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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Recent USAF Thunderbird Crash [Sept 2010, Mountain Home AFB]

View from both outside and inside the aircraft...

Read this first

Density Altitude strikes again...

Pretty impressive videos of the crash of the USAF Thunderbirds' Solo #6
during air show at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho this past September.

The First video (wmv file) shows the maneuver on takeoff and then the crash,
including audio of T-bird radio communications as the accident happens.
"Knock it off" is the radio code to immediately end the air show.

Pilot of #6 was an F-15 instructor pilot at Tyndall AFB until last year when
he joined the Thunderbirds. He was banged up on ejection but is evidently

The second video (mpg file) is a cockpit view of pilot (no audio) showing
him doing the maneuver and then punching out just before impact
- talk about close - look how quick the screen goes static after he ejects.

You can sense how fast the ground was coming up to meet him.

Plain and simple, he did incorrect math for the field elevations and density
altitude, so as he pulled over the top and called out the altitude, he and
his backup ground guy thought he was OK... how he lived is still the

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

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