Thursday, July 14, 2011

F-111 makes a gear-up landing using a tailhook.

The F-111 was always an airplane that fascinated me.

The beauty of serving in the U.S. Air Force is that if you're an airplane nut, the Air Force is THE place to be.

Our fighter wing TDY'd quite a bit, and of the places we'd go and visit and harass, Cannon AFB (New Mexico) and Mountain Home AFB (Idaho) were two favorites.

Cannon is located outside of Clovis, New Mexico which is an area popular with science-fiction photographers and movie makers because the landscape looks just like what you'd expect on an alien planet from another solar system. It's flat and endless.

But it's perfect for giving those F-111's a place to lay their wings back and thunder across the terrain at near twice the speed of sound and maybe two hundred or so feet above the ground.

I said it in a previous posting that military aviators have balls of steel. I think F-111 and B-1 drivers have balls of titanium.

These two F-111 aviators from Australia certainly do. This is about as picture perfect of a not-by-choice gear-up landing as one could ask for.

Those Aussies. Damn they're tough. I'm glad they're on our side and we on theirs.


Old NFO said...

And that airplane flew again too! :-) Actually, that landing didn't look as bad as a few I've seen on the carrier!

Blue said...

I had a flight instructor that told me "any landing you can walk away from is a good one". THAT was a good one!

An Ordinary American said...

NFO--I BET you've seen some rather, er, uh. . . interesting controlled crashes on carriers.

We used to rib the Navy flyers about "you crash your airplanes, we land ours," but make no mistake about it: I haven't met too many USAF flyers that relished the thought of landing on a pitching, rolling runway in the middle of the night during a rain storm.

Blue--Yep, flight instructors love to say that, and if I was flying anyone's airplane but my own, yep, good landing.

But I also know a top-shelf flight instructor who said he prefers to teach people how to fly like "owner pilots" rather than "renter pilots."

Anyone who's rented from an FBO where the mechanics are constantly behind due to endless "squawks" knows what I'm talking about.

Took me way too long to get the Bluebird. I baby her, especially on landings.