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Tornado picture - wingtip a foot off the runway

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Tornado picture - wingtip a foot off the runway

Old 17th Apr 2015, 12:56
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Standard low fly min over the oggin for the SHAR was 50'. Stanley raid on 1 May 82 produced several HUD films showing between 5 and 15' RA over the sand dunes. It felt safer there somehow!

Still caught a 20mm though.

Last edited by Mogwi; 17th Apr 2015 at 12:57. Reason: Spellin!
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Old 17th Apr 2015, 15:22
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Tornado picture - wingtip a foot off the runway

Mogwi.

I dare say that if I was being shot at I could and would fly lower. That would be an excellent reason to test ones low(er) flying skills.

BV
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Old 17th Apr 2015, 15:46
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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And there was me thinking the only reason to fly as HIGH as 100/130/150/200ft (dependant on weapon carried) was to achieve weapon fusing.
Bill2b, I agree with much of your sentiment. The present day super safe, self-righteous sterilised pc people do eventually get to you. The way the present generation degrade what those who went before achieved sometimes is too much.
Yes we may have been dangerous, and sometimes downright stupid, but at least we could fly jets properly and have great fun doing it.
BV, don’t start quoting hours flown to gain credibility. There are some of us who achieved over double that fast jet and treble your total altogether. More incredibly we are still alive to tell the tale.
In the past 50 years every fast jet pilot (and nav) “worth their salt” has done at least one whacky takeoff.
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Old 17th Apr 2015, 16:08
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Tornado picture - wingtip a foot off the runway

Dominator.

Do you really want to side with an anonymous poster (bill2b) and sully your own good name?
If you reread my posts you will see that I have made no attempt to denigrate the efforts of previous fighter pilots. I took issue with a post by an armchair expert.

In my puny 2800 hours of fast jet flying I have been guilty of over exuberance myself (not to the extent of the Tornado Tosser). I'm not proud of it and wouldn't ever condone it from anyone else. I don't think that fly by's like the one in the photo (real or not) prove that you are a better pilot. If that makes me over safe and boring then c'est la vie.

The Falklands and GW1 were examples of recent(ish) conflicts that necessitated some aggressive low flying. The guys that did it did an excellent job. If called upon I feel sure that modern pilots would be just as capable if required to do so.

If we now live in a culture where stupid stunts are less common then that's fine by me. It must be the QFI in me. As I replied to Bill2b life is too short and all I really care about is not making it any shorter by buggering around.

Anyway I feel like I am going round in circles and the guy that started this all has gone very quiet. I guess he cast his bait and caught a whopper. Well played. Tosser.

BV
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Old 17th Apr 2015, 17:04
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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BV,

Well answered. Much of what I said was slightly tongue in cheek. I would suggest that you have been a QFI for too long and you need to get out more.

You quoted "life is too short and all I really care about is not making it any shorter by buggering around". That is the difference between that fighter pilot of today and one 40 years ago. As young 20 year olds we lived fo "today". Many did not grow up until well into their 30s, some never grew up at all.

What happened to "Train as you mean to fight". Is it right to expect people to do things that they have not trained for and just say that "If called upon I feel sure that modern pilots would be just as capable if required to do so".
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Old 17th Apr 2015, 17:29
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Tornado picture - wingtip a foot off the runway

Oh I know I have been a QFI for too long. It was a trap from which I could never escape. It's a long and boring story though.

In all honesty though I gave up trying to escape it when our third child arrived. I have now accepted my fate.

BV
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Old 17th Apr 2015, 18:55
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Many did not grow up until well into their 30s, some never grew up at all.
Yeah, well. I was still getting bollocked as a Sqn Cdr by the display director at the Farnborough Airshow at age 42...helped (or not) by the fact that he was my creamie QFI at Linton many years earlier.

BV, don't worry about young Dominator - his bark is far worse than his bite. I can still recall sitting next to him in an OEU debrief while receiving an amusingly tongue-in-cheek AP3456 lecture on the proper take-off technique from our (very) eminent and world-weary Sqn Cdr; 1.3VStall came into it somewhere as I remember.

Dominator certainly seemed less than impressed at being tarred with my "youthfully exuberant" brush at the time...but he was old even then!

PS I'd guess that the bloke in the picture/movie forgot about the 15-degree flap switch that changed the Tornado's flight control gains. If the flaps/slats were selected early after take-off to 'manoeuvre' (in the forlorn hope of accelerating more quickly for 'display' purposes) you suddenly got a lot more than you bargained for with full roll control applied...all of which could be very exciting - especially accelerating, as one was, at one knot per fortnight that close to the ground in the Admiral's Barge.
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Old 17th Apr 2015, 20:25
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Sarn1e,

Long time no see. Yes, I too remember the lecture that we ALL had to listen to on how to clear the departure end fence. Do you wish to tell us of things NOT to do on your last trip?
Remember that Freddy the Fighter Pilot was caught out by the change in roll gain when trying to "spice up" his display takeoff. Very close inspection of the grass soon after rotate.
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Old 18th Apr 2015, 08:16
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Interesting debate. But there are some hard facts that are worth noting. In January 1991, of the six Tornados lost, the cause of two of them is unknown. However, one possible cause was that they hit the ground while egressing from the target. A number of pilots chose to disconnect the autopilot to get lower than the 200 feet (or higher) that the TFR was giving them - at night, and without goggles.

One further Tornado was lost in a training accident in Saudi Arabia just before the hostilities started. It hit the ground.

There is also a fairly famous video of a Tornado from Tabuk on a training mission in the hills in northern Saudi. At one point, the aircraft and its shadow come VERY close to coinciding.

So of the seven Tornados lost, three may have been due to CFIT. That is not a great statistic if one argues that getting down in the weeds enhances your chances of survival.

I was as spirited as the next man in my yoof (and a bit beyond), but the fact is, the ground has a PK of 1. If you hit the ground, you will probably die; if you get hit by a SAM or AAA, you probably won't.
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Old 18th Apr 2015, 08:29
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Tigger Two, don't forget Keith Collister who hit the ground in his Jaguar during the build-up to invasion.
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Old 18th Apr 2015, 08:38
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@CGB

True. Thank you for that.
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Old 18th Apr 2015, 09:36
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If you hit the ground, you will probably die; if you get hit by a SAM or AAA, you probably won't.
Absolutely. Which is why the Marine Hornets, led by a very experienced Vietnam Vet, were expressly forbidden from operating (and grounded when caught) at low-level for the opening stages of GW1.

Very sensible leadership from the school of hard knocks...which ISTR was followed by the Jags once shooting began.

Messing about below 50ft in fast jets is largely peacetime entertainment for the terminally bored and under-aroused, though one shouldn't totally exclude its fleeting use for presence purposes in a suitably permissive environment. It worked well in Iraq and Afghanistan on more than one occasion.
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Old 18th Apr 2015, 13:52
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Tigger two


"the cause of two of them is unknown"

You don't get to say that and then "three may have been lost to CFIT" as if that is somehow an implied fact.

You could just as easy say "only one was known to be lost to CFIT, but many may have been lost due to an unwillingness to fly low enough to avoid SAMs"

Even if they did hit the ground, one could just as validly say that insufficient extreme low flying training was carried out in peacetime to make them capable of carrying it out safely in wartime.

How many of the Argentinians hit the ground in the Falklands war? I'm willing to be corrected, but I thought that their tactic of ultra low flying is considered to have been a good move on their part, nullifying a lot of our defences.
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Old 18th Apr 2015, 14:18
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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When I were a lad all of us (except the AD bunch) tried to go as low and as fast as possibly because that's what we thought would give us an extra few minutes against those pesky Soviets. Inevitably, even during peacetime where the FJs were limited to 250ft or 100ft in those special places, there would be the occasional aircraft/granite interaction. In fact, looking back I think that the majority of mates' funerals I attended were due to such events. But the bottom line was that we trained to fly low, always.

GW1 came along and we started to wise-up. For sure, there was a low level role and the Americans quite happily watched us race about the desert at 2ft 6 with a bit of a climb for the 233 canisters to be popped-off. However, we also learnt that muds could do a good a job with [email protected] designation etc from medium altitude as long as the necessary OCA and SEAD was in place.

It's been quite a few years since I scared myself in an LFA but I suspect the playing field has changed and there is even less need to tool around trying to ascertain the gender of individual Welsh sheep. So, when pilots do have to go that low, I'm guessing that they are less at ease in the environment.
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Old 18th Apr 2015, 14:30
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Just because the last game had the particular circumstances where we had air dominance does not for a moment mean that we will next time.

Low still has it's place.

We can't just not play if we don't get superiority/dominance.

This does not just refer to fixed wing. The last two conflicts made it sensible for rotary to bimble around above small arms fire range. It is only a very narrow range of circumstances which makes that the case and it would be very rash to neglect NOE training.
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Old 18th Apr 2015, 16:37
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Bob, at least you're still flying jets. They might not be capable of 9G and vertical climbs at full burner, but you're still living the dream that many want to but couldn't for whatever reason!
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Old 18th Apr 2015, 17:53
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Quote:
'If you hit the ground, you will probably die; if you get hit by a SAM or AAA, you probably won't.'

Really! What percentage chance of not dying is 'probably'? What is the Pk of an ZSU-23, SA-10/20 or HQ-9?
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Old 18th Apr 2015, 22:06
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Theonewhothinksheknows ...... sticks and stones

Blob Viking
I do not wish to brag about my flying hours and if you wish to know my name and address please PM me and I will give it to you.
I was a Rigger and was in from 77 to 2001, perhaps you are the type who does not want low life groundcrew in your forum?
My comment was purely from a groundcrew viewpoint, we often used to get beat ups in the early eighties one time at Lossiemouth we watched the reds take off and some folk on the hanger roofs on 226 had to duck because they were so low. The Jaguar weather ship used to beat up the CMD camp on the corner of the base nice and early each morning. It was fun to watch.
Low flying is and always will be a part of life but its a shame some don't like pilots who like to display their skills.
Please don't join the Jaguar site on facebook because there is lots of pictures of low flying in Oman.
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Old 19th Apr 2015, 04:37
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Tornado picture - wingtip a foot off the runway

Bill.
I'm not sure I can possibly add anything to rival your erudite musings.
I think it's fair to say we've misunderstood each other and I shall leave it at that.
BV
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Old 19th Apr 2015, 05:46
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Tigger

Out of interest, what is the Pk of being burnt to death or having your head sawn off after you survive the post SAM ejection?
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