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Some war stories/sea stories

Discussion in 'Air Warfare' started by Hubsu, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. Hubsu

    Hubsu New Member

    Feb 28, 2005
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    Hee's some war stories and sea stories that I've came across while reading different forums and news groups. Enjoy!

    Tweety and the semi:
    "Every IP knows that you have to let the students go a little bit, so
    that they can see the outcome of their errors and then the lesson is
    reinforced. The difficult judgement call is knowing how far to let
    them progress and still be able to make the recovery without damage to
    the airplane or the landscape.

    I was watching a student doing a VFR low-level nav in a T-37 across
    the desert of Southern Arizona. We'd headed outside of the Williams
    AFB local training area and SW of Tucson into the area south of I-10.
    He'd gotten overwhelmed with flying low and still trying to keep up
    with map-reading and dead reckoning, and I was dutifully urging him to
    ease it down just a bit more so that he could successfully penetrate
    the fictitious enemy defenses. I knew we weren't going to be running
    out of gas--we were headed generally north bound and we could easily
    make it back to Willy.

    What I didn't know (but should have) was that we were entering the
    Gila Bend gunnery range and just over the next ridge ahead of us was a
    conventional air-to-ground gunnery range. We crested the ridge, I saw
    the target array, run-in-lines, strafe panels, control tower and a
    flight of four Phantoms in the box pattern doing 30 degree dive bomb

    "I've got the airplane..."

    "Yessir, you've got it..."

    "We're going to go a bit lower now, and watch how we use this ridge
    line for terrain masking."

    "Wow, sir, we're really low."

    "Not really, this is about five hundred feet."

    "But, sir, it looks closer to about fifty. That saguaro was higher
    than we were."

    "That's just an optical illusion caused by our speed."

    "Don't you think we should climb now, sir?"

    "No, not until I hop over this semi, and we get north of the
    Interstate here. Ahhh, that looks good. You want to tune in Chandler
    VOR now and get ready for an instrument approach when we get there?"

    "Is my low-level over, sir?"


    Ed Rasimus
    Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)"
  2. Hubsu

    Hubsu New Member

    Feb 28, 2005
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    Highway landings (this was originally posted as a 5 different posts, so bear with me when I try to stich it together)

    "Just to set the stage, we were bringing our whole squadron back to NAS Miramar
    in San Diego after a 2 month deployment on the USS America. We flew off the
    carrier in the morning to NAS Oceana, refueled, and continued on to NAS
    Memphis, where we corrected the "low beer" alarm which had been going off for
    about 4 weeks.
    Early the next morning, we split our 9 airplanes into a 2-plane, a 3-plane and
    a 4-plane for flights to Albuquerque, where we planned to get together and fly
    a 9-plane back to Miramar for a glorious homecoming.
    The 2-plane launched first, since one of the aircraft was having a fuel gauge
    problem, and they were going to 2-leg it out to ABQ. Our 4-plane took off a
    while later, with our XO, the late Frank Mezzadri, a Blue Angel pilot in the
    F-11 era, as flight lead, a new LT to the squadron as #2, a British exchange
    pilot as #3, and yours truly as #4. Out of the four airplanes, only one had an
    NFO in the back seat. I had a Second Class Ordanceman in my back seat, and we
    had two Chief Petty Officers in #'s 1 and 3. The weather in ABQ was forecast
    as VFR for our arrival time.

    As we last left our 8 intrepid Naval Aviators, they were airborne over Texas in
    their 4 F-4J's, bound for Albuquerque, NM for a quick refueling, a join up with
    the 5 other jets from the squadron, an awesome 9-plane fly-in to Miramar, and a
    grand reunion with wives, girlfriends and other loved ones. This is the
    favorite day of all Naval Aviators - the "Fly-In".
    About 2/3 of the way through the 1000 mile leg from Memphis to ABQ, crew #2
    switched over to Metro to get the latest weather at our destination. Their
    report back was the first inking of potential problems: ABQ was experiencing
    heavy thunderstorms and low visibility. The alternate airfield, Cannon AFB,
    was also socked in. Our flight leader, CDR Frank Mezzadri, decided to turn
    around and go back to Amarillo, which was reporting 700' overcast and 3 miles
    As we approached Amarillo, Center asked us what type of approaches we desired,
    and our leader asked for individual Ground Controlled Approaches (GCA's), which
    to us meant precision approaches using a controller to talk us down using glide
    slope and heading corrections, pretty much the standard Navy approach then in
    use. As we descended, Amarillo approach control split us up and began
    vectoring us to the final approach course.
    Our next surprise came as the XO rolled out 15 miles or so from the airport
    and was cleared to shoot the ILS approach and contact tower. Well, our jets
    were not equipped with the civilian Instrument Landing System, our XO informed
    them, only to hear back that Amarillo did NOT have a precision approach radar
    and could not give us GCA's, only Surveillance Approaches with heading only
    Then more bad news: The weather has now dropped to 100' overcast, less than
    one-half mile visibility, and the minimum descent altitude on the surveillance
    approach is 500'.
    My TACAN (our only navigation system) is out, we are in solid clouds, all my
    instrument publications are in the back seat with AO2 Don Aue, we have less
    than 2000# of fuel left on board, we are burning over 5000# per hour, and we
    have no airfield in the immediate vicinity that has good enough weather to land
    at. The tension is building as quickly as our options seem to be vanishing.
    I am now certain we will lose all four airplanes in our flight. This is going
    to ruin my whole day.

    With few options available to him, our XO continued his ASR approach down to
    the 500' above ground level (AGL) minimums and realized that he would never see
    the airfield, so he began a descent on his radar altimeter while tracking
    inbound on the approach radial. Somewhere between 100' and 200', he caught a
    glimpse of the field, performed a modified octaflugeron, landed well down the
    14,000 foot runway and managed to get stopped. One down - 3 to go.
    The #2 aircraft did something similar, except never did see the runway and did
    a missed approach. I followed, descending down to about 200' and never saw
    the ground at all. I turned downwind to try one more time as #4 (our British
    exchange pilot) did his approach, but since the Air Force controllers didn't
    call for his landing checklist, he flew over the airfield clean. At this
    point, the weather had worsened and the XO came up on our common approach
    frequency and told us to go somewhere else. We all said "and where would that
    be?" He came back - "try Altus AFB, it's about 100 miles east of here."
    At this point #2 was well into his second approach attempt, so they
    continued...again without any luck seeing the field. I turned to the east
    immediately and began following a the vectors the controllers were giving to
    #4. Evidently my transponder had now also failed, since the controllers
    couldn't seem to ID me and thus couldn't give me any vectors. As I mentioned,
    my TACAN wasn't working either.
    The max range profile (called a BINGO profile in the Navy) called for a climb
    to 36,000 feet, cruise and an idle descent to the field. As I passed about
    18,000 I realized that I would run out of gas before I even reached cruise
    altitude, so I pulled back the power, declared an emergency and began to
    descend through the clouds which were becoming broken layers as I headed east.
    Meanwhile behind me, #2 realizes they won't make to Altus either, and turns
    back to Amarillo to shoot one final approach before they request a vector to an
    uninhabited area and a controlled ejection. Since this a/c had the only
    qualified NFO onboard, they were able to fly a self-contained TACAN approach to
    well below minimums, climbed over some power lines, and landed successfully.

    So now we have only 2 airplanes left in the air - #4 (British LT Paul Bennett
    and a second class AO in his back seat) are headed towards Altus AFB and I've
    just started an idle descent in hopes of finding some sort of airfield below.
    At this point Center can't do much for me other than offer that Childress
    airport is probably (remember, they aren't receiving my transponder) on a
    heading of about 120 degrees and that I can contact Childress Radio, and
    ah....have a nice day!
    To keep this short, #4 does find Altus AFB and lands there (the field is VFR)
    with 400# of gas remaining (a few minutes worth at best).
    Since I can't see how some guy in a room without radar at Childress Radio is
    going to help me at all, I switch straight to Guard (emergency freq. 243.0) and
    broadcast my call sign and that I'm in a descent with 700# of gas and not sure
    just where I am, or where I'm going.
    At this point, our flight of three aircraft which is also heading for
    Albuquerque hears my Guard transmission, and talks to me briefly. They decide
    to skip the fun and go straight to Altus. Passing about 5000' I break out
    underneath the clouds and spot a small town (Wellington, TX) which I think may
    have a small airport. As I get closer to the town, I don't see an airport, but
    notice that the 2-lane highway leading out of town to the south has a good,
    long straight stretch. Since I'm really running out of ideas now, I decide to
    make an approach to this road. Lowering the landing gear and flaps, I roll out
    over about half way down the straight stretch of highway, descend to about
    200-300 feet, and notice cars on the road about a mile away. Not being able to
    tell which way they are going, I decide to wave off the approach, turn downwind
    and make one more approach using the entire length of the straight stretch.
    Raising the gear and flaps as I turn downwind to save fuel, I tell Petty
    Officer Aue that if the engines start to unwind, we will eject immediately, so
    be ready to go when I initiate the ejection sequence. He is calm and says
    "OK". After 30-40 seconds on the downwind leg, I start my turn, lowering gear
    and flaps again while descending toward the road. Rolling out on final, I find
    it fairly easy to line up on the 42-foot wide highway using the centerline
    stripes. I also notice power lines on both sides of the road, adding more
    incentive to stay on centerline. I don't notice the wires going across the
    highway, but am fortunate enough to miss them as I get down just above the
    road. At 100' I double check for cars, don't see any, and set the jet down on
    centerline doing about 130 knots.
    Everything seems normal, so I put out the drag chute, keeping close watch on
    the centerline. Still no cars in sight, but I do pass over a small bridge,
    wondering whether or not the wings will clear it. They do, and I pass a
    Highway 83 sign excellently placed to assist in my situational awareness.
    At normal taxi speed, I began breathing again, and decide to taxi a bit
    farther down to what appears to be a farmhouse. It turns out to be an
    abandoned shack, so I pull over to the side making sure to keep the main mounts
    on the asphalt and fold the wings. The plane is still taking up 80% of the
    I make a call on Guard that I have landed on Highway 83 and that the plane is
    fine. While still sitting there with the engines running, a car drives up from
    the opposite direction, slows down, gives me a quizzical look, drives off the
    highway to get around the wing, and continues on his way.
    As I shut the engines down, the fuel gage shows 200#, much below the 500#
    tolerance I have heard these gages have. PO Aue and I go over to the shack,
    grab a couple 2x4 boards, and use them to chock the aircraft. We jettison the
    drag chute just as 4 to 5 pickup trucks from surrounding farms show up. I
    leave Don Aue to guard the airplane while I go with one of the farmers to make
    some phone calls.
    I get a hold of the XO at Base Operations in Amarillo, he starts breathing
    again, and says to stay put. Back to the airplane, where I now find the local
    sherriff directing traffic and a 9-count ticket awaiting my signature. (199 mph
    in a 55 zone, excessive noise, cutting in after passing over, excessive display
    of acceleration of speed, overwidth, etc.) Parked behind the airplane is a
    semi-trailer truck that was just pulling onto the straight stretch as I touched
    down a short distance in front of him. He is very excited and says it sounded
    like I was landing right on top of him. Almost did.
    Soon I see a C-141 orbiting our position on the highway and not too much
    longer an Army helo shows up, lands on the highway, and out pops the Air Force
    General in charge of the situation. Since it is getting late, we (or rather,
    he) decides to bring out guards from Altus and then possibly crane the airplane
    onto a flatbed and haul it the 60 or so miles to Altus. Fortunately, our
    Commanding Officer, Bob Heisner, flys back to Altus and persuades the General
    to let him fly the airplane off the runway, using the logic that it's easier to
    take off from a highway than land on one, and we've already proven we Navy
    pilots can do that.
    So the next day, the Air Force brought out a fuel truck and a flatbed with a
    ground starting unit and we put about 5000# of fuel onboard. The Highway
    Patrol stopped traffic for about an hour as we did a FOD (Foreign Object
    Damage) walkdown to clear the road of rocks, trash, etc. CDR Heisner got in
    the jet, started it up, we turned it around on the highway (not easy on the
    narrow roadway), and he flew it off after carefully calculating a flight path
    that would clear the wires stretched across the road.
    I rode in the helo back to Altus, we put a full load of fuel onboard, and flew
    the airplanes back to Miramar that afternoon. Fortunately my CO, our Carrier
    Air Group commander (CAG Tooter Teague) and COMNAVAIRPAC (VADM Baldwin)
    supported my actions and I didn't lose my wings, which I was sure was a
    We didn't lose any airplanes, didn't damage any property and ended up learning
    lots of good lessons from that flight.
    Six weeks later, I was involved in a head-on, midair collision...but ...that's
    another story.
    Thanks for your interest. Write if you have questions.
    Russ "Oly" Olson
  3. Hubsu

    Hubsu New Member

    Feb 28, 2005
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    via TanksinWW2
    Low level

    "During my squadron's deployment to the Middle East in 1983, we flew a box
    Tactical formation with two Varks and two Jaguars. The lead Vark and Jaguar
    flew 6,000-12,000 tactical spread. The next Vark/Jaguar pair flew the same
    thing in 4 mile trail. The Jaguar on my left and I were flying 600 Knots
    ground speed and 100 feet AGL (as displayed on the radar altimeter) over barren
    sand which reduces one's depth and altitude perceptions significantly. I
    looked to my left and saw that the Jaguar was flying lower than me, so I
    dropped down to 75 feet. There! Take that! I looked at him again. Damn!
    He's was flying lower than me again. I dropped down to 50 feet. Take that,
    Bud! I very quickly snapped my head left, then back front. Yet again, the
    Jaguar was flying lower than me. I inched it down to 25 feet, then 20 feet,
    then 15 feet. At this point, I was visually padlocked on ground in front in
    me, with occasional glances at the HUD data. I turned my head a few degrees to
    the left, then very quickly snapped my eyes left and then back front again.
    Damn! The Jaguar was lower than me again. At this point it occurs to me that
    I'm flying a 73 foot long machine 15 feet above the ground at close to the
    Mach. I climbed back to 100 feet AGL (which, for the next two to three minutes
    literally seemed like the stratosphere), calmed my WSO down, and finished the
    flight. After the flight, the Jaguar pilot didn't say a thing to me. He did
    give my an ear to ear shit-eating smile though.

    Kurt Todoroff"
  4. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

    Feb 25, 2005
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    Wow.. good post, hubsu. Really interesting stuff.
  5. Hubsu

    Hubsu New Member

    Feb 28, 2005
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    The next one is not "straight from the horses mouth" so I can't guarantee the authenthicate. I personally believe it's authent, mainly because they explain a few tactics in the post that are borderline sensitive. You also might have seen this before, as it spread all over the net a few years ago.

    Kosovo MiG kill
    "Forwarded without comment

    Kosovo MiG Kill

    The following is an e-mail that was received concerning the shoot-down of
    Mig-29's over Serbia/Kosovo in March of this year. Apparently this e-mail
    was sent by the flight Lead to his friends. Names have been altered in
    the interest of privacy and security. The notes/comments at the top seem
    to be from others in the C-of-C. Ed.


    This is an account of the shoot down of two migs on March 26th. It is
    written by a pilot, and from his notes it sounds like he was in an F-15C.
    Note also that he is going from one combat area (Irag to Yug) to the next
    without any time off. It also sounds like the maintenance is being pushed
    to the limits, and he is not very complimentary of the AWACS.




    Well, I'm finally back in England after being TDY since the end of January, at
    least for two weeks anyway. Got sent direct to Cervia AB, Italy, from Operation
    Northern Watch in Turkey after being at the Incirlik AB for over 7 weeks ("Luv
    the 'Lik" no 'mo ! ). My house and yard is a total mess!

    There doesn't seem to be an end in sight in the Kosovo situation, but the war is
    over for me for a while. Some of you probably already heard through the
    grapevine about what happened to "Boxer" and I. Here's the proverbial "Rest of
    the Story."

    Boxer and I were tasked as Bosnia-Herzgovinia DCA on 26 Mar, vul time from 1500Z
    to 1900Z. We were established on CAP over Tuzla for about an hour after initial
    refueling. At 1602Z, while eastbound approaching the Bosnia/Yugoslavia border, I
    got a radar contact 37 nm to the east, 6k', beaming south at over 600kts.

    Of course AWACS had no clue and did not have any inkling of someone was flying
    on the other side of border (although he was real good at calling out every
    single friendly WEST of us!).

    I called out the contact and Boxer was locked same. Without an ID and not
    tactically sound to cross the border at the time, I elected to pump our
    formation in a right hand turn through south and called "PUSH IT UP, BURNER,
    TAPES ON!" (We were initially flying .85M, 28K' and rolled out heading
    west/southwest.) At that time I didn't think anything much would happen. I
    figured the contact would probably continue south or turn east and remain well
    on the east side of the border.

    Nevertheless, I called the flight lead of the south CAP over Sarajevo and gave
    him a craniums up on the posit of contact, altitude, and the heading. This
    entire time AWACS still had no radar contact, even after I called it out on the
    radio. Man, running away with the contact at our six o'clock with AWACS not
    having any clue was NOT comfortable!

    Boxer and I continued west for a total of 60 sec (about 10 nm) before I directed
    the formation to turn back hot, again turning through south in an attempt to get
    some cut-off. Boxer was on the north side of the formation (left side as we
    rolled out heading east). We both got contact BRAA 070 for 37 nm, 23k', target
    now heading west (hot towards us). AWACS finally woke up and starting seeing the
    same thing. Now, I'm starting to think SHIT IS GONNA HAPPEN (evident with the
    increase of about two octaves in my voice!)

    It was fairly obvious this guys originated from FRY, and there were no OCA
    missions at the time. Checked AAI for friendly.. squawk: nobody home! We still
    needed to get clearance from AWACS to engage, so I requested (codeword) and got
    no reply from the controller (pretty sure he had no 'freakin clue what that
    codeword meant!) About this time both Boxer and I got good ID on the target in
    our own cockpit and with threat hot towards us inside 30 nm decided to blow off
    the AWACS/clearance to engage restriction and go for it!

    Target was now inside 30 nm and I directed Boxer to target the single group. I
    broke lock and went back to search in 40 nm scope and 120 sweep. The target
    check-turn towards northwest (about 14L aspect) and descend to high teens. Boxer
    and I checked about 30 deg left to northeast for cutoff. This check-turn slung
    me aft in the formation so I stroke it up to full AB to get more line abreast. I
    called "COMBAT 1, ARM HOT" and saw Boxer's wing tanks come off with bright
    flames under the wing. Pretty impressive!

    I was well over the Mach when I punched my tanks off and the jet jumped up
    abruptly (you can see it in the HUD). Took a quick look back to check and see if
    my stabs were still intact... I rolled my elevation coverage looking from about
    5K' to 21K' and no kidding stayed in search for at least one full frame (believe
    me, I wanted to go back to single target track SO DAMN BAD!) AWACS started
    calling out two contacts, lead trail. Sure enough, I was starting to see the
    break out on my scope!

    At about 20nm, Boxer called "FOX 3, 18K!" I saw the cons/smoke from his jet and
    thought: "SONOFABITCH! I gotta get me some!"

    I commanded miniraster on the leader and as soon as radar lock (about 17nm),
    immediately thumbed forward to HD TWS. My first shot came off inside 16 nm from
    the leader. When I pressed the pickle button, it seemed like an ETERNITY before
    the missile actually launched, but when it did...WOW!!!! I have never shot an
    AMRAAM or AIM-7 before at WSEP (and I don't think I have a chance in hell of
    shooting more missiles at WSEP after this!)

    The missile came off with such a loud roar/whoosh, I not only heard it clearly
    in the cockpit above the wind noise, radio comm, ear plug, and helmet, I
    actually FELT the rocket motor roar!

    In the HUD, you can see the flames shooting out from the tail end of the
    missile, and the smoke and cons following it! Stepped immediately to the trailer
    in HDTWS and press and held the pickle button for at least 3 seconds. Again,
    thinking: COME ON, DAMN IT! LAUNCH!

    The second missile came off just as impressive as the first after the same
    painful delay. I yelled "Dxx 1, Fox 6, lead trail!" ("Cxxx" later critique my
    comm as incorrect 3-1 terminology... EAT ME!)

    Since Boxer was the primary shooter, I assumed he was locked to the leader, so I
    kept the trailer as the PDT. Didn't want to screw with a good thing, I stayed in
    HDTWS inside 10nm ("Dxxx", our WIC dude, promptly criticized me for NOT going
    STT inside 10nm upon reviewing my VSD tape, thus I still have to pass my IPUG
    Tac Intx ride!). Both targets started a check-turn to the southwest (14L to H to
    16R aspect) and continued to descend to low teens. Approaching 10nm, checking
    RWR to make sure we weren't targeted:

    "Dxx 1 naked !"
    "Dxx 2 naked !"
    "Dxx [flight], let's go pure!"

    From 30K', both of us rolled our jets inverted and pointed nose low directly at
    the TD box on the HUD, and pulled throttle to idle. I think my heart rate at
    this time was reaching my aerobic limit for my age (you know, that formula: 220
    minus age...)! Against a broken cloud background, I saw a tiny dot in the TD box
    about 7 to 8 nm out. "Dxx 1, tally ho nose 7 nm, low !"

    Realizing I saw the trailer, I was praying Boxer would soon follow up with a
    tally call on the leader. Approaching 5 nm, I'm scanning in front of the trailer
    for the leader but no joy. Shit! The trailer continued his left turn to
    southwest and I was looking at approx 14R aspect. Inside of 5 nm, thumb aft to
    AIM-9 and tried twice to uncage but the tone was not there.

    Just then, between the HUD and the canopy bow (about right 12:30 to 1 o'clock
    position), I saw the leader explode! The best visual description I can think of
    is if you held a torch from one of those Hawaiian Luau party, and swing it
    through the air. The flame with a extended tail trailing the torch is exactly
    what I saw! Turning my attention back to the trailer, the trailer exploded into
    a streaking flame seconds later just as I tried to uncage the missile the third
    time! Never mind!

    "DXX 1, SPASH TWO MIG-29s, B/E 0/35 !!!" [Name], I'm ashamed... I was screaming
    like a woman! Didn't really bothered to keep an eye on the fireballs, so I
    didn't see any chutes. Later report confirmed both pilots ejected safely. Not
    that neither Boxer nor I would've felt bad if they morted.

    Anyway, I called for Boxer and I to reference 080 heading and short range radar.
    Thumbed aft to AUTOGUNS and plug in full AB and accelerated to 460 kts at 20K'.
    My cranium was on a swivel and breathing like I just ran a full sprint!

    "Dxx 2, blind!" Crap!!!! I looked north and it took me a few seconds to find
    Boxer (about 3.5nm left and stacked high). Tried to talk his eyes back to me,
    but Boxer called out to west in a right turn. I waited a few seconds to sanitize
    and turned west as well. During the turn, I immediately pulled into double
    beeper due to airspeed and Gs (looking back, I should've over G so the mission
    would've been more impressive... :)

    Rolling out, I was 3 nm in trail of Boxer, so I had him shackled to the south to
    pick up line abreast. The fun wasn't over yet. Boxer got an AUTOGUN snap lock
    less than 10 nm south of us, low alt, with no ID. I told him to press for VID
    while I followed him 3 nm in trail. We were diving back down to the low teens
    and I saw ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on my radar!

    Boxer all of a sudden pulls up and yells "Dxx 2, unable ID!" That's BAD!!! I
    just about shit in my pants! I saw nothing and after a few seconds I asked Boxer
    if he saw ANYTHING at all.

    Boxer said he didn't see anything, so we just stroke it up and separate to the
    northwest for a while, then came back for a second look. Nobody home! Boxer
    thought it may have been a bad radar lock. I sure hope so!

    The rest of the sortie was one excitement after another. While on the boom,
    AWACS controller started calling out every single ground traffic as possible
    contact crossing the border into Bosnia. For a while it sounded like a mass
    attack on Tuzla! By now it was night time, and Boxer (in an offset 3~5 nm trail)
    and I were still running around with our hair on fire!

    One time AWACS called out contacts very low alt moving towards Tuzla westbound.
    I didn't see squat on my tube, neither did Boxer. As the position of group
    started getting closer to Tuzla, I expected to see a burst of explosion from the
    airfield underneath! Boxer and I were gonna go from "heros to zeros" real soon!

    Finally I turned the GMTR setting on my trusty APG-70 to low and immediately saw
    the targets. Locked them up and show 80 kts ground speed! I wanted to reach
    through the mic and strangle the shit out of the controller! AWACS later called
    out MiG CAPs just 15 nm northeast of the border! Boxer and I were ready to "Pop
    a cap in their ass" across the border as soon as we got contact and ID! Again,
    nothing on the radar. We even did two iterations of grinder with a two ship of
    Vipers and no one got a solid radar hit.

    That night we committed and armed hot THREE MORE TIMES AFTER the Mig kills based
    on ridiculous AWACS calls! No kidding, by the time our replacement showed up (4
    hours of vultime later), I was totally exhausted and drained!

    The flight across Adriatic was uneventful, and Boxer and I finally had a moment
    to think about what happened. After I landed and pulled into de-arm, I saw a
    freak in flight suit and wearing a reflective belt, jumping up and down. Sure
    enough, it was "Fxx" welcoming us back!

    Taxi back to the chocks was like having a bunch of kids following an ice cream
    truck! Everyone came running out and waited at the parking spot for Boxer and I.
    Boxer taxied in front of me as I pulled into my spot.

    Losing all professionalism and radio discipline (yada yada...), I called out on
    Ops freq: "Boxer, You're the SHIT!!!" Getting out of the jet and greeting all
    the bros and maintainers was THE GREATEST MOMENT OF MY CAREER!!! Our Ops Grp
    commander [Name] was first to shake my hand, followed by the mob!

    We were laughing, shouting, hooting, high fiving, and hugging! It was awesome!
    Couldn't wait to review the tapes, we all piled into the "Turtle" and watched my
    HUD tapes. Thank God it recorded everything clearly, including the fireball from
    the trailer.

    Xx and Xx almost knocked me over when they came storming into the Turtle! We
    were all screaming and jumping so hard in the Turtle I though it was going to
    fall over! Too bad Boxer's VSD tape did not run, and his HUD tape was washed out
    due to high aperture setting. Boxer and I were laughing and high fiving the
    entire car ride home! We weren't even supposed to fly that day!

    Some afterthoughts... No kidding it took over a day for this to finally sink in.
    It felt almost surreal that day/night. Our MX officer said it best when he saw
    me hours after I shut down engines: "So, Cxx, have you landed yet?" Only one
    word can describe this event: F**ING unbelievably lucky! Not the fact we shot
    them down, but that they were airborne during our watch. Any Eagle driver
    could've easily done what Boxer and I did, but as Xx said: "You guys won the

    The sequence of events happened in our favor like the planets lining up. The
    jets, the missiles, the radar (well, at least mine) performed marvelously! Our
    MX dudes deserve the bulk of the credit. We had no spares that day. The crew
    chiefs and the Pro Super, [Name], absolutely BUSTED THEIR ASS working red balls
    and launched us on time! Boxer, my wingman, what can I say? Regardless of whose
    missile hit which Mig, WE shot down two Fulcrums that afternoon. We succeed as a
    team, and fail as a team (good thing it was the former)!

    Boxer did an OUTSTANDING job of finding the group, working the ID matrix, and
    target according to plan. If I didn't have faith in him, I would not have broke
    lock and break out the lead trail formation. Of course I'm proud of what we did,
    but there's one thing I'll really stick out my chest for: To everyone who taught
    me and influenced me on my tactical flying and gave me long debriefs (though
    painful at times), especially (names omitted), I DID NOT LET YOU GUYS DOWN!!! It
    doesn't get much better than this guys! Well, maybe two more kills would be
    pretty cool... That's all I have to say"
  6. Hubsu

    Hubsu New Member

    Feb 28, 2005
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    via TanksinWW2
    Skidmarks in the Sky, Vol. 1

    We had a really bizarre saying in Naval Aviation. The saying implied
    that whatever bad happened was due to "the breaks of Naval Air". Two jets
    would collide and splash, and we would attribute the tragedy to this imaginary
    cause as simply the price we had to pay to fly. Dozens of crashes occurred
    each year, serving as painful reminders to be careful; each flight was another
    opportunity to join those statistics.
    Sometime in the 80's, the saying entered the use of people on the ground, so
    we modified it to "skidmarks in the sky". This became our private motto for
    the life we led.
    I dedicated a page in my Fright Log to a young Navy pilot and his personal
    skidmarks. The following story was recorded during and after the night of 10
    August, 1985.
    Seems my best Rescue stories all have A-7 Corsairs in them. These light
    bomber jets had the unpleasant distinction of being the last single-engine
    aircraft the US Navy developed. What makes this important is that it is always
    considered better to lose an engine, than the engine. My experiences led me to
    describe these aircraft as "Survivor Delivery Vehicles" -- they take pilots to
    far off exciting places so helicopter guys can bring them back.
    This particular night, the aircraft carrier USS MIDWAY was operating with the
    rest of our Battle Group of six sorry old tin cans (destroyers and frigates)
    about 200 miles South of the Persian Gulf. The water is warm and the night air
    cool: perfect for helicopter operations, with a crewman like me sitting in the
    door dreaming.
    We, the three man crew of Sea Snake Two Zero, were motoring around the outer
    fringe of the convoy, trying not to fly into the way of the jet crowd. We
    listened to our bored controller, the ships talking to each other; hell, we
    listened to anyone. It was late and we were fighting sleep in the sky.
    "Spy, you got anything on your radar scope?", Lt Kikla calling to see if I was
    "Nothin' but my forehead, sir." For 72 nautical miles in every direction,
    there was nothing but stars and water.
    The hours were droning by in the middle of the darkest night of the year,
    while we circled our radar picket station in the exact center of no-where.
    I have my own radio controls back there, so I tune in different stations than
    the Terror Twins up in the cockpit. Their conversations turned to things golf:
    I silenced the ICS and turned on the radio. Miles away, air controllers were
    vectoring jets around the landing pattern of the MIDWAY.
    It wasn't a busy night, but, at least there were other guys up at this late
    hour. That's comforting to any flyer -- in a crisis, other aircraft can come
    to either help or watch you go splat. Anyway, aircraft were launching and
    recovering at MIDWAY's usual steady pace.
    We refueled back aboard our own ship, then went back up for the last two and a
    half hours of numbing picket duty. Still outbound, twenty minutes off the deck
    of the USS KIRK, I listened to the jets talking over MIDWAY and watching my
    RADAR fritz. Since that was my way of leading the Twins home, I started
    resetting circuit breakers, wondering what I had pushed.
    In the background of my headset, I heard those two most chilling words in the
    Flyer's Dictionary.
    From across the star-swept waves, a pilot keyed his microphone and mumbled,
    "Uh oh...", on the Tactical Frequency. I sat up in a hurry, and pulled my
    brain out of standby. Those were the last word's of the Space Shuttle
    Challenger's pilot...
    Marshal (the aircraft carrier) asked for an IDENT and the pilot stated his
    callsign with a report that his landing gear would not lock up or down. This
    is considered to be a very bad thing.
    The voice seemed young and all alone, so I grabbed the Callsign list to see
    who was calling an emergency. Marshall had him change to a different radio
    frequency, and I followed. The list showed his was driving an A-7 (business!),
    so I turned the ICS back on and interrupted the conversation that my superiors
    were having up front.
    "Pilot, SENSO, are you listening to the drama on GUARD (frequency)?"
    Both heads looked down at the radio panel, then Twin 1 dialed up 282.8 MHz.
    For the next hour, we listened intently, waiting to either help or watch him go
    To get him clear of the rest of his traffic, the aircraft carrier sent him as
    far away as he could. That put him in a wide orbit North of us.
    This guy was not calm. The prospect of riding a parachute down at night would
    tighten anyone up, and he was wound like a top.
    His aircraft was loaded, too. This CORSAIR jet carried huge external fuel
    tanks, a pair of Sidewinder missiles, and a couple of hundred explosive shells
    in its Gatling gun. The Airboss and Skipper of the MIDWAY gave two thumbs
    down to taking the crippled jet aboard with a questionable landing gear -- the
    pilot's list of options was getting shorter.
    The Boss took over talking him through his checklist. He made mistakes and
    things weren't happening. Over here in Seasnake Two Zero, the three of us
    rapidly completed our checklists in preparation of another rescue.
    Boss finally got him to jettison his 'stores' -- all the things strapped on.
    When he pickled (fired) his SIDEWINDER missiles, they flared to blilliant life
    a few miles from us. We watched each missile streak up and arc over, and it
    gave us a good direction to head. The talking continued, and he blazed off
    every round in his 6-barreled cannon.
    This gatling gun under the mouth of the little jet emptied itself loudly in
    the direction of Asia, 100 miles to the North. I have a very vivid memory of
    the chain of lights; sparkling cannon shells, winking in the night from a
    distance of about 10 miles.
    Boss kept him talking and vectored him away, toward an island that was mostly
    friendly (there were British on it). The island off the coast of Oman is
    called Al'Masirah and it is a fairly heavy duty runway, but it was a low
    technology strip. What was important, was that it had crash trucks and a
    desert to catch pieces if things went poorly.
    From the MIDWAY, and Intruder tanker jet, checked in on GUARD Frequency. It
    began to act as escort, until a calm Brit controller came on GUARD to take
    His voice was very calm and professional which helped the pilot. Every
    aircraft aloft was listening to his long straight-in approach to an unfamiliar
    and unseen place on the edge of the world. In several nations and on ships
    with rescue capabilities, crews waited in silent attention, as the drama of the
    American airman played out.
    The controller walked the pilot through his wheels up landing
    checklist and we all shook our heads. Jets don't traditionally respond very
    well to being pancaked onto a runway at 150 miles per hour by a rattled pilot.
    At night? This sounded like a short story.
    Well, down he went, steadily descending in a dive that would not stop. The
    Intruder overhead provided steady commentary for the sake of the thousand ears
    listening. He called "Threshold", as the little jet crossed the end of the
    runway and we all quit breathing.
    At 140 knots, the wallowing fall of the 30,000 pound Corsair began to
    buffet from a coming stall, but at that moment, it impacted the concrete runway
    with a heavy scrapping ker-whump!
    The pilot of the Intruder reported tensely that the jet was skidding down the
    centerline of the runway in a complete sheet of sparks. The aircraft crumpled
    and bounced along, finally slewing to a stop, as the crash trucks rolled. The
    canopy of the smoking A-7 popped immediately open, and the pilot scrambled out,
    'Course, we knew nothing of this -- the shit Intruder pilot forgot how to
    talk until the Airboss bellowed, "STATUS!"
    The Intruder guy yelled, "He made it!", and we all sagged back in relief. The
    report from the Brits came soon after, saying that they had one happy, healthy
    smoked pilot on their hands. Several airborne voices chimed in with "Well
    Someone, somewhere, keyed their microphone and reminded the assembly that we
    were all at radio silence. The distant reply was a reference to those old
    "Skidmarks in the Sky".

    Navy Seach & Rescue
  7. Hubsu

    Hubsu New Member

    Feb 28, 2005
    Likes Received:
    via TanksinWW2
    "Greetings Slacker Landlubbers!

    Hey, I felt the need to share with you all the exciting night I had on
    the 23rd. It has nothing to do with me wanting to
    talk about me and it has everything to do with sharing what will no
    doubt become a better story as the years go by.

    There I was. Manned up a hot seat for the 2030 launch about 500 miles
    north of Hawaii. (insert visions of "The Shore
    Bird" and many mai tais here). My bird was parked just forward of the
    nav pole and eventually I was taxied off toward
    the island where I did a 180 to get spotted to be the first one off cat
    1 (insert foreboding music here). There's
    another Hornet from our sister squadron parked ass over the track in
    about a quarter of the way down the cat.
    Eventually he gets a move on, they lower my launch bar and start the
    launch cycle. All systems are go on the runup
    and after waiting the requisite 5 seconds or so to make sure my flight
    controls are good to go (You know, there's a
    lot to be said for good old cables and pulleys), I turn on my lights. As
    is my habit I shift my eyes to the catwalk and
    watch the deck edge dude and as he starts his routine of looking left,
    then right, I put my head back in the rest. I
    hate to say this but the Hornet cat shot is pretty impressive,
    equivalent I would say to a gassed up KA-6. As the cat
    fires, I stage the afterburners and am along for the ride. Just prior to
    the end of the stroke, there's a huge flash and
    a simultaneous boom! And my world is in turmoil. My little pink body is
    doing 145 knots or so and is 100 feet above
    the Black Pacific. And there it stays -- except for the airspeed, which
    decreases to 140 knots. Somewhere in here I
    raised my gear which is interesting since it is not a Hornet "off the
    cat" boldface. It is however, if I recall correctly, an
    Intruder boldface. Oops! The throttles aren't going any farther forward
    despite my Schwarzzenegerian efforts to make
    them do so.

    >From out of the ether I hear a voice say one word: "Jettison." Roger

    that! A nanosecond later my two drops and
    single MER, about 4,500 pounds in all, are Black Pacific bound. The
    airplane leapt up a bit but not enough. I'm now
    about a mile in front of the boat at 160 feet and fluctuating from 135
    to140 knots. The next comment that comes out
    of the ether is another one-worder: "Eject!" I'm still flying so I
    respond, "Not yet, I've still got it." Our procedures call
    for us to intercept on speed which is 8.1 alpha and I'm fluctuating from
    about 8 1/2 to 11 or so. Finally, at 4 miles
    ahead of the boat, I take a peek at my engine instruments and notice my
    left engine doesn't match the right. (Funny
    how quick glimpses at instruments get burned into your brain.) The left
    rpm is at 48% even though I'm still doing the
    Ah-Nold thing. I bring it back out of afterburner to mil. About now I
    get another "Eject!" call. "Nope, still flying." Cag
    was watching and the further I got from the boat, the lower I looked.

    At 5 1/2 miles I asked tower to please get the helo headed my way as I
    truly thought I was going to be shelling out.
    At some point I thought it would probably be a good idea to start
    dumping some gas. As my hand reached down for
    the dump switch I actually remembered that we have a NATOPS prohibition
    regarding dumping while in burner. After a
    second or two I decided, "fuck that" and turned them on. (Major "Big
    Wave" Dave Leppelmeier joined on me at one
    point and told me later that I had a 60 foot roman candle going.)

    At 7 miles I eventually started a (very slight) climb. A little
    breathing room. CATCC chimes in with a downwind heading
    and I'm like: "Ooh. Good idea," and throw down my hook. Eventually I get
    headed downwind at 900 feet and ask for a
    rep. While waiting, I shut down the left engine. In short order I hear
    Scott "Fuzz" McClure's voice. I tell him the
    following: "OK Fuzz, my gear's up, my left motor's off and I'm only able
    to stay level with min burner.

    Every time I pull it back to mil I start about a hundred feet per minute
    down." I just continue trucking downwind trying
    to stay level and keep dumping. I think I must have been in burner for
    about fifteen minutes. At ten miles or so I'm
    down to 5000 pounds of gas and start a turn back toward the ship. I
    don't intend to land but don't want to get too
    far away. Of course as soon I as I start in an angle of bank I start
    dropping like a stone so I end up doing a 5 mile
    circle around the ship. Fuzz is reading me the single engine rate of
    climb numbers from the PCL based on
    temperature, etc. It doesn't take us long to figure out that things
    aren't adding up. One of the things I learned in the
    RAG was that the Hornet is a perfectly good single engine aircraft. It
    flies great on one motor. So why the fuck do I
    need blower to stay level!? By this time I'm talking to Fuzz (CATCC) ,
    Deputy CAG (turning on the flight deck) and
    CAG who's on the bridge with the Captain. We decide that the thing to do
    is climb to three thousand feet and dirty up
    to see if I'm going to have any excess power and so be able to shoot an
    approach. I get headed downwind, go full
    burner on my remaining motor and eventually make it to 2000 feet before
    leveling out below a scattered layer of
    puffies. There's a half a moon above which was really, really cool.
    Start a turn back toward the ship and when I get
    pointed in the right direction I throw the gear down and pull the
    throttle out of AB.

    Remember that flash/boom! that started this little tale? Repeat it here.
    Holy fuck! I jam it back into AB and after three
    or four huge compressor stalls and accompanying decel the right motor
    comes back. I'm thinking my blood pressure
    was probably up there about now and for the first time I notice that my
    mouth feels like a San Joaquin summer. (That
    would be hot and fucking dusty for those of you who haven't come to
    visit.) I may have said "Shit!" on the radio here
    but haven't listened to the full tape yet and it could have been "Fuck!"

    This next part is great. You know those stories about guys who deadstick
    crippled airplanes away from orphanages
    and puppy stores and stuff and get all this great media attention? Well,
    at this point I'm looking at the picket ship at
    my left 11 at about two miles and I say on departure freq to no one in
    particular, "You need to have the picket ship
    hang a left right now. I think I'm gonna be outta here in a second." I
    said it very calmly but with meaning. The LSO's
    said that the picket immediately started pitching out of the fight. Ha!
    I scored major points with the heavies
    afterwards for this. Anyway, it's funny how your mind works in these
    situations. OK, so I'm dirty and I get it back
    level and pass a couple miles up the starboard side of the ship. I'm
    still in min blower and my state is now about 2500
    pounds. Hmmm. I hadn't really thought about running out of gas. I muster
    up the nads to pull it out of blower again
    and sure enough...flash, BOOM! You gotta be shitting me. I'm thinking
    that I'm gonna end up punching and tell Fuzz
    at this point "Dude, I really don't want to do this again." Don't think
    everyone else got it but he said he chuckled. I
    leave it in mil and it seems to settle out.

    Eventually discover that even the tiniest throttle movements cause the
    flash/boom thing to happen so I'm trying to be
    as smooth as I can. I'm downwind a couple miles when CAG comes up and
    says, "Oyster, we're going to rig the
    barricade." Remember, CAG's up on the bridge watching me fly around
    doing blower donuts in the sky and he's
    thinking I'm gonna run outta JP-5 too. By now I've told everyone who's
    listening that there a better than average
    chance that I'm going to be ejecting. (The helo bubbas, god bless 'em,
    have been following me around this entire

    I continue downwind and again, sounding more calm than I probably was,
    call paddles. "Paddles, you up." "Go ahead"
    replies LT "Max" Stout, one of our CAG LSO's. "Max, I probably know most
    of it but you wanna shoot me the
    barricade brief?" (Insert long pause here.) After the fact, Max told me
    they went from expecting me to eject to me
    asking for the barricade brief in about a minute and he was
    hyperventilating. He was awesome on the radio though,
    just the kind of voice you'd want to hear in this situation.)

    He gives me the brief and at nine miles I say, "If I turn now will it be
    up when I get there? I don't want to have to go
    around again." "It's going up now Oyster, go ahead and turn." "Turning
    in, say final bearing." "Zero six three," replies
    the voice in CATCC. (Another number I remember -- go figure) OK, we're
    on a four degree glideslope and I'm at 800
    feet or so. I intercept glideslope at about a mile and three quarters
    and pull power. Flash/boom. Add power out of
    fear. Going high. Pull power. Flash/boom. Add power out of fear.

    Going higher. (Flashback to LSO school....All right class, today's
    lecture will be on the single engine barricade
    approach. Remember, the one place you really, really don't want to be is
    high. Are there any questions? Yes, you can
    go play golf now.) The PLAT TV video is most excellent as each series of
    flash/booms shows up nicely along with the
    appropriate reflections on the water. "Flats" Jensen, our other CAG
    paddles is backing up and as I start to set up a
    higher than desired sink rate he hits the "Eat At Joe's" (waveoff)
    lights. Very timely too. With visions of the A-3
    dancing in my head I stroke AB and cross the flight deck with my right
    hand on the stick and my left thinking about
    the little yellow and black handle between my legs.

    No worries. I cleared that sucker by at least ten feet. By the way my
    state at the ball call was 1.1. As I slowly climb out
    I say, again to no one in particular, "I can do this." Max and Flats
    heard this and told me later it made them feel much
    better about my state of mind. I'm in blower still and CAG says, "Turn
    downwind." Again, good idea. After I get turned
    around he says, "Oyster, this is gonna be your last look so turn in
    again as soon as you're comfortable." I flew the
    DAY pattern and I lose about 200 feet in the turn and like a total
    dumbshit I look out as I get on centerline and that
    night thing about feeling high gets me and I descend further to 400

    I got kinda pissed at myself then as I realized I would now be
    intercepting the four degree glideslope in the fucking
    middle. No shit fellas, flash/boom every several seconds all the way
    down. Last look at my gas was 600-and-some
    pounds at a mile and a half. "Where am I on the glideslope Max" I ask
    and hear a calm "Roger Ball." I know I'm low
    because the ILS is waaay up there and I call "Clara." Can't remember
    what the response was but by now the ball's
    shooting up from the depths.

    I start flying it and before I get a chance to spot the deck I hear
    "Cut, cut, cut!" I'm really glad I was a paddles for so
    long because my mind said to me "Do what he says Oyster" and I pulled it
    back to idle. The reason I mention this is
    that I felt like I was a LONG FUCKING WAYS OUT THERE, if you know what I
    mean. (My hook hit 11 Oyster paces from
    the ramp, as I discovered during FOD walkdown today.) The rest is pretty
    tame. I hit the deck, skipped the one, the
    two and snagged the three and rolled into the barricade about a foot
    right of centerline.

    Once stopped, my vocal chords involuntarily yelled "Victory!" on button
    2 (the 14 guys who were listening in marshal
    said it was pretty cool. After the fact I wish I had done the Austin
    Powers' "Yeah Baby!" thing.) The lights came up
    and off to my right there must have been a ga-zillion cranials.

    Paddles said that with me shut down you could hear a huge cheer across
    the flight deck. I open the canopy and start
    putting my shit in my helmet bag and the first guy I see is our flight
    deck chief, huge guy named Chief

    Richards, and he gives me the coolest look and then two thumbs up. I
    will remember it forever. Especially since I'm the
    Maintenance Officer. The first guy up the boarding ladder is CAG
    Paddles. I will tell you what he said over beers
    someday. It was priceless and in my mind one for the ages.

    I climb down and people are gathering around patting me on the back when
    one of the boat's crusty yellow-shirt
    chiefs interrupts and says, "Gentlemen, great job but fourteen of your
    good buddies are still up there and we need to
    get them aboard." Again, priceless.

    So there you have it fellas. Here I sit with my little pink body in a
    ready room chair on the same tub I did my first
    cruise in 10 years and 7 months ago. And I thought it was exciting back

    P.S. You're probably wondering what made my motors shit themselves and I
    almost forgot to tell you. Remember the
    scene with the foreboding music? When they taxied that last Hornet - the
    one that was ass over the catrack they
    forgot to remove a section or two of the cat seal. The board's not
    finished yet but it's a done deal. As the shuttle
    came back it removed the cat seal which went down both motors during the
    stroke. Again, good video for someday
    over beers. Left engine N1 basically quit even though the motor is in
    pretty good shape. It was producing no thrust
    and during the waveoff one of the LSO's saw "about thirty feet" of black
    rubber hanging off the left side of the
    airplane. The whole left side, including inside the intake is basically
    black where the rubber was beating on it in the
    breeze. The right motor, the one that kept running, has 340 major hits
    to all stages. The compressor section is
    trashed and best of all, it had two pieces of the cat seal, one about 2
    feet and the other about 4 feet long, sticking
    out of the first stage and into the intake. God Bless General Electric!
    By the way, ECAMS data showed that I was fat
    -- had 380 pounds of gas when I shut down. Again, remember this number
    as in ten years it will surely be FUMES

    TELL YOU! Look forward to getting to stage five with you all someday

  8. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

    Sep 20, 2005
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    via TanksinWW2
    when i was a 24 year old newbie solo pilot i was makeing a long straight in approach to rw 31 at gnoss feild in nor cali. , flying my loveingly polished 76 piper warrior ...i had already grabbed the third notch of flaps and had throttled back to idle but i could tell i was STILL approaching way too fast ..in desperation i stomped down hard on the toe brakes...i was alone in the cockpit but i swear i could feel my face glow red with embarrasment...luckily there are no brake lights on airplanes ...i did remember to take my feet OFF the brakes before the wheels actually touched the ground ...so i did , at least , do something right...( see...first you land ...then you use the brakes...)
  9. Hubsu

    Hubsu New Member

    Feb 28, 2005
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    via TanksinWW2
    Phantom phight.

    "It was the last trip up North before the bombing halt and the start of the 11 days of Christmas. My Gib and I were number 3 of a four ship escorting a 20 ship strike force (four ship echelon formations in trail with each other, five flight in a row) against a target near Hanoi. Our Escort flight was divided into elements flying on each side of the strtike force. Our element was on the south side of the strike force. The weasels were already in the target area and reporting marginal weather for the strike.

    Shortly after we started our ingress Red Crown advised us of two MIG-21's south bound out of GIA LAM airport (Hanoi). Five minutes later the Crown came up again and advised us that the first two MIGs had turned west and two more were now airborne from GIA LAM following the same route and low altitude. After another couple of minutes the Crown advised us that the first two bandits had now turned North (towards us and the strike flight) with the remaining two MIGS following the same flight path. My GIB got a twitch on the radar and our element turned towards the threat, started a gradual descent, went to full military power and armed all systems with AIM 7's selected. The remaining escort element took over our position on the South side of the strike force to cover any other developing threat. We then lost the radar contact but Red Crown called bandits merging and the next thing we knew we had two Migs in trail going past and vertical on us. It seems that they decided that since we were only two birds and ten miles south of the rapidly departing strike force we were raw meat.

    The next twelve minutes were a hand full of every BFM,ACT, and ACM maneuver in the book plus several changes of leads between us and 4 as the MIGs made maximum use of available cloud cover and tried to tempt us into a turning fight. Add to this the addition of the second two MIGS and it became very hairy as to who had who and when. About this time the MIG Killers from Udorn arrived and the odds changed rapidly in our favor.

    I could hear from the calls of the Udorn Mig Killers that two of the four bandits were dispatched very quickly. About this time my GIB called out one of the remaining bandits going vertical at our eleven o clock position. I turned to that area spotted him and started tracking we tried for a quick lockup but were unsuccessful. So instead I pulled the trigger launching an aim 7 hoping that if the bandit saw it he would figure we had a lock and would try to evade the shot. If he evaded he only had one place to go and that was down. He did and swapped ends faster then I've ever seen anyone do as he came down through my climbing flight path he must have lost us in his overhead glare sheild and we rolled inverted and followed him down in full AB.

    We lost him when he went through some low puffy clouds but caught up with him shortly thereafter. He must have thought he lost us because he wasn't exercising hard evasive maneuvers. Instead his interest changed to a parachute off to his (and our) right and he rolled out some of his bank to take a better look. I already had toggled the weapons switch to AIM 9 and started to get a growl stronger then a junk-yard dog. So I punched it off and it tracked right for him exploding either in or near the tail pipe with the MIG going inverted and starting down from about 3000'. At this point we got a "Break" call and I janked with all I had towards the west and never did see him go in.

    Out of the four Migs that came up that day none made it home and all were shot down or crashed on landing. Since I didn't see the bandit crash into the ground I still question the credit because the Mig Killers from Udorn were really cleaning clock with the bad guys and there were five claims against four kills. My second concern that I really feel bad about is that during that long twelve minute encounter (eternity!!!!) my wingman, a totally superb pilot and GIB who was flying wing while I was engaged and having trouble locking up the target called a Lock on and asked permission to fire. In the heat of it all with all the internal and external chatter neither my GIB or I heard him and he missed what I would call a confirmed kill.

    And finally, Gums is right, it was pure luck in getting the shot off but pure skill to last twelve minutes in a 2 vs 4 environment with a vastly superior turning aircraft until the calvary arrived. THe spooks told us afterwards that two of the MIG drivers were aces and the other two maturing air to air drivers.

  10. Hubsu

    Hubsu New Member

    Feb 28, 2005
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    Gun ho!

    "I now realize how darn long ago that was. The old brain cells need a kick start. I've been living in Germany for almost 30 years and I very rarely BS about the old days of wine and roses. The few old German pilots I know would rather talk about ME 109's and FW 190's.

    Anyway, here they are:

    MiG 21 Kill #1: 12 Sept 1972

    I was the number 3 man in Finch flight which was led by LTC Beckers. We were part of a large strike package going into the general area of Hanoi. The strike force was jumped by several MiG’s who came from high and behind and dove down thru us. Of course they fired missiles as they came. It was a rather chaotic time!

    During the maneuvering that followed, our flight broke and we split up into two 2 ship elements. I was behind a MiG21 and my backseater got a good lock on. Conditions were excellent; almost text book. I fired 2 AIM-7’s which did not guide. They simply went ballistic. I continued to close and got a good lock-on for the AIM-9’s. I ended up firing 3 of them but the either did not guide or the proximity fuse did not function. The last missile went right by the cockpit and got the MiG pilot’s attention! He broke and I followed. I was able to get in position for using the gun and fired a couple of bursts. They impacted on the left wing near the junction with the fuselage. The MiG started to burn almost at once. I was now closing too fast and did a high speed yo-yo which once again put me in position to fire another burst. These impacted in and around the cockpit and the aircraft went into a pitch up. I could see the pilot slumped forward in the cockpit. The aircraft then stalled and snapped down as I went past it. The MiG was observed to continue burning until it impacted the ground in a cloud of smoke.

    MiG 21 Kill #2: 8 Oct 1972

    I was the leader of Lark flight, a flight of 4 F-4 E’s flying cover for a flight of 4 F-4D’s on a bombing mission near Yen Bai Airfield. I was also the mission leader of this very small strike package. After we completed our refueling on the ingress route, one of my fighter aircraft had a problem and I sent him and a wingman home. Under the ROE’s at that time I should have aborted the mission since I only had 2 fighter planes but I chose to continue the mission. As we approached the fence, Red Crown warned us that a MiG was scrambling and it was probably for us. As we continued inbound, Red Crown followed the MiG’s progress and it was indeed coming our way. It was almost like a GCI in reverse. After some time he said the MiG was at our 10:30 high and sure enough my backseater, Bob Jasperson, pointed out a silver glint in the sun as he turned down on us. I called a “hijack” and had the fighters jettison their tanks and go burner as we turned into the MiG. A few seconds later I had the bomber flight break as the MiG came closer. The MiG dove down trying to follow the breaking bombers and I was on his tail but at a very high angle off. I fired 2 AIM-9’s but did not expect them to guide as the angle off was far beyond the limits. They went ballistic. I then jettisoned the rest of the missiles including the AIM-7’s. I was yelling for Bob to give me a caged sight as the recticle was completely off of the windscreen due to the angle and the G’s. He got it locked and I very quickly did a little Kentucky windage, pulled the pipper way out in front and high and fired a short burst. To my pleasant surprise it impacted the MiG in the fuselage near the left wing and it immediately burst into flames. The pilot did not hesitate at all and ejected. Then came an even bigger surprise; he had a beautiful pastel pink parachute! I circled him one time and then regrouped the flight for our trip home. The whole thing was visible from the tower at Yen Bai if anyone was in it at that time. The entire fight was around a minute or two. Upon checking the ammo after landing, I found I had fired only 96 rounds and that included the exciter burst which was probably about the half. I was extremely pleased as I had a gun camera for this mission (not all birds had them) and it had checked out good going in. When I removed the film pack it looked like it had functioned correctly. I gave it to the gun camera guys and told then to really take care in developing it. About an hour later they came with the results: great film but all of it flying straight and level after the refueling. The camera apparently continued to run after I fired the exciter burst and all of the film was used long before the fight began. So, I did not have the great film I had hoped for!"

    Gary Retterbusch
  11. sinissa

    sinissa New Member

    Nov 25, 2006
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    Actualy it was not truth that 2 MIG-29 shot down ower kosovo,coz Serbia got 15 Mig-29,two treenage (two seats) ,2 was shoot down Near belgrade in fisrst war days ( u need to hawe alot guts to fly solo on 100 enemy planes) where i pilot killed,and 1 ejected.Totaly 5 MIG-29 was destroyed 2 in air,and 3 on ground,including one two seat craft.Serbia still hawe 10 MIG-29,so that thing u wrote is just not correct one.No plane go in air after that two was shooten down.
  12. Hubsu

    Hubsu New Member

    Feb 28, 2005
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    Sinissa, there's only one post about Kosovo MiG kills, the ones that apparently are credited to Maj Hwang from 493EFS/48FW. Rest of the posts conserning aerial victories are from Vietnam era and they were posted in a thread about Vietnam war in a different forum. Nothing about ex-Jugoslavian MiGs in those posts :)
  13. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

    Apr 24, 2004
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    So if two were shot down and two were destroyed in the air how does that make it not true?
  14. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

    Mar 2, 2005
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    All I got is some stories from my dad when he was in strausburg and near the east german and czech borders during the 70's while he was serving with the Nato force. :-?
  15. sinissa

    sinissa New Member

    Nov 25, 2006
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    two shoot down in air,and as i read in wester sources one was shooted down by Holand F-16,bouth in region near belgrade.3 destroyed on the ground(so on the ground,not in air simon),none on Kosovo region.Totaly ex Yugoslavia buyed around 20 MIG-29 in late 80-s and sone of them left in Croatia,after Yugoslavia breake.Officialy NATO statment after agression was 28 MIG-29 destroyed,what is totaly wrong.Many models was used as decoys,for planes and tanks.
  16. Hubsu

    Hubsu New Member

    Feb 28, 2005
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  17. sinissa

    sinissa New Member

    Nov 25, 2006
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    It is just not true.And i see,only 1 confirmed shoot down there for mig-29 ( i see only 1 mig 29 shooted down) so pls,show me where u see 6?

    In next few days,i will upload some PIC of models we used,and u will se that is far from MIG's.And where u sow 14 crash sites,can u show me link?
  18. Hubsu

    Hubsu New Member

    Feb 28, 2005
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    Oh dang, I accidentally linked twice the same link, when the other link should have been this: http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_302.shtml There's the missing 5 kills.

    Western sources state 7 MiG-29s not returning home from their missions, the unaccounted "kill" being a crash landing. The remaining 7 destroeyd MiGs are ground kills. Can't say if those 7 ground kills accounts false targets aswell, that were thought to being real MiG-29s.
  19. sinissa

    sinissa New Member

    Nov 25, 2006
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    Calculation is simple,part of story about MIG's is true.We had 16 29's,2 trenagee,no spare party,and there was not many of them in working conditions.2 migs gone airborn,rest of them was hiden.I know this from Serbian sources,and my brotther is army pilot-instructor,major by ranking in Serbian airforce.We still got 10 MIG's,if 14 destroyed it is just not possible.After nato agression,all 10 was presented on batajnica airfield.

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