Des Barker recently sent me the above picture.
It depicts a Tornado, in a clean configuration, perfoming an aggressive left turn at ultra low level, most probably immediately after take-off.
If you look closely to the picture (whose author is unknown), you’ll notice the aircraft wears the typical sharkmouth of the 155° Gruppo of the 50° Stormo of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force, ItAF), based in Piacenza.
Look at the following image I took on Mar. 11 at Pratica di Mare, where a Tornado ECR is currently involved in a testing campaign with the ItAF Flight Test Center, the RSV (Reparto Sperimentale Volo).
Therefore, the aircraft is Tornado ECR, completely clean and without the refueling probe.
That maneuver resembles the typical John Derry turn to the left performed at the beginning of each Tornado display by the 311° Gruppo Volo of the RSV.
I analysed the EXIF of the image and I found that it was taken on Dec 18, 2008, at 14.09 LT, with a Canon EOS 350D, 234mm focal length, ISO400.
On that day, Piacenza airbase was still closed (it reopened on Dec. 19) and the 155° was still operating from Cameri airbase (the deployment started at the beginning of Sept. 2008, even if the aircraft flew the first operative mission on Sept. 16, and ended on Feb 3, 2009, with a ceremony for the farewell to the Tonkas).
Here’s a video of the same takeoff.
Maybe the maneuver was performed at Cameri, perhaps by a test pilot of the RSV involved in some kind of testing activity, or simply by a pilot of the 50° Stormo during a test/acceptance sortie.
For sure, it is not a normal take off or flyby.
If you have more info or ideas, just let me know.
If you have set the Camera date wrong, or not done it at all you will (obviously) get an incorrect date. Possibley a clue? Either that or it’s a fake…
I was told by a IAF Tornado pilot that it was done in Cameri by a pilot picking up a plane after they had made maintenance on the airplane ( test/acceptance ) –
It seem that the maintenance team asked the pilot a low pass, and the pilot gave them a little something more.. just after take off-
The event was photographed and even taped (there is a video of this flight around) by the maintenance team.
The tape later ended on a General desk… Which brought the “gutty” pilot 30days of punishment, and another 30 days without flying..
That’s what i know about it. I’ll try to upload the video somewhere
Here’s the link to the Youtube video:
Here’s a safer example of low passage after departure:
Hi, I found this video on youtube that shows an AMX performing a very low pass. The title is written in portuguese so it’s probably a brazilian amx, but the airfield facilities seem to be very similar to those of the cameri tornado video. Maybe an italian amx?