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Whoops - Dutch F-16 pilot strafes range control tower

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Whoops - Dutch F-16 pilot strafes range control tower

Old 11th Nov 2013, 17:21
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Whoops - Dutch F-16 pilot strafes range control tower

From Flight Global:-

The Royal Netherlands Air Force has launched an investigation after a Lockheed Martin F-16AM pilot accidentally strafed the control tower at the Vliehors range on the island of Vlieland during a training flight on 4 November. During the incident, several live rounds from the aircraft's 20mm cannon caused minor damage to the tower. Two controllers who were inside the building at the moment of the attack were not injured.

The pilot had been supposed to hit a strafing target that was located approximately 500m (1,640ft) away from the control tower. It is not yet clear what the reason for the mistake was, with a security committee to investigate the incident.

Located to the north of the Netherlands, the Vliehors range is the only facility in the country where the air force can conduct live-fire training.

The recent incident is not the first such mishap to have been recorded at the Vliehors range. In 2001, the crew of a German air force Panavia Tornado hit the same control tower with cannon fire, while in 1992 a Royal Danish Air Force F-16 pilot fired an air-to-ground missile which resulted in one range staff member suffering minor injuries.
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 17:35
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Specsavers would love the video of that.............!!
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 17:47
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I met a Range Officer once - wasn't interested on my best or average weapons scores, just the worst. Now I know why!
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 17:48
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Do you think they will get a coherent statement from the two guys in the Tower?
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 18:01
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20mm, whaa

At Wainfleet the USAF used a 15 kg bomb and hit it. The RAF only used a 3 kg and missed.
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 18:07
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I had to go digging for a 28lb S&F Practice Death Weapon at Wainfleet a few years ago. The impact point was scored as 20ft at 6 o'clock... On the range tower.

It had been launched from a 'toss-profile' by a RAFG Tonka, allegedly.

The tower is/was located some some 1.5 miles from the intended target area which was a mile out in the Wash past the sea-bank. In those days the tower was located in the SW corner of the range compound, not as is shown now on gargle-earth in the NW corner.

Tonka was ordered off the range; the Death Weapon was never located...
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 18:19
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Didn't a mighty Jag miss Sardinia and lobbed its bomb out to sea?
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 18:50
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a mighty Jag
Not the incident you were suggesting but another (albeit headlines only) here....
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 18:59
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It was a while ago....

....as Range Control Officer at the Rashid range in Dubai (where all the expensive hotels are now) I watched the fall of a 25lb practice bomb fro a Shack at 15000ft (Medium level bombing) as it fell I thought "That's nowhere near the target" and looked under the binos and guessed that the likely impact point would be the other quadrant hut (where all the measurements were taken from). The Master Siggie over there had also reached the same conclusion and hurdled the wall to land on the LRVehicle bonnet and drove away like a scalded cat. He got about 50 yards away and the bomb landed on the far side of the building.

Not surprisingly he was sptting nails, and expressed the wish not to go back to work while this crew were dropping.

This was the same afternoon that a Hunter mate tried to impress us by flying round the back of the range control hut at roof height. He did do it but failed to notice the HF aerial in the way and took a foot or two of his port wingtip off. Wobbling on his way back to Sharjah he had to jump out.

OOOOer missus! Excreta+fan - GO!

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(I'm sometimes surprised that I survived to BE ancient)
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 19:17
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Guy on a TWU course ahead of me pulled up dry from a dive attack, but hit the pickle button when closing the flap. His bomb ended up 4 1/2 miles at 12 o'clock, fortunately across an estuary and in an Army range on the other side. Another guy got a bullet back from the strafe target for his troubles - ricocheted in through the quarter light, rattled around the cockpit and was found under the ejection seat. Luckily he remembered to pull up!
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 19:21
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"Unbelieeeeevable at 12"
But sometimes, you really want too hear..."No-spot Sir"

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Old 11th Nov 2013, 19:26
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Shack at 15000ft (Medium level bombing)

Shum mistake shurely

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Old 11th Nov 2013, 21:17
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The 9 Squadron Ode

During post war bombing practice with a Canberra , 9 Squadron had the misfortune to bomb the toilet of a public house. This ode was written by an anonymous member of 9 Squadron to commemorate the event. It appears an attempt was made to blame the USAF
and this can be found in Hansard as the incident was raised in Parliament by the local MP.


The Prussian Queen



Oh dear what can the matter be
Three old ladies locked in a lavatory
Hiding from bombs from Monday to Saturday
But 9 Squadron knew they were there.

The first one's name was Elizabeth Bonner
She moved away for safety from Donna
But the bombs that were dropped still fell upon her
For 9 Squadron knew she was there.

The second one's name was Mary Lou Giles
She thought she was safe by four or five miles
'Til down came the bomb which banished her smiles
For 9 Squadron knew she was there.

Our third victims name was Mrs O'Conner
The two other ladies, they blamed it upon her
But Flavell knew better upstairs in his bomber,
he knew those old ladies were there.

Our story's nearly over, and I'm sorry to say
That 9 Squadron's aircraft are bombing today
So the ladies of Saltfleet are moving away
For the Prussian Queen's "Bog" is their target today
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 21:30
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This was the same afternoon that a Hunter mate tried to impress us by flying round the back of the range control hut at roof height. He did do it but failed to notice the HF aerial in the way and took a foot or two of his port wingtip off. Wobbling on his way back to Sharjah he had to jump out.
OC 20 Sqn on the Range Sardinia with one of the Avionics guys in the back decides to beat up the tower as he knows we ground crew are all visiting, nice view looking down on a Jag as it hurtles past close by and below window height, indeed so did the RAFG Flight Safety bod who had asked if he could come along with us to see some range work, he seemed Very interested in it..
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 21:43
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A good ode Eric. Great line "but 9 Squadron knew they were there"

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Old 11th Nov 2013, 21:51
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Talking of "bombing" from a Shackleton....

Back in the 1980s, some bright spark on 8 Sqn came up with the concept of combining an annual dinghy drill in the Moray Firth with a practice Lindholme Gear drop from a Shackleton. A Lindolme drop started with marking a flare path outbound from the dinghy using smoke floats - the Shackleton would then tear drop and, using the smoke trail as a marker, run back onto the dinghy to drop the Lindholme. The initial position of the dinghy was marked by the "bomb-aimer" in the nose (gash member of the radar team calling for another chap in the rear of the aircraft to manually drop the smoke float through a tube in the aircraft floor: "Mark! Mark!" using the dinghy as the target for the first smoke float, followed by timed smoke drops. Note - anyone on the crews called "Mark" was rechristened as his name was the executive command to drop a float whenever it was called).

Come the day of the exercise - we were the crew in the water with our 9 man dinghy - it was a nice day and so we were all sitting on the canopy watching the circling Shackleton as it prepared for the drop and bantering amongst ourselves ("sorry about the fuel figures, Skipper" said the flight engineer with a nervous laugh). In it came - 140kts at 140feet, when we saw the first smoke float leave the aircraft and come hurtling towards us. Normally, we were lucky to get the smoke float within 100 yards of the target (we had no actual aiming equipment - just a window and the Mk 1 eyeball combined with the reaction time of the man letting go of the float) but this one seemed to be heading straight for us. Should we dive into the water; what will happen if it hits; this is going to be close? We flinched and closed eyes....it missed by a few feet and ignited, smothering the dinghy in acrid smoke.

The converstion changed to "Who's bright idea was this?" (or unprintable words to that effect). The rest of the exercise went to plan and we watched in relief as the Shackleton disappeared back to Lossie while we waited for the Sea King to pick us up.

At the debrief afterwards, it was decided that we would not carry out a similar exercise in the future and the keen CSRO was given the cold shoulder for a while.
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 21:51
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Hartland Range once asked one of our TWU course at Heaven-in-Devon to give them a flypast on his way home from some air-to-air. To which he agreed....

"C/S, Hartland - never saw you. What height are you?"
"Hartland, err, C/S, err FL90...."



Word of which soon reached the staff. So, in the Pigs Book shortly afterwards appeared the following:

1. Flt Lt ******, fined 5 pigs for accepting an unauthorised flypast request.
2. Flt Lt ******, fined a further 10 pigs for letting the Sqn down by flying an utterly [email protected] flypast!!

Happy days on 63!!
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 22:09
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Flt Lt ******, fined a further 10 pigs for letting the Sqn down by flying an utterly [email protected] flypast!!
For a completely opposite telling off (and with total thread drift).. I heard of the display Vulcan crew who were authorised to carry out a flypast at a small air show en-route to their main event. After their fly through, the tower called up with a request.. could they have another flypast as they had just received a couple of cancellations and they had about 10 minutes to fill before the next aircraft? Telling ATC not to tell anyone, the Vulcan crew came to the fore and flew their full display as a favour.

A few days later, the Display pilot was called to see the Station Commander, hats on, and was given a telling off for flying an unauthorised display. As he left the office, wondering how he had been found out, the Stn Cdr's PA asked the miscreant to re-enter the Stn Cdr's office. On entering, he was congratulated by a grinning OC, and presented with the trophy from the small air show for the best display of the day.
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Old 11th Nov 2013, 22:26
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Back to Sardinia (who wouldn't?) and Frasca range, there is some good video on youtube under the title, 14Sqn Deci Range 1997. Well worth a watch and, some of the other vids by the same vid poster.

OAP

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Old 11th Nov 2013, 22:32
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EricFerret- story was still told when I was at Binbrook in early 80s. For a while I had a boat moored in Saltfleet Haven
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