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Air Display 'C*ck Ups'

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Air Display 'C*ck Ups'

Old 14th Jan 2010, 12:12
  #241 (permalink)  
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At my home town airshow many many Moons ago....USN S-2 "Stoof" taxiing for takeoff at the end of the show. Tower cleared him to depart RWY 15 which originates at the main Ramp. The Tannoy carrying the radio chat went like this (more or less).....

Navy 123 cleared for takeoff runway 15 (6500 feet long x 150 wide), contact Greensboro Approach 118.x after takeoff, maintain 3,000 until further advised.

Navy 123....affirms the instructions.....

Loud application of power to the two big Recips on the Stoof...

Tower.... Navy 123.... You do have the Fairchild-Hiller Factory in sight at your Twelve O'Clock don't you?

Navy 123.... Fairchild Hiller Factory....Where?

Tower..... I cleared you for 15...the Main Runway....you are on Old 18....which is not used since they built that large red brick building on it!

Instant silence.....both from the Tannoy and the two big Recips....and squealing sound of brakes/tires and smell of burning rubber in the air!
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 12:30
  #242 (permalink)  
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I recall a fairly eventful show at Prestwick in the 90s. A Sea Fury had a problem with its undercarriage (one up, one down). Despite the best efforts of the pilot nothing could be done to rectify the problem so the decision was taken to ditch in the Forth of Clyde. Almost immediately this drama had played out a BA 747 enroute to the 'states had a suspected fire on-board and performed an emergency landing at the field. Realised that the airshow gods were against them, the organisers decided to cancel the rest of the show

Anyone heard the apocryphal story of a B1 tearing up the runway at Blackbushe, having mistaken it for Farnborough?
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 13:48
  #243 (permalink)  

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Yep. And B-52. Not apocryphal, Yanks, not Greeks.

Last edited by Gainesy; 14th Jan 2010 at 15:01.
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 14:57
  #244 (permalink)  
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B-52 and Blackbushe

Initially, everyone thought 'tee hee, dumb spams have the wrong aerodrome'. However, I read somewhere that what actually happened was that the Buff crew arrived on time at the planned position, but the show was running late. ATC then made them hold at a location from which they could not safely haul the Buff around to conduct their planned display, so after a couple of holds they left the area in righteous disgust at the ineptitude of the display manager.....
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 19:53
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As I understand it- the a/c had just flown over direct from Minot AFB it flew over Odiham and proceeded downwind to the south of Farnborough when cleared in to display he was asked if he was visual with the field to which he replied yes, when all realised it was Blackbushe he had identified it was then too late to turn in, as this was a trade day I suspect the display was running on time.
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 20:37
  #246 (permalink)  
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Having listened to it on the Radio at Farnborough, Beagle has got it just about how I heard it. The B52 (operating from Fairford post RIAT) was asked to make a turn that he had no chance of making, so decided to leave. IIRC he made a call that he was passing over Blackbushe so he knew where he was.
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 21:42
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Picture below shows the "Goose" not exactly going to plan at Biggin Hill last year!

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Old 16th Jan 2010, 02:18
  #248 (permalink)  
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Question asked of SR-71 pilot Brian Suhl, USAF retired, "What was the slowest you ever flew the Blackbird?"

As a former SR-71 pilot, and a professional keynote speaker, the question I'm most often asked is "How fast would that SR-71 fly?" I can be assured of hearing that question several times at any event I attend. It's an interesting question, given the aircraft's proclivity for speed, but there really isn’t one number to give, as the jet would always give you a little more speed if you wanted it to. It was common to see 35 miles a minute. Because we flew a programmed Mach number on most missions, and never wanted to harm the plane in any way, we never let it run out to any limits of temperature or speed. Thus, each SR-71 pilot had his own individual “high” speed that he saw at some point on some mission. I saw mine over Libya when Khadafy fired two missiles my way, and max power was in order. Let’s just say that the plane truly loved speed and effortlessly took us to Mach numbers we hadn’t previously seen.

So it was with great surprise, when at the end of one of my presentations, someone asked, “what was the slowest you ever flew the Blackbird?” This was a first. After giving it some thought, I was reminded of a story that I had never shared before, and relayed the following.

I was flying the SR-71 out of RAF Mildenhall, England, with my back-seater, Walt Watson; we were returning from a mission over Europe and the Iron Curtain when we received a radio transmission from home base. As we scooted across Denmark in three minutes, we learned that a small RAF base in the English countryside had requested an SR-71 fly-past. The air cadet commander there was a former Blackbird pilot, and thought it would be a motivating moment for the young lads to see the mighty SR-71 perform a low approach. No problem, we were happy to do it. After a quick aerial refueling over the North Sea, we proceeded to find the small airfield.

Walter had a myriad of sophisticated navigation equipment in the back seat, and began to vector me toward the field. Descending to subsonic speeds, we found ourselves over a densely wooded area in a slight haze. Like most former WWII British airfields, the one we were looking for had a small tower and little surrounding infrastructure. Walter told me we were close and that I should be able to see the field, but I saw nothing. Nothing but trees as far as I could see in the haze. We got a little lower, and I pulled the throttles back from 325 knots we were at. With the gear up, anything under 275 was just uncomfortable. Walt said we were practically over the field—yet; there was nothing in my windscreen. I banked the jet and started a gentle circling maneuver in hopes of picking up anything that looked like a field. Meanwhile, below, the cadet commander had taken the cadets up on the catwalk of the tower in order to get a prime view of the fly-past. It was a quiet, still day with no wind and partial gray overcast.

Walter continued to give me indications that the field should be below us but in the overcast and haze, I couldn’t see it. The longer we continued to peer out the window and circle, the slower we got. With our power back, the awaiting cadets heard nothing. I must have had good instructors in my flying career, as something told me I better cross-check the gauges. As I noticed the airspeed indicator slide below 160 knots, my heart stopped and my adrenalin-filled left hand pushed two throttles full forward. At this point we weren’t really flying, but were falling in a slight bank. Just at the moment that both afterburners lit with a thunderous roar of flame (and what a joyous feeling that was) the aircraft fell into full view of the shocked observers on the tower. Shattering the still quiet of that morning, they now had 107 feet of fire-breathing titanium in their face as the plane leveled and accelerated, in full burner, on the tower side of the infield, closer than expected, maintaining what could only be described as some sort of ultimate knife-edge pass.

Quickly reaching the field boundary, we proceeded back to Mildenhall without incident. We didn’t say a word for those next 14 minutes.

After landing, our commander greeted us, and we were both certain he was reaching for our wings. Instead, he heartily shook our hands and said the commander had told him it was the greatest SR-71 fly-past he had ever seen, especially how we had surprised them with such a precise maneuver that could only be described as breathtaking. He said that some of the cadet’s hats were blown off and the sight of the plate form of the plane in full afterburner dropping right in front of them was unbelievable. Walt and I both understood the concept of “breathtaking” very well that morning, and sheepishly replied that they were just excited to see our low approach.

As we retired to the equipment room to change from space suits to flight suits, we just sat there-we hadn’t spoken a word since “the pass.” Finally, Walter looked at me and said, “One hundred fifty-six knots. What did you see?” Trying to find my voice, I stammered, “One hundred fifty-two.” We sat in silence for a moment. Then Walt said, “Don’t ever do that to me again!” And I never did.

A year later, Walter and I were having lunch in the Mildenhall Officer’s club, and overheard an officer talking to some cadets about an SR-71 fly-past that he had seen one day. Of course, by now the story included kids falling off the tower and screaming as the heat of the jet singed their eyebrows. Noticing our HABU patches, as we stood there with lunch trays in our hands, he asked us to verify to the cadets that such a thing had occurred. Walt just shook his head and said, “It was probably just a routine low approach; they’re pretty impressive in that plane. Impressive indeed.

Little did I realize after relaying this experience to my audience that day that it would become one of the most popular and most requested stories. It’s ironic that people are interested in how slow the world’s fastest jet can fly. Regardless of your speed, however, it’s always a good idea to keep that cross-check up…and keep your Mach up, too.

Wonder what Cirrus on another thread would make of this elementary "mistake".
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Old 16th Jan 2010, 06:52
  #249 (permalink)  
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As we left said show, the Herc passed overhead with gear down and said towbar still attached - albeit not pointing forwards.

It then flew by the tower with gear up and no towbar.
I can understand the odd pin being missed, but a towbar - surely not!

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Old 16th Jan 2010, 09:11
  #250 (permalink)  
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That Blackbird story - Now that is a story. It hath bought a grin, big and shiny to an otherwise pants morning at work.
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Old 17th Jan 2010, 09:52
  #251 (permalink)  
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Just two small things.
B.O.B. day Gaydon '62 or 3.
Four of Handley-Page's finest parked on the pans for a real live scramble. Man steps out on to the grass and fires a flare.
Seconds later all hell as erm,.....three of Handley-Page's finest blast off. Presumably the engines wouldn't start or whatever on what was the third one.
Fast forward a few years to B.O.B. day 1966. Gaydon has lost it's V- bombers and now has V-trainers. A demonstration of a very short take off by a Varsity. Engines wind up to a furious sound, brakes are released, Varsity rolls off fairly rapidly, lifts off after an impressively short run and promptly sits down again. We sixteen year old aeronautical "experts" concluded that the driver was trying a bit too hard and was short of a few knots.
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Old 17th Jan 2010, 21:13
  #252 (permalink)  
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SR71 story

It is sooo unfair can SR71 guys have their own page cos their stories are always gonna Top Trump ours!!
Wonderful story!! I remember seeing SR71 pass thru Colt shortly after I joined up, awesome!
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 16:29
  #253 (permalink)  
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Private Pilots Poor Performances

2 incidents come to mind. Rolls Royce Hucknall Air Display early 1970's All green Cosmic Wind. Charming pilot approaches self and boss. (Sqn Ldr) 'Can we help him start up' 3 ringer jumps at chance. 'By gum lad not swung a prop for ages' you get the drift....Many soul destroying hours later we both have aching arms and the damned thing still won't start. Pilot becoming fazed that he will miss his departure time when suddenly the motor catches.....Events as they say moved swiftly.
Aircraft rockets off to intercept runway about half way along its length. A barrage of red very's erupt from tower with Cosmic pilot taking not the blindest bit of notice and oblivious to the Chipmunk pair entering left to start their display. Monks think reds for them and sheer off just as swifty roars off in fighter fashion hauls to the left and passes underneath the bewildered UAS guys. SATCO now dancing a fandango on the balcony demanding to speak to.' whoever started that silly bas...d up' I left the 3 ringer to sort that out....

Kings Cup race day Tollerton. Me newly issued P/O given job of plane guard for Sheila Scotts 'Myth Too' a well travelled record breaking piper attracting lots of attention from the adoring public. Tanker rolls up to refuel, barriers moved crowd usherd back. All except one cove, smoking a cigar leaning on port wing. Tanker driver waiting patiently. Me 'Would sir mind moving behind the barrier and not smoking' Reply Airily, 'Oh I'm Royal Aero Club Old Boy doncha know' Me. 'In that case sir you should know better than to smoke whilst an aircraft is being refueled' By now a young copper has appeared. 'Please comply sir or I'll run you in' Really says chummy. Never been so insulted and makes off in a huff. He'd have been better staying in it, rather than mounting his trusty Cessna for not many minutes later he nearly causes a pileup onthe runway taxiing out and lining up just as a Twin Bonanza is about to land.

Small time air displays and PPL pilots...a recipe for mayhem
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 19:07
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Is it true that after the 1993 RIAT 'bump', one of the two Russian pilots sparked up a tab, walked over and smacked his colleague square in the nose?

Heard that from a few people but its always been one of those stories started with "Apparently..."
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 21:04
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That is correct ... a colleague of mine had to separate them!
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Old 14th Aug 2010, 00:07
  #256 (permalink)  
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Apologies for the gaff, dangers of posting in the early morning after a long day...

Best to all.
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Old 14th Aug 2010, 01:12
  #257 (permalink)  
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If my memory serves me right, I believe I saw the G222 at RIAT grind it's nose into the main runway, certainly in 2002, on the Saturday, and previously I think in 1998 or there abouts?!

Following the 2002 incident I was in the Hotel dining room on the Sunday morning and asked an older gentleman and fellow spot... aviation enthusiast if he was heading back for the second day. No he told me in complete disgust. He complained "they didn't do half the stuff they said they were going to do" not strictly true of course. But when I reminded him that there had been a G222 unexpectedly stuck on the Runway, he roared that the pilot "should have been court-martialled for that"

My point is, I'm not sure if he meant for busting a G222 or spoiling your man's day????

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Old 14th Aug 2010, 08:36
  #258 (permalink)  
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Thank you, ABX.

I've deleted my comment.
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Old 14th Aug 2010, 09:03
  #259 (permalink)  
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I believe I saw the G222 at RIAT grind it's nose into the main runway
YouTube - G-222 crash at RAF Fairford 2002 www.globemaster.de
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Old 14th Aug 2010, 16:26
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I believe I saw the G222 at RIAT grind it's nose into the main runway
I was in the crowd when it happened and darn near messed me pants as for an instant I thought it was going to veer into the crowd. Had me in mind of the Buffalo crash at Farnborough - the Giat's spar is obviously made of sterner stuff.

Red faces all around - I never did hear what happened to the crew in question. It was semi-amusing to see RIAT's attempts to keep some semblance of a flying display going after it happened - Hercs being diverted in from Lyneham for a solitary fly-past etc.
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