Two pilots flying what they thought was a routine flight to Germany for servicing of their Embraer Phenom executive jet had more than they bargained for when two Luftwaffe Typhoons appeared on their wing tip.
According to The Local website, the two German Eurofighters were scrambled from Norvenich airbase after British firm Hangar 8 had reported the jet stolen and had called German Police to tell them of the theft, even if it is unclear on why they went to the German Police in the first instance.
The risk of an illegal plane, being flown by unknown pilots with an unknown aim in German airspace prompted terror fears. German Police contacted NATO who in turn contacted the Luftwaffe, which launched two Eurofighters to intercept the jet and bring it down safely.
According to The Local, a Luftwaffe spokeman said: “We received the alarm via NATO at 19:48. Within six minutes two of our Eurfighters started from Norvenich” within 30 minutes the Phenom jet was on the ground at Cologne’s Cologne-Bonn airport, where Police welcomed the two bemused Austrian pilots.
The article does not say when the QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) was launched: most probably it happened on Mar. 31, 2012.
The two hapless pilots both Austrians, said that they had taken off from Nigeria, refueled in Algeria and were heading for Cologne to take the jet for servicing.
The plane will remain grounded until the ownership can be established.
On Oct. 31, at 23.59 Libyan Time, exactly 7 months after it began, NATO Operation Unified Protector has come to an end. Since the beginning of the Uprising and especially from Mar. 19, the Day 1 of the war (then named Odyssey Dawn), this site has provided an unmatched analysis of the air campaign with special reports, previously unreleased information, detailed debriefings, infographics and pictures.
I’ve already written the first part of the Lessons Learned during the war in the post titled Operation Unified Protector (was Odyssey Dawn) explained: Final Report (part two will follow in the next days….so stay tuned, I’ve still something to say about the air war in Libya). However, to celebrate the official end of the air campaign, I’ve collected some of the most interesting pictures of the aircraft involved in the operations in Libya taken by unofficial sources (whose name are listed at the end of this post) since February 2011.
Most of them were taken at Malta International Airport that, although not being directly involved in the allied operations, was a hub for all the civil and military aircraft involved in the humanitarian airlift in the aftermath of the Uprising (when Libya was evacuated) and, during the war, was often the preferred alternate airfield for all the OUP aircraft experiencing mechanical failures or fuel shortage.
This post will not show you all the technologies that took out Gaddafi but will probably show most of those that played a critical role in the “victory”.
Each image’s filename contains where and when the picture was taken.
Images by: Estelle Calleja, Matthew Scerri, Trafford Vella, Brendon Attard, Roderick Agius, Giovanni Maduli, David Cenciotti and a couple of anonymous contributors.
On Sept. 16, 2011, the 4° Stormo, one of the most famous and glorious units of the Italian Air Force, celebrated its 80th anniversary with a reunion of personnel who has served with the Wing since it was established in 1931.
The event’s highlight was a Typhoon 9-ship formation (6 single seaters and 3 two seaters, not the largest Eurofighter formation ever) of the 9° Gruppo and 20° OCU (Operational Conversion Unit), that performed a series of flypasts before splitting into two sections (5+4) for landing.
During the day, the official book of the 80th anniversary titled “Al lupo, al lupo” was presented. I’m one of the authors of the new book (Hardcover, 224 pages, Italian – English text, ISBN 978-88-96723-01-2) an extremely detailed account of the recent and past history of the 4° Stormo. The book is mainly focused on the most recent years of the 80-year long history of the unit: as Col. Michele Morelli, commander of the Stormo, explained during his presentation’s introductiory speech, on the last year alone, the “Quarto” (Italian for “Fourth”) has hosted the Winter Hide 2011 exercise, has taken part in the most eastern operations of Italian tacair planes by deploying two F-2000s to Bangalore for Aero India 2011 air show, flew several sorties over Libya in support of Operation Unified Protector, and finally deployed to Iceland, for Exercise Northern Viking, where the squadron will provide air policing missions.
I’ve written the chapters about the 4° Stormo from 1990 to Dec. 31, 2010 (in other words, the F-104 ASA period and phase-out and the F-2000 history, from the delivery to the beginning of 2011); the 20° Gruppo with the TF-104; the 604^ Squadriglia Collegamenti involvement in Afghanistan to support the ISAF mission; and the Ferrari – Typhoon race.
I created the following image (using Photoshop) stitching 5 pictures of the F-2000A Typhoon of the Italian Air Force I took at Jesolo Air Show rehearsal on Jun. 10, 2011 (the 2nd one being the famous “Typhoon & the moon” one).
Typhoon’s rate of turn enables the F-2000 to perform all its display within 1 km radius of the center of the display area.
At Air Extreme 2011, test pilot Maj. Raffaele Beltrame of the 311° Gruppo of the RSV (Reparto Sperimentale Volo – Italian Test Wing), based at Pratica di Mare airbase, flew same display flown at Aero India 2011, at Bengaluru that you can see from inside the cockpit in the following interesting video:
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