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Oh, I get it, Fighter Pilot.

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Still seems like a special breed of dumbass, however. He wasn't cheap to train, and that aircraft ain't cheap, either. And no, that's not a guy who is about to belly in because his gear isn't working, or he somehow forgot to lower 'em.

He did this on purpose, with malice aforethought.

12 Comments

 From the comments at the video:
"Having been an airshow pilot trained to execute low transition takeoffs I can tell you that this guy has no idea how low he is. The FA-18's radar altimeter reads no lower than 10 feet. One can maintain ten feet by setting the RADALT warning at 10 feet and then fly at 10 feet indicated radar altitude; if the RADALT goes off, you know you're below ten feet. It is very difficult to do...and against the rules in the US Navy. The pilot in this video is obviously foreign, so there may be no similar rules, but that doesn't change the fact that he doesn't have a clue how dangerous that was. The guys on the ground got a kick out of it though, and when you think about it, that's the only reason pilots do such things. I say, "Godspeed young man and good luck...don't f*ck it up.""

 
Guys got a great future as a tow truck driver once his CO sees the video and gets his numbers.
 
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
 
Welcome to Europe/NATO fighterdom.

I was sitting in a Norwegian control tower one day pulling my SOF (Supervisor of Flying) tour at the end of a deployment to Andoya when a number of jets from the various participating nations made "Hold my beer and watch this" passes at/around the tower.

The tower crew told me this was sort of a tradition at the end of a major exercise--folks would come by for a "See ya next year" pass. Some would just come in low and fast (Brits) and some would get a little more...creative.

Anyway, I spot a Scandanavian F-5 (can't remember if he was Danish, or Norwegian, or what) approaching from the west, low, fast and pointed at us. Then he pops. I thought, "That's cool. He's going to do a diving pass." Well, that's what he did, except that his aimpoint was the end of the runway and his "pickle" (release) altitude was such that when he recovered, i.e., started his escape pull and bottomed out of that arc, his afterburner heat waves were washing all over the overrun. At this point I was thinking, "I'm watching a fatal accident in real time..." I was speechless. Yet, he recovered...and then went past the tower, below the cab we were sitting in, rolled 90 degress towards us and waved...I could see the lineup card (a mission cheat sheet you fill out and refer to in flight as needed) on his leg. I don't speak Danish (or whatever) or I probably could have told you what it said.

Of course, I had two Hogs holding #1 as this guy did this and they would have, if nothing else, been badly singed by the fireball had this nutball misjudged by a nanosecond.

This kind of thing isn't that uncommon. It's fairly rare but hardly unique in NATO/European air forces. I doubt it's even remotely condoned officially but that which gets rewarded--or just not punished--gets repeated. To my knowledge, if a US pilot did half this stuff he'd be hammered to cream...not that we don't have a few who try occasionally to shine their ass but if they're caught, they suffer what is usually permanent damage.

This also reminds me of a Weapons School story about an Israeli F-15 pilot who was flying out of Nellis on an exercise. His overhead pattern, i.e., the way you return to base and land in fighters, that is, come down initial at 1500', pitch out (60-degree bank and pull) for 180 degrees, slow, configure and roll off the "perch" for a descending turn to the approach end, roll out and continue to touchdown--was a HUGE, wide, leisurely "bomber pattern." Every time. When asked why he did that when everybody else did their wham-bam-min-burner-in-the-final-turn-so-as-to-not-stall patterns, he said that his jet was a national asset, critical to the very survival of his country. How would the government of Israel fell about it if he'd destroyed a jet trying to "look good" in the pattern?

Good question.

 
 Now, THAT is what I would call close air support.

 
 
OK, you real mil guys can beef, I think it was a thing of beauty.  Long ago I traversed between LA and Albuqurque.  One trip, return to LA I was near 29 Palms and observed an F-18 in my rear-view.  He crossed 40 and vectored  up 40.  Sho nuff.  Yee-hah! OK, you real mil guys can beef, I think it was a thing of beauty.  Lomg ago I traversed between LA and Albuqurque.  One trip, returninto LA I was near 29 Palms and obseved an F-18 in mt rear-view.  He crossed 40 and vectored my my up 40.  Sho nuff.  Yee-hah! Passed on my right . I don't begrudge his hot-doggin a bit, Since some 30+ year later I still remember the thrill.  I also had the privilege od sitting in the jump seat for a low level pass across Edwards in the flying testbed for the B-2 radar (radar is/was my expertise).  What a thill! Oh thank you G*D for allowing me, a mere four-eyed mortal that rush.Edwards is a LONG runway.  The public used to be able to view airshows.  (Any one else remember Sneaky Pete?)  The shows were loved by most because the planes were just so freakin cool.  i lso grew up in the day when Mom would rush to grab the knick-knacks when a sonic-boom rattled the house. Relax and bask in the coolnessYou go Marine!  Passed on my right . I don't begrudge his hot-doggin a bit, since some 30+ year later I still remember the thrill.  I also had the privilege of sitting in the jump seat for a low level pass across Edwards in the flying testbed for the B-2 radar (radar is/was my expertise).  What a thill, Oh thank you G*D for allowing me, a mere four-eyed mortal that rush.Edwards is a LONG runway.  The public used to be able to view airshows.  The show were loved by most because the planes were just so freakin cool.  I also grew up in the day when Mom would rush to grab the knick-knacks when a sonic-boom rattled the house. Relax and bask in the coolness.
Just so John doesn't think I'm prejudiced, I got to observe the Vulcan and minigun in development at Eglin (s a Scout) and a night-fire demo at Hurlburt which included Arty and CAS.
Privileged I was.
Jim
 
 Does the Ejército del Aire have a mishap board?
 
Trying to tie the low altitude record?
 
If he'd had the rollers down, he'd have landed. A rather stupid stunt.
 
I can imagine my Uncle Woody's reaction (USMC props and jets during Korea): "Aaaaataboy! Belly up to the bar, boys, he's buying until one of us buys the farm!"

My Mom ... demands tail numbers, date, time, location, and writes letters. "There are old pilots, and bold pilots, and people too stupid to be allowed to fly an aircraft!"

I wonder if he left metal scraping marks on the runway?
 
Lex would say the same, Joe. Back in the day on NSAR in the TGYC we had to fish a Navy F4 pilot out of the drink due to a low pass. He lost the fire and was not high enough for a restart. This just after a very low & fast fly by. Just above the bridge wing so I'll say 50 feet. The only thing that floated was the jet fuel. It went kind of like this... Dark spot on the Northern horizon, teeth rattling fly by. Twenty seconds later they were back North bound. Over the radio we heard "Punch Out! Punch Out!" he did, there was a big splash about 100 yards to port and he floated into the Tonkin Gulf. We pulled him out with one of our boats. We dried him off, ran him by the corpsman to check for injuries, fed him the steak dinner we gave all of our pick ups then put him on the chopper to Yankee Station for the butt chewing he deserved.
 
 For those of you on the younger side - TGYC= Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club.  The Navy off of Vietnam.