29 April 2008

Swiss Man Flies the da Vinci Parachute

April 29, 2008-
It has taken over 500 years and many, many failed attempts, but the da Vinci Parachute has been successfully flown.

Olivier Vietti-Teppa (36), of Switzerland successfully landed a da Vinci designed parachute, conceived somewhere around 1485.

The jump was made from 2000 feet from a helicopter.

"I came down in the middle of Payerne military airport in Switzerland, a perfect jump. " -Olivier Vietti-Teppa

Watch the video.

24 April 2008

Isrealis Bombed Syrian Reactor

No Shit? Really? Guess who reported this back when it happened?
Maddog Speaks: WTF? Syrian WMD's?

The Bush administration charged Thursday that a secret Syrian nuclear reactor was within weeks or months of completion before Israel bombed it on Sept. 6 and demanded that North Korea and Syria publicly acknowledge their collusion on a facility that could have produced plutonium for a nuclear weapon.

Back in September, everything was on the QT. In October, the Syrians used a controlled demolition to clear the site. In doing so, they exposed reactor components to U.S. spy satellites. Whoops.

The Bush administration didn't go public at the time at the request of the Israelis who feared a counterstrike. The U.S. State Department then used this fact successfully to compel the Koreans to abandon their nuclear program.

Hurray for our side!

President Bush has received criticism from Congress who side with the Syrians.

Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, charged Thursday that the administration had improperly imposed a "veil of secrecy" around intelligence it was required to share with the oversight committees.

In a statement, the Syrian Embassy in Washington denounced the U.S. claims as "false allegations" designed to "misguide" Congress and international public opinion and produce support for Israel's surprise air strike in September, "which the U.S. administration may have helped execute."

23 April 2008

Russian MiG-29 Downs Georgian UAV

Fight's on!
On 21 April, 2008, A Russian MiG-29 downed a Georgian UAV. The Georgian aircraft was an Isreali built Hermes 450.

At first everyone opened with a lie.

The ITAR-TASS news agency quoted a Russian air force representative, who claims a MIG-29 fighter would never be used to destroy an unmanned plane.

According to Georgia, one of its unmanned planes was on a regular reconnaissance flight when it was attacked by a Russian fighter jet.

Georgia had previously denied all involvement, claiming they hadn’t sent a plane to the area. Abkhazia says Georgia’s statement acknowledging the flight is tantamount to an admission of spying.

A video released by the Georgians clearly shows a MiG-29 sliding into the UAV's six o'clock position and hosing it with an air to air missile.

The video was released on 23 April by the Georgian U.N. delegation during a meeting of the Security Council. Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin labeled the drone flight as provocative and noted that Abkhazia claims to have shot down the drone. The U.N. Security Council debated the crisis behind closed doors and has not released any information.

The Abakhazian Air Force doesn't field a MiG-29 but does have the Su-27.

The United States expressed concern on Wednesday over the shooting down of a pilotless Georgian reconnaissance drone and reaffirmed its support for Georgia as it grapples with Russia over the rebel territory. Abkhazia announced it's independence from Georgia in 1992.

The Russian foreign ministry also said that the presence of the drone violated UN ceasefire agreements.

Russian and UN peacekeepers have been deployed in the two regions since the early 1990s, when violence erupted as they broke free from Georgian control.

Russia has asserted that it is not seeking to inflame the situation but to try and protect the rights and legal interests of Russian citizens who make up the majority of the population in the two regions.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement:

"The United States is deeply concerned by the shooting down of an unarmed Georgian UAV, by a presumably Russian MiG-29, over the Abkhazia region of Georgia on April 20." McCormack added that Washington was "concerned by the presence of a MiG-29 aircraft in Georgian airspace without Georgian authorization, and by the use of weapons from this aircraft in shooting down an unarmed Georgian UAV."

In a show of support earlier in the day, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Georgian Foreign Minister David Bakradze at the State Department.

Before the meeting, Secretary Rice was quoted as saying:

"Our commitment to Georgia and to its territorial integrity is firm."

After meeting Georgia's foreign minister, Ms Rice said the US was "very concerned" by Russia's actions.

Confused yet? Stay tuned for details as this crisis unfolds. The Lucky Puppy Forum has been reporting on Russian bombers challenging NATO aircraft on "routine patrols". Putin has been has been flexing Russian military power in a clear attempt to reassert Russia as a global superpower. Is this a blatant example of it?

20 April 2008

Save The Leathal Lady

The aircraft shown on the right is a record setter.
Built in 1985, "Lethal Lady" has been in the air longer than any other F-16. Currently flown by the Green Mountain Boys of the Vermont ANG, she has logged more the 7000 hours in the air. She has flown in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now she slated for the glue factory.

Rather than meeting this ignoble fate,
Senator Leahy (D-VT) has called for the Lady to be preserved.

"It would be better to put the aircraft on display at the Vermont Guard or at the National Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio."

If you want this piece of aviation history to be saved, contact the Senator at the link above and voice your opinion.

The photo is when 83-1165 [Photo by Gary Chambers] was with the Indiana ANG. If any of you Green Mountain Boys have a current picture, please post it here. If you ever crewed her or flew her feel free to send pictures as well. Thanks.

14 April 2008

The Four Horsemen

In the 1950's the Tactical Air Command fielded an air demonstration "Squadron" known as
The Four Horsemen.
Many units at the time had demo units but the 463rd Troop Carrier Wind at Ardmore AFB, Oklahoma had a unique twist. They flew the C-130 Hercules.
Captains Gene Chaney, Jim Akin, David Moore and William Hatfield of the 774th Troop Carrier Squadron were the Horsemen.
Diamond formations were a snap. They started the show taking off in the Diamond.

Here's their idea of a "Bomb Burst".After the Bomb Burst they'd reform in diamond for a pass down the show line. They then reformed into a echelon and came back in for the landing. Landing one after the other, Lead would still be on the runway when four touched down.

The team applied to be designated as an official air demonstration team. While in peace time there were plenty of fighters laying around, the C-130 had operational commitments so there weren't aircraft to spare. For that reason the application was turned down.

Read their whole story.

Green Mountain Boy Gets Out of Hand

8 APR, 2008- It's opening day for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. At conclusion of the National Anthem, three F-16's of the Vermont Air National Guard's 158th Fighter Wing come swooping in for a fly by. The fourth plane in the formation then barrel rolls over the formation.

The crowd goes wild!

The pilot gets grounded.

The maneuver was not planned. Number four was running late and barrel rolled to tuck back into the formation. Uh...right. You bet. You pay them big bucks and send them to all the schools but pilots always act like boys on bikes. The Hog Dog stunt has landed the pilot in hot water.

Sort of.

Spokesman for the Green Mountain Boys, Lt. Col. Lloyd Goodrow said:

"It was a legitimate maneuver and not an acrobatic stunt. "It is normally done at 5,000 feet or above. The crowd loved it, but it was not a planned maneuver. At no time was the public in danger. Our pilot is a very skilled pilot. He maintained full control of the airplane.
The pilot was grounded, not as a punishment but so we can provide remedial training in tactics and procedures so this situation does not happen again.
I can promise you they won’t see anything like that again, no matter where we do flyovers."

The name of the pilot was not released but was described as a "very experienced pilot".

The 158th Fighter Wing is based out of Burlington, Vermont and is currently serving Bold Eagle alert duties at various locations. Operation Bold Eagle flies airborne intercepts of unknown or suspicious aircraft as part of Homeland Defense since 9/11. The wing has also deployed to Iraq.


More about the Green Mountain Boys

06 April 2008

Aloha Aloha

On March 31, 2008 flight 261 marked the end of the 61 year history of Aloha Airlines. The company ceased operations just ten days after filing Chapter 11 reorganization.

Final Flight

Final Safety Briefing

01 April 2008

T-Bird in the Dirt

15 MAR, 2005- The USAF Thunderbirds usually do their first show of the season at Creech AFB, Nevada. It's called "Indian Springs Appreciation Day". They practice at Creech and the show is a full-up dress rehearsal and a "Thank you and sorry about that bathroom window".

In March of 2005, I was working and I called the wife to ask if she liked the show.

Wife-"It was all right, but your son freaked out."

Me-"What happened?"

Wife- "Something about a wheel or something. He said I was the adult and had the good camera and to get closer. He said he blaze away with his camera. Later, he told me not to go through any metal detector and don't let anyone touch the camera until Dad sees it."

Me- "Put him on."

Me- "What happened Josh?"

Josh- "Number three went into the dirt!"

Me- "Really"

Josh- "Yeah, really. The gear collapsed."

The mishap happened at the end of the show and taxing into the spot. Number three didn't make the turn and trundled off the taxi way. The pilot was taken away in a back board. The cause of mishap was brake failure. I chatted with the crew chief and he said,
"The pilot's okay. The jet is okay. We're flying at Luke next week."

The pilot was on the back board as a precaution. The gear did not collapse. From the crowd line, it only appeared that the it was on its belly.