlines Bud Holland and the remarkable lack of structure which allowed him to cowboy around for far too long.

Memory is faded, but I thought the right seater had refused to fly, so the senior sqd ldr (?) took his place.

A bit like the lear driver that barrel rolled (at alt) on his last flight before joining a major freight co. Split S'd (poorly), chewed up 20,000 odd feet, and bent the wings beyond repair. At least they lived.........

Y'all be safe now.

15th Jul 2007, 14:07
Excellent case study on Bud Holland and institutional failings here (http://www.crm-devel.org/resources/paper/darkblue/darkblue.htm).

15th Jul 2007, 14:57
........and in posts #7 and #22..........................:ugh:

Two's in
15th Jul 2007, 18:33
I have faith that had he shown "rogue" traits early in his career he would have been shown the door.

Hempy, perfect illustration that being as wary of a 5,000 hour pilot as a 500 hour pilot will keep you the right side of the pine box for longer, whoever you fly with. Reputations are no respecter of the laws of physics.

15th Jul 2007, 19:11
But if he had made the turn and subsequently retired then he would now be regarded as perhaps one of the finest B52 pilots. But how did he get it so wrong?

Brewster Buffalo
15th Jul 2007, 19:26
Looking at the videos etc he seems to have pushed the B52 to the limit again and again and then his luck ran out...very sad..but given his history there was a likelyhood it would end this way..:(

I wonder if he was this reckless from the start of his flying career?

15th Jul 2007, 20:47
Hempy, perfect illustration that being as wary of a 5,000 hour pilot as a 500 hour pilot will keep you the right side of the pine box for longer, whoever you fly with. Reputations are no respecter of the laws of physics.

Absolutely. However, I guess what I was trying to say is that the Bud Holland case needs to be looked at in perspective. Because of the circumstances involved we look at it in horror and think "how on earth could they let this happen?", but in reality they odds off these things happening often if ever aren't high. This is no mitigation for those involved in Bud Hollands example, but how many 23 year veterans turn unstable?

His record only came into question in an official way 3 years before the crash, and surely even the most apathetic command structure or apprehensive junior officers couldn't put up with such behaviour un-officially for much longer than that, so lets call it 5. From what I can gather, his early career was exemplary, as witnessed by his OFR's.

Most 20 year veteran pilots I know are consummate professionals, and the reason for that is that military flying is Darwinian. The crap gets weeded out over the years. As you said, its worth being wary of a 500 hour pilot; they haven't earned their stripes, so to speak. But I am confident that the "system" in place in the USAF/RAF/RCAF/RAAF/RNZAF etc is generally proficient enough to make sure that junior pilots who display those traits are suitably dealt with.

The Bud Holland situation was an oddity, certainly one to be wary of happening again, but not one we need to be jumping at shadows over either. I am happy to give a 5000 hour pilot the respect and trust he/she deserves, until such time as he or she proves otherwise.

galaxy flyer
16th Jul 2007, 02:52
I think the USAFs requirement for moving senior officers around to get promoted has much to do with the Holland story. My understanding is he had stayed at Fairchild for many years and had "seen them come and seen them go". The "them" being commanders on the way up. For someone in command, the instinctive answer to a Bud Holland is to not raise to much stink as it might stick to them and their careers. So, give a stiff finger verbal reprimand, try to hold him in check long enough to move on to a new billet and promotion. Col Pellerin was enroute to a Wing Commander's job until the facts caught up to him. JAGs that worked for Pellerin thought he got a raw deal (!).

I had a rogue in one of my squadrons, broke rules, got the job done at the expense of the crew. Myself and others had to forcefully twist the wing commander's arm to make him face was the problem. He liked the guy because he accomplished any mission. The squadron hated him,we finally beat the wing commander into agreeing. JUST before he committed armed robbery of the base shoppette. Go figure.

Ultimately, only a bunch of integrity and willingness to put your career on the line can stop these guys. If he didn't crash, and he might not have, he could have gone on to retirement a respected officer and pilot.


21st Jul 2007, 12:48
PZ, youtube is full of cowboys who share Holland's disregard for safety.

Here are a couple more (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=bmOiF4FppYI) to add to your interesting article.:ok:

22nd Jul 2007, 23:51
Low flying at airshows brings out the gasps from spectators. Have look at this screen grab from an 8-mm film I shot at one of the Biggin Hill Battle of Britain displays in the 1960's. I estimate aircraft was around 20ft above the crowd and inverted.

Identification of the aircraft type and at which year's BoB I took the film would be welcome.






Climbing away - still inverted

Very Late PS. It was Neil Williams

23rd Jul 2007, 04:47
Identification of the aircraft type and at which year's BoB I took the film would be welcome.
My guess is that it is a Zlin Trener.

23rd Jul 2007, 09:54
BAF F104, 500kts rolls, 20 feet. Touch, go, roll, touch, go, roll, touch go, tops 50 feet.

Professionals highly impressed and standing well back, OC Ops Apoplectic (it might have been apocalyptic too if he had landed in the nuclear bomb dump or hitthe QRA aircraft).

23rd Jul 2007, 11:16
Ah yes! The 'Mad Major' of the BAF:)

23rd Jul 2007, 11:19
Ah yes! The 'Mad Major' of the BAF:)

Did he become old as well as bold?

Also remember post airshow departure at Oldenburg. Jets lifted off, round the circuit, lower and lower cross the airfield. USAF F111 weeny (:)) airborne and disappeared straight ahead in the murk. Couple of days later (well it seemed like it) near transonic pass on the deck. :}

Then the Kreigsmarine Atlantic. Unlike the rest that entered the circuit this simply lifted off, undercarriage up, and banked hard through the hardened shelters between runway and taxi-way straight for the control tower. Quick wings level, I think, as he passed over the radar aerials, I think, as I was lying head down at the time as well as nursing a massive 3-day hangover.

23rd Jul 2007, 11:21
OC Ops apocalyptic This word, I don' think it mean what you think it mean.... :cool:

Apoplectic maybe....

23rd Jul 2007, 11:26
Quite right ORAC, I couldn't spell it and my spell chucker only threw up the one word.

Ah, a long and tiring weekend as I sit here in the English summer, sweater on, shivering over a cold keyboard.

23rd Jul 2007, 11:27
Or perhaps the Apocalypse was immanent for the pilot of the BAF F104!:}

23rd Jul 2007, 11:54
Or perhaps the Apocalypse was impending for the pilot of the BAF F104!

23rd Jul 2007, 13:26
Mad Major. Is this him? :uhoh:


23rd Jul 2007, 13:35
One way of drying the crowds. I was clearly standing well back <vbg>

23rd Jul 2007, 14:26
That's the one! Stop him!
Actually one of his higher passes.:)

23rd Jul 2007, 15:21
I had a still of this mad man flying inverted up the Danube with the top of his fin in the water, but I can't find it in my computer, I may have the name wrong anyway but here is a link to another man with no fear, flying an SU29(?) inverted, under a very low bridge. Very scary!

23rd Jul 2007, 16:49
'In' Cannes Bay (Post #7) in http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=284855

7th Feb 2008, 16:08
Oh my goodness BOAC, the photo in your link is... well, I am lost for words!

7th Feb 2008, 16:18
Lost for words? How about this: The Flying Lions (http://www.flyinglions.co.za/water_skiing.htm)


Youtube: The Runway is Wet (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waF-xwyEi1w)

1st Mar 2008, 00:40
Since water has a much higher density than air and the drag encountered by moving the aircraft's fin through water is much greater than that encountered by moving it through air, I'm amazed that the vertical stab or the whole tail didn't simply part company with the rest of the aircraft!?

Me thinks it is an example of someone willing to go to any length to perform the 'greatest' flying stunt.:yuk:

20th Oct 2008, 13:50
I assume that such a performance would mean the end of a career today?

icarus sun
21st Oct 2008, 15:24
If it is true that senior officers did not do anything about this person.And his problems led to the accident they should be fired,however high up the tree they are.

21st Oct 2008, 19:04


What's the story on the -104?

21st Oct 2008, 19:29
Some Belgian gentleman IIRC.
Looks like telephoto foreshortening might be a contributory factor to the overall effect as the crowd members visible don't seem to be unduly perturbed.

21st Oct 2008, 19:37
The F-104 photo has been discussed before.

AFAIR. the verdict was 'Photoshopped'.

Pontius Navigator
21st Oct 2008, 19:56
If it is the same, and the weather looks right, it was a one-off airshow at RAF Cottesmore circa 1965 when Finningley was closed.

The crowd line, IIRC, was 400 feet to the south of the main runway. At the 23 end, in the dispersal near the marshalling point were 3 nuclear armed bombers on alert.

The F104 was of the Belgian Air Force and flown by a staff officer, a major, reputedly flying for his flying hours related pay. I do not recall him flying that close to the crowd but I can attest to the height.

He flew twinkle rolls down the runway at 20 feet and did roller landings at 50 feet.

The roller involved touching down, lifting off, rolling at 50 feet, touching down and doing a second roll at 50 feet.

I am not sure which was faster. OC Ops, Wg Cdr Digman, in his staff car racing for air traffic of the mad major coming round for a second time. He was told to depart straight ahead and never to return but he did!

Don't recall what happened after that.

21st Oct 2008, 20:53
PN His children went on to become the "Sleivers" in the early '70s.
At the practice day for the St Mawgan air day they arrived flying "up" cardiac hill towards the airfield at about 50 ft and at SHQ they rotated to the vertical in full a/b doing upward charlies as they went. HTS (and he WAS a Harry) almost cut his throat in the tangle of the office venetian blind as he tried to see WTHWH. He then burned up to the tower as the pair did opposition manouevres at about 20ft down the runway for their "practice"!
On the day itself it was funny to watch the cheapskates jumping off the roofs of their cars as one of them approached the threshold of 31 below the height of the approach lights. Happy days.
The Ancient Mariner

PS they'd hang them for it nowadays.

21st Oct 2008, 21:12
Pontius. I bow to your superior memory and withdraw the Photoshopped charge.

Slightly off, but mention of OC Ops and Displays.....

Finningley, 1976 Press Day. (The Friday before the main event). Aircraft inbound from all points of the compass. ATC pretty maxed out. Aircraft stacked everywhere. Organised chaos.

Enter the Patrouille de France with their Magisters.

'Finningley Tower, Good Moaning, Patrouille de France 10 kilometer to ze North to join"

'Patrouille, Finningley Tower, join Runway 21. QFE 1021. Cleared straight in to land, VC-10 at 8 miles finals, Victor at 12 miles finals, etc etc ' Basically, every man and his dog wanting to land.

'Finningley, Patrouiile, Request 10 mineetes display practeece'

'Patrouille, Tower, negative, straight in to land please'.

'Tower, Patrouille, roger' then various French mumbles on freq.

'Tower, Patrouille, finals'

'Patrouille, clear land, surface wind 200 at 10 knots'


'Tower, Patrouille, overshooting, overshooting Go'

and straight into a display practice.

The whole of the Arrivals Timetable goes to ratshit. Aircraft are scattered all over the Yorkshire/Nottinghamshire skies. The SMO's cat has kittens 2 minutes before the SATCO does. OC Ops is apoplectic, the Local Controller is a gibbering wreck.

After 10 minutes of 'practeese', the Magisters finally land and taxy in.

OC Ops Mini breaks the sound barrier from ATC to the other side of the airfield to 'interview' the Patrouille Leader, only to find a French Air Force 2* (General de division Arien), complete with lit Gallouise cigarette and cockpit ashtray, grinning at him from the rear seat of Patrouille One.

How do you [email protected]<hidden> a 2*?

Did 'rank' overcome 'leadership'?

Pontius Navigator
21st Oct 2008, 22:09
taxydual, not at all. I was not suggesting that it was not photoshopped. What I meant by 400 feet was that distance from the crowd line to the runway was 400 feet and that our hero indeed flew down the runway. He did for the rolls as well as the rollers.

No, the image could have been photoshopped or possibly th einfamous telephoto lens does not lie :)

He certainly was not as close as the picture suggests.

I am not sure what that is above the heads of the crowds but below the aircraft. It looks a little like distant trees of which, of course, Cottesmore has none. The umbrella and the F104 were both features of the Cottesmore show which suggests that that is where this picture was.

21st Oct 2008, 23:04
I remember seeing a video of a Phantom perfoming a flypast at a graduation parade at Cranwell in about 1985. Too low (below the towers), ground sink, so full reheat over the parade. Cue caps, dignataries etc being blown in all directions. I was told that the pilot escaped any disciplinary action because his briefing had been "Go and give them a good one!". Does anyone else remember this video, or indeed the incident itself? Is the video available anywhere or has it remained within the Service?

Pontius Navigator
22nd Oct 2008, 08:32
mabmac, the pilot certainly did not get away with it. The full story is somewhere here on pprune but the nav in the back, a nav student wg cdr OC Ops Desig (Leuchars) lost 6 months seniority and possibly a reprimand at the courts martial.

22nd Oct 2008, 09:01
The tape shows a descending turn with slight wing rock as the aircraft rounded Whittle Hall....

72' agl was the alleged minimum to which it descended.

The tape used to be used on the Flying Supervisors' Course as an example - it has, to the best of my knowledge, not leaked into the spotters' world.

Mods, if we get any stupid links to ill-disciplined SOAF low flying clips, please close the thread!

22nd Oct 2008, 11:12
I was also at St Mawgan when 'The Slivers' arrived. Standing looking out of the OM windows down the hill when I noticed a flash of light and two smoke trails below the level of the mess which rapidly became the two 104s coming up the hill - a sight to behold. Some years later they displayed at Odiham Families Day, and I also have a photo of them coming along the crowd line just as low and close as the picture above - unfortunately I was using a telephoto lens and all I got was the nose and intakes (and the heads of those around who were ducking!).

IIRC the Arrows display at the same St Mawgan airday was even lower over the airfield than the Slivers - certainly could only see the tails of the Gnats going past in front of the crowd line (someone said their min display ht was 20ft at that time!).

22nd Oct 2008, 11:16
Anybody remember that other Belgian team , "The Fennecs" (2xSF260s).
Synchronised flick roll immediately after getting airborne.
O.K. they gained height slightly during the flick, so the ballistics were heading in the right direction.
I guess it demonstrated confidence in the aeroplane .........:ooh:

22nd Oct 2008, 17:04
One of the most interesting teams I ever saw was the 'Wings of Portugal' (think I got the name right) at Finningley, must have been 1978 I think. They were all over the shop - I think the plan was for formation aeros, but it looked more like a dogfight where everyone was going for a gun kill...usually in a different direction.

I saw them later in their career and they were much more normal about it, much to my disappointment as I found their original routine quite entertaining.

Closely matched by the 50th HAF anniversary flypast we were supposed to tag onto in our mighty brown bomber in the early 80's as 50 (?) fighters formed up in a massive flypast over the airbase. We ran in alone, eventually, after spending an exciting period calling in 2's and 3's who were whizzing absolutely everywhere - intercom sounded like the soundtrack from Memphis Belle as the German fighters are attacking.

26th Oct 2008, 03:48
Icarus Sun;
If it is true that senior officers did not do anything about this person.And his problems led to the accident they should be fired,however high up the tree they are.

If only this were equally and universally applied Bud Holland may not have had the chance to die in such a manner...

13th Aug 2010, 16:18
This thread has been around a while now, yet the subject (particularly the CRM aspect) still fascinates me.

This page is terrifying, thought provoking, interesting and has been updated recently:

CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE/MAPS ETC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_Fairchild_Air_Force_Base_B-52_crash)



5th Jul 2013, 16:40
Anybody remember that other Belgian team , "The Fennecs" (2xSF260s).
Synchronised flick roll immediately after getting airborne.
O.K. they gained height slightly during the flick, so the ballistics were heading in the right direction.
I guess it demonstrated confidence in the aeroplane .........

I went to CFB Cold Lake on det. Every afternoon a nicely painted Canadian F-18 display jet would go up for a practice. It amazed me every time, as soon as the wheels left the ground it would do a dirty roll or half roll just a few feet off the runway, then it would sit on its tail and look like it climbed 90 deg vertical.

Embarrassingly made our GR4's look badly painted, slow and heavy. In one of the bars (Original Joes?) the locals said they knew when we were on det by the amount of noise our GR4 make. That'll be the "constant speed variable noise" throttle box.

One of the Canadian Airmen saw our GR4's fly overhead and said "Dude I'm seeing things, I swear I saw the wing just move".
"Must tighten up the bolt on the wing root when it lands :}".

5th Jul 2013, 18:34
Quiet weekend in Leeming tower in the late '60s (then open 24/7 as a Master Airfield). Belgian pair (F104s) doing display somewhere up North (Sunderland Air Show ?), came in to us to refuel before starting back.

Could they do a low run past Tower after take off ? - Certainment !

They went into a/b for the low run. Leader was low, but No.2 left a long scorch trail on our (quite short) grass.

I've never seen anything so low. They were probably one of the pairs already mentioned. (Come to think of it, they used to drive like that as well over there then).


5th Jul 2013, 18:56
The Slievers came to Leeming for the 1971(?) open day and marked their arrival by a flypast parallel to 16 at about 20 feet.

When ATC complained about their having come below the briefed 200 feet minimum, their response was something like 'we did keep to 200 feet, but they were little feet".

Milo Minderbinder
6th Jul 2013, 11:26
Going back to the Starfighters...... the German Navy "Vikings" at Yeovilton 1982 were rather impressive and........low....
rather got the impression they were trying to do something "special" in view of what was happening down south
I can't find any video of it, but if any is around I think you'll find it it worth watching. Lowest, fastest, closest (and closest to the crowd) of any display I've seen.

Alan Mills
7th Jul 2013, 10:59
So, do you reckon you were badly supervised also?

The Old Fat One
7th Jul 2013, 12:15
^^ I think you'll find he has long gone from here. And if you are referring to what I think you are referring too, he was always very honest about it.

QED on that from me.

7th Jul 2013, 15:49
The Slievers came to Leeming for the 1971(?) open day and marked their arrival by a flypast parallel to 16 at about 20 feet.

When ATC complained about their having come below the briefed 200 feet minimum, their response was something like 'we did keep to 200 feet, but they were little feet".


More Slivers photo here :eek:



The two pilots are still around.

Then...and now.....



7th Jul 2013, 15:55

The F-104 is a beautiful looking aircraft, it just looks fast.

15th Jan 2015, 16:33

The original image of the Dutch F-104 was taken at Volkel AB in the 1980s.


Someone has photoshopped it with the crowd.



See following post by photographer, Robbert Snijders.

Scramble Messageboard ? Information (http://forum.scramble.nl/viewtopic.php?p=158060#p158060)

15th Jan 2015, 18:04
Close, but not the same image. Look at the tail plane position relative to the canopy.
Not saying that it is not from the same sequence though (although I doubt it).

15th Jan 2015, 21:34
It's the same low pass... don't focus on the 104 details.... look at the people in the foreground.... identical

16th Jan 2015, 05:08
Stone 69
The original image of the Dutch F-104 was taken at Volkel AB in the 1980s.
Someone has photoshopped it with the crowd.
........ is what I was referring to.

In the B&W case the upper image is merely an enlarged and slightly rotated version of the other.

16th Jan 2015, 15:38
I was at Yeovilston in '82. Oddly enough I don't remember seeing the F104's but I still have hearing damage from the "re-enactment" of the retaking of Port Stanley.

They airlifted in a battery of 105mm howitzers about 50m from the crowdline and then seemed to use up all the blank ammo they had been issued for the year. I got stuck in front of Motorheads speaker stacks a few years later and thought it was restful in comparison.

17th Jan 2015, 17:55
I was there with the Nimrod on static. The bangs still stand out from all other subsequent airshows. I seem to remember the RN lot saying that they had brought all of the explosives back from the Falklands so there was not the normal financial restriction on the amount they could use.

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