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Beautiful F-18 low altitude canyon run HD

Low altitude canyon runs in a F-18 through Northern California and Oregon. ( More...

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mike SUT 10
The inverted is normal. With a weapons load, the stress on the wings would be enormous if he was just to push over as he crested the hill. By rolling the aircraft inverted, it essentially "unloads" the weight of the weapons and negates the stress. A-6 intruders do it, as well as other attack aircraft.
Thomas Cain 1
Interesting, I always thought it was so as he crests the peek, he could see what was below him.
James Wills 6
I would suspect that because of the distortion of the wide angle view that he is not as close to terrain as it looks, but even so, that is some great flying. Not a single hint of dutch roll, either. Is that managed by the airplane, or is his rudder coord. that good?

I appreciate some of the concerns, but I doubt this officer is hot-dogging. Too much at stake to allow that. If you want the best-trained flyers in the world, they have to train hard, and there is risk inherent in that. Yep, some folks die. I, for one, am glad that flyers like that are on our side, and salute their skills and nerve.
Matt Lacey 1
Good technical question there. In a modern digital aircraft, dutch roll is damped by the flight software.
pete480 2
James Irwin 2
Great flying, but, tough to spot the deer at that speed...........?
t r 1
What gets me is seeing the river and the canyon parallel to the angle of flight in the rear-view mirror!
zennermd 1
Thanks for bringing it up again, love to watch this video. My favorite part is the river bed run, by far.
John Atherton 1
Thank you for the explanation renders my comment shallow and uninformed.
joel wiley 2
Thanks for asking. Had you not, I would not have been aware of the wing unloading issue.
James Wills -2
Yes, it does.
Mad Malgras 1
merci Do you speak French ?
James Wills 1
I had 4 semesters of French in college many years ago, but wouldn't want to embarrass myself now. Beautiful language; my regret is that I never spent time in-country to learn it well.
Mad Malgras 1
Do not be embarrassed my English is not very good. I learned last year.
I came to California last year (north and center). So beautiful country
I love your language, it is very rich and beautiful.
you welcome
Mad Malgras 1
C'est très beau merci
Steve Backman 1
Very pretty. But too much yanking and banking for me. I flew B-52s back in the day, sometimes at 50 feet. I saw a few cows and farmers drive into ditches. The "aluminum cloud" was vey impressive overhead at 380 kts. I got people's (and sometimes cows) attention--quickly!
B-52s at 50 ft. AGL? Gee, let me see... wingspan on a Buff is about 185 feet, right? Divide that by 2.. 92.5 feet. So - let me see... if you were to make - oh, let's say a 30 degree bank, due to the inability of an aluminum wingtip to penetrate soil, rocks, trees and other such, you would then be checking the cart-wheeling capability of a 130 ton aircraft. Sounds like an unnecessary risk of eqipment and lives to me.
Mark Lansdell 1
Last time I saw one that low the driver stalled it coming out of the ground effect. They have no cartwheel ability and all aboard were lost.
Robert Black 1
Wow, that was disorientating. I was getting nauseated just watching this guy. Better him than me. Those folks are top-notch pilots.
Andre Perez 1
Awesome video!
The best part was picking the "Hornet" shadow on the country side.
This is what being a Fighter pilot is all about!
My hat off to you, Sir!
toolguy105 1
Just out for a Sunday afternoon drive, so to speak. Nice flying
Ralph Takach 1
OMG...enough said!!!
John Garduno 1
Yaaaaaa.....totally cool john from san diego
Bill Scharff 1
How I miss turning tax dollars into noise. Great flying!
Matt LaMay 1
Whew that river run was something else. I swear I could count the needles on that pine tree....How his vstab didn't trim it is beyond me. Great flying!
Stefan Sobol 1
Rolling inverted before diving down does not do much for the stress on the airplane. However, the pilot can take more G's if being pressed into the seat then being pushed out of it. Also, the roll before the dive allows the pilot to keep the area he will soon be travelling through (or the target) in view during the maneuver. Airplanes can generally take more positive G's than negative G's. The roll before the pull makes the maneuver a positive G load where a push would make it a negative G maneuver.
Cannot help but to wonder...what if a Bird)s) strike would be a problem at this speed and altitude.
Seen it before but that is fun to watch. We did a lot of low level in our helos bout 300kt's less. Nothing like Lima Lima to get the heart rate up. Lol
joel wiley 0
As I understand it, helos don't invert well. I think an earlier post on this came up with Northern Ca, Southern Or for Area of operation. Those hills look real familiar.
Inverted flight is pretty much a one time event for a helo. There are however some models with rigid rotors that can do loops and rolls. LL is just plain fun, not necessarily without risk though.
siriusloon 8
In February 1993, I flew an air-to-air photo mission with the RNZAF in a TA-4K "Kahu" Skyhawk. We did a series of mock attacks on a joint RAN/RNZN naval group 50 miles off the NSW coast. We went 100 miles out and dropped down to 50 feet for the attack runs. Yes, I said 50 feet. That was what was briefed and that was what was flown. I saw it on the HUD repeater with my own (wide) eyes. The RNZAF's A-4s regularly flew down to 50 feet over both land and water.

There were four Skyhawks plus two RAAF Hornets in the attacking force. The A-4s had different attack patterns for each run and while we were regrouping on the way back out to sea, the Hornets did their attacks and I had a few moments for photos. We climbed a bit for the formation work because both close fomation and low-level flying are inherently risky and there was no need to do both at the same time. Blurred water in the background looks the same whether the aircraft are at 50 or 100 feet.

During the pre-flight briefing, it was mentioned that the Hornets were only cleared down to 200 feet, which the Kiwis described as "getting nosebleeds up in the stratosphere". :-)

We were so low that we had to go between the ships rather than climb to go over them. Some were similar ships to what the RN had in the Falklands and I could see the gun turrets and missile launchers trying to track us as we flew past them. It was a very interesting and a very, very small taste of what the Argentinian A-4 pilots had seen in that war. We claimed some hits on the ships and they claimed some hits on the aircraft, but everyone involved lived to tell the tale and enjoyed dinner that night, unlike many on both sides in the Falkands.
John Atherton 0
He makes a mistake, buys the farm, the tax-payer buys the 'plane and his family suffers for the rest of their days.
What the hell is he going inverted for...? Botanical training?
Dave Cheetham 3
All to do with airframe stress and cancelling out G Forces. He is also doing this as Practice makes perfect.
spatr 1
Because a smoking hole in the ground is a small price to pay for a s**t-hot maneuver!
Air Force?
Just saying that this guy really has gall...
kosmik 4
How about looking at it from a different perspective...........
Ya want gall?? I'll give ya gall! I normally fish off the coast of southern New Jersey, home of the 177th FIS, flying F-16s. Sitting on the bridge of a sport fishing boat, roughly 15 ft above the water, I had on many occasions, found myself in the sights of an F-16 AT EYE LEVEL!!! watching the A/C actually pull up to fly over me (thankfully at something less than Mach 1). What a thrill to see an F-16 coming at you at about 600Kts, knowing right well the sonofabitch had me in his sights. The first time it happened I damn near dirtied my shorts. After a few times the experience got a l9ittle less stressful.
PhotoFinish 1
Thanks for being an involuntary practice run target. Let's just say you were contributing to national security readiness.

Not that sitting out on your boat fishing on a beautiful day is such a torturous sacrifice, but appreciated nonetheless.
Mark Lansdell 1
Sounds like a nice boat. I Used to fish off Brielle lots of moons ago.


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