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TV tonight about the A10

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TV tonight about the A10

Old 25th Jan 2020, 00:13
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Just chance, but I posted this on Quora just hours before the program. The program was very well produced and even to this 80 year old in full philosopher mode, it was gripping.

Re the incident below, I strongly suspect such gung-ho pilots would be a little more cautious these days, what with cameras in cars.

https://www.quora.com/If-you-saw-a-j...r/Rob-Benham-2


The hour long program on FreeView was fantastic. Despite being in a philosophical/theological phase of life, one could not remain unaffected by the bravery, and indeed the gung-ho enthusiasm of the A10 team.

The Quora question by someone:


If you saw a jet plane fly past you at street level, at max speed, would you see that it was a plane, or would it be so fast you would not even be able to identify what it was? What effect would it have on the environment around it?
Answered ThuItís extraordinary just how much detail you can see in such circumstances, especially given the sudden appearance.

As a civilian skipper, I was driving to work one beautiful spring morning on the (in those days) quiet A140 to Norwich. Not another soul about. Most relaxing.

My left vision picked up movement just a second before the A10 Tank Buster crossed the road in front of me. Those jet engines on the tail of not too large an aircraft seemed huge. Did it make me jump? Well, no. Itís just the kind of thing I did in mischievous moments. When I said, crossed the road, I meant going through gaps in hedges.

Why did he do it? No doubt in my mind. He looked at the green fields of Suffolk and spied me, a lone car on totally empty roads. The devil on his shoulder said, ďGo on, give the buggah a scare.Ē I wonder if he saw the gold braid on my shirt and had a momentís fear that I was British military, and would tell on him. Nothing was further from my thoughts. It made my day.

Just reminiscing this week about waiting on the side of Shetlandís Sumburgh airport. I needed a green lantern in the tower to cross the active runway. I got a red, despite no aircraft! What?

Then there was a black dot to the north. Then the black dot had four streaks of smoke trailing it. Then the black dot became a very large dot with wings. It continued to come on down the glide-path. I stepped back a few paces.

Where the Blue Blazes is he going? thought I, or words to the effect. On the south of the runway was a towering cliff, with a lighthouse on top of it. The Vulcan Bomber was now just above head height - with its wheels retracting and the engines spooling up. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepppppers! The noise hammered into my ribcage.

Heíll crash! Not a chance. The thing pulled up until I could see the entire top surface of its wings. It stood on its jets and aimed at the sky.

I got my green light, but could hardly move. Fantastic, wonderful, moment.

Oh, and if the pilot had waved, Iíd have seen it easily.

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Last edited by Senior Pilot; 25th Jan 2020 at 20:08. Reason: Threads merged
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 12:22
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In the build up to and during the Gulf war A10s would fly very low just off the coast of Hastings. Some might say they should have used Hastings for live target practice. Two or three Chinooks would do the same, their noise would rattle the windows, roof tiles and seagulls.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 13:03
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I remember when I was a fairly newly-validated controller at Eastern Radar(civil),when a Trident reported on frequency,having turned left at GABARD ,on centreline of UA37,en-route for DANDY,climbing to FL330 ,and said "we've just had a close encounter with a Fairchild A10 ! looked at the radar,and saw that there were 3Mil store- dots waiting at MC6 on the FIR boundary,with the tote board showing FLs 260,270 & FL280,but the blips were 10 miles west merging with that of the HS21 ,which had it's own store-dot,correctly displayed on the tote.climbing to FL330. I asked the pilot how many he had seen,as there were 3 of them,and did he want to file an Airmiss ? Whereupon I was chided by my boss,who just happened to be standing next to me (not plugged-in & not validated),saying "you shouldn't have said that".No Airmiss was filed,but talking later with the RAF,I think there had been a late-handover from Dutch-Mil of the 3 A10s inbound to the hold at Thunder,? for Bentwaters/Wood
bridge.

All this probably sounds like a load of gobbledy-gook to any-one who has not served at a JATCRU,but that's how we did it back in the day !

Just remembered another incident involving an A10,when I was still U/T.It was working Eastern Mil somewhere in the vicinnity of UR4,and had an electrical problem,whereby each time the transmission switch was keyed,the gun fired !

Yet another A10 memory. I think there was a mid-air involving an A10 and a Cessna sometime in the 80's the A10 flew away,not sure about the Cessna.I was flying around the area on the same day.

Last edited by ex82watcher; 25th Jan 2020 at 13:43. Reason: spelling
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 15:30
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Somewhat related:

Many years ago in another life I observed a practice firepower demonstration on the Nellis range (the real one was for NATO bigwigs a day or two later.)

Part of the demo was a supersonic on the deck flyby by a F-105, F-4 and F-111.

You really had to be looking at where you knew it was coming from or you wouldn't see it till it was past and the sonic boom hit.

They would also be creating a rooster tail in the ground from the sonic boom.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 15:47
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Used to watch A10's following the course of the River Waveney, usually in pairs. I think they suffered the odd mishap or two. I seem to recall a mid air collision between one and a small civilian plane near Diss . (apologies ex82, just read your post.)
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 16:57
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Originally Posted by ex82watcher View Post
Yet another A10 memory. I think there was a mid-air involving an A10 and a Cessna sometime in the 80's the A10 flew away, not sure about the Cessna.I was flying around the area on the same day.
Occurred just west of Hardwick in February 1984. One of a pair of A-10s from Woodbridge hit a Cessna 150, killing the student pilot. The investigation assigned responsibility equally to the pilots of both aircraft.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 17:13
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Thanks Dave,a fount of knowledge,as always.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 18:27
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A10s from Ft Wayne, IN run around my neighborhood quite a bit.

A couple of years ago, I was about 10 miles offshore fishing in Lake Michigan, when a couple came by at fairly low level in close formation. I stood up and waved, and got a wing waggle from the wingman. 10 minutes later I was startled as they came back, literally 10 feet off the water, (rooster tails, etc) and passed maybe 25 yds on either side of me (the port side plane popped one of my lines off of my planer board with his wake)

I had a stupid smile for a week...
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 18:53
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https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/5-19...-february-1984
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 20:42
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Thanks nonsense for that link,made interesting reading.Having checked my logbook,I find that I had taken-off from Shipdham at 1405,returning at 1540 for a 'bimble' to the E coast and Yarmouth,so would have been in the area at the time,But in those days, military aircraft were ten a penny over East Anglia,and you just had to keep your eyes skinned !
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 21:26
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The hour long program on FreeView was fantastic.
Which Channel???
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 23:43
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Hmm, got me there. I was idly flipping through the dross when I saw it. The title indicated it was dedicated to the A10. To focus in, Bush senior was the president and a lot of the program was devoted to the abandonment of the A10 despite huge protests. I think the army retained it for a while longer.

I'd taken an interest in the aircraft decades ago but mostly because of the decelerative forces caused by the Gatling gun. It wasn't until now that I've learned just how massive that gun is. Furthermore, the other weaponry seemed astonishingly extensive for the era.

There was one section devoted to trying to rescue ground forces who were under heavy fire from the Taliban. They had picked weather to concentrate their attack and the helicopters relied on the A10 to make their rescue bid. It was really touch and go, very stimulating and very moving when they succeeded.

'Killer Chick' was oh, so American, but seriously attractive and nifty at what she did. It showed her picking up a mass of holes which took out her hydraulics. She was in hostile terrain and really did not want to find herself walking home. She went into full manual reversion, which in itself is an argument for Boeing's cable philosophy, but then chose to land the aircraft knowing that only two people had ever tried it before in anger. Only one survived. She of course became the second to survive. The damage showed the sheer resilience of the design.

I like to think all my interest in battle has become philosophical/theological, but it's very noticeable how quickly I can be altered. My grandfather wrote an astonishingly eloquent letter from Flanders in 1915 in which he described being caught in moonlight between fronts. He got the skin taken off his nose by a sniper. I could feel so deeply the warrior instinct that caused this highly successful son of a Dublin handyman to sign up at the outbreak.

I'm reading 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind' and it was less than 100 pages in when I realised just how genetically driven we are to do battle. It's perhaps the most enlightening few pages I've ever read.
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Old 26th Jan 2020, 00:24
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
To focus in, Bush senior was the president and a lot of the program was devoted to the abandonment of the A10 despite huge protests. I think the army retained it for a while longer.
Don't you mean the Air Force? I don't believe the Army ever operated A-10's.
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Old 26th Jan 2020, 15:17
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I think I must have been luckier than the chap in the Cessna. I was chugging along in my Airtourer at the regulation 100kts,up from a farm strip near Royston heading towards Nuthampstead,when doing my scan like a good boy, I was aware of something closing up on my starboard wing. This pretty quickly manifested itself as an A-10 and was close enough for me to see the pilot waving and pointing to my left. Hello I thought, have I been intercpted. In fact he was pointing out his wingman so I was effectively the lead in a 3-ship. I've never flown so accurately before or since and after 30 seconds or so they pulled up and headed North, presumably to Alconbury. Dined out on that for a while.
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Old 27th Jan 2020, 03:18
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Don't you mean the Air Force? I don't believe the Army ever operated A-10's.
I think the words were that when the Air Force finally had to relinquish theirs, the army retained (or were given) a few.
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Old 27th Jan 2020, 12:39
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
I think the words were that when the Air Force finally had to relinquish theirs, the army retained (or were given) a few.
Air Force was never allowed to let them go. Army would have loved to have them, but the agreed split for fixed wing between these two services limits the Army to 12,500 pounds.
The A10 is in the 40,000 pound class, so for the Army to have it would destroy the existing roles and missions agreement between the two services, which neither wants to do.
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Old 27th Jan 2020, 12:53
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Late 80's, driving up towards Warminster in very light traffic and very close to Salisbury Plain Danger area.. I looked up and there were two A10s circling above. One broke away and started to dive down towards us. It looked like he was using us as a practice target.
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Old 27th Jan 2020, 17:19
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Not long after GW1, I was back doing more child abuse - OK, flying as a UAS QFI. One day we were tasked to fly some RCMS cadets on air experience, so a suitable session of low level flying was sorted.

Pottering about near the Malverns, I heard a US call-sign giving the required "2 x A10 entering low level at...." R/T call. Hmm, I thought, that means they'll be here in about 5 minutes. So I climbed a little, spotted them and dived down towards them having thrashed HM's mighty Wardog up to an indecent speed.... "Lead from 2, 1 light ac right 1 o'clock....and he's turning in on us!" They honoured the threat with that defensive manoeuvre which pairs of A-10s did, then we had a chat. "Were you over in Desert Storm?", I asked. "Sure were - and you?" came the reply. "Yes, but not in this thing!". "Well, thanks for the training threat anyway!".

Excellent aircraft flown by highly capable pilots. There's still no feasible replacement.
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