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FELL 15,000 FEET AND LIVED … An F-8 Pilot’s Story

FELL 15,000 FEET AND LIVED … An F-8 Pilot’s Story

“‘Jud you’re on fire, get the hell out of there!” Needless to say that startling command got my attention. As you will read in this report, this was just the beginning of my problems!     It had all started in the brilliant sunlight 20,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean as I nudged my F-8 Crusader jet […]
SOUNDS LIKE A PERSONAL PROBLEM: An F-8 reserve pilot’s story

SOUNDS LIKE A PERSONAL PROBLEM: An F-8 reserve pilot’s story

 In those ancient days, the blue skies of Western Florida were kept clear of hordes of Commie bombers by airplane drivers who wore spiffy blue flight suits, gaily checkered ascots, and shiny black flight boots.  Each day, they launched their mighty delta-shaped craft into the stratosphere over the Gulf, skillfully following the electronic chess moves […]

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Flight Journal 20-20 600x120

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The amazing rescue of Fango 45

The amazing rescue of Fango 45

    On 8 April 1982, the following crew conversation takes place inside Fango 43, an Idaho ANG RF-4C flying a twilight low-level radar mission over eastern Oregon.   PILOT:  “Ground speed set at 480.” WSO:  “Okay, turn right to two-zero-three.” PILOT:  “Steady two-zero-three.” WSO:  “Okay, come one-half left and hold that.” PILOT:  “Rawj.” WSO:  “Clear […]
A hectic night at the office with a Hornet

A hectic night at the office with a Hornet

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. It has everything to do with sharing what will no doubt become a better story as the years go by.   So, there […]

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WW II First Dogfights

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Mach 3.18 in-flight breakup of an SR-71 Blackbird

Mach 3.18 in-flight breakup of an SR-71 Blackbird

Among professional aviators, there’s a well-worn saying: Flying is simply hours of boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror.  But I don’t recall too many periods of boredom during my 30-year career with Lockheed, most of which was spent as a test pilot.  By far, the most memorable flight occurred on Jan. 25, 1966.  Jim […]
Country music star Aaron Tippin pilots a B-29

Country music star Aaron Tippin pilots a B-29

Not only is Aaron Tippin a world-famous country singer, he’s also an accomplished pilot! He recently completed his check ride in “Fifi,” the only B-29 Superfortress still flying today. Here’s his story: “Getting checked out in the B-29 on this beautiful September day is a lifelong dream and the coolest thing ever”, Tippin exclaims. Now Aaron […]

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Aardvarks Down: Last F-111s Fly

Aardvarks Down: Last F-111s Fly

On December 3, 2010, another great aircraft was retired from service, and this time it was in Australia. The F-111 was one of the most controversial aircraft ever flown by the USAF. It was battle-tested in the Vietnam War and proved to be one of the most effective attack aircraft in the Gulf War. The […]
SpaceX’s Dragon Spacecraft  Makes a Big Splash

SpaceX’s Dragon Spacecraft Makes a Big Splash

Space flight history was recently enjoyed by the SpaceX Company, when its Falcon 9 launch system successfully carried its Dragon spacecraft into low orbit and returned it safely to a predetermined splashdown point some 500 miles (804 kilometers) off the coast of southern California. This was the first time a commercial company had successfully recovered […]

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Sally B is 65

Sally B is 65

Europe has two potentially airworthy Boeing B-17s, one in France (currently not airworthy), and the best known, the Duxford-based Sally B (pictured earlier in 2010). 2010 is the 75th anniversary of the first flight of Boeing’s legendary B-17 Fortress, and it is also the 65th anniversary of B-17G Sally B (ex 44-85784 and N17TE, F-BGSR, […]
Russia’s Other  Big Biplane

Russia’s Other Big Biplane

A huge production number characterized both of Russia’s well-known biplanes. More than 20,000 examples of the large, postwar Antonov An-2 have been built, but eclipsing this is massive production of an estimated 40,000+ examples of the Polikarpov PO-2. The PO-2 is a smaller biplane than the An-2 and much older in concept, the prototype first […]
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