[HD Video] Hang onto the wing of a C-130 Hercules as it flies at tree top height in the valleys during Red Flag Alaska

As already explained, even in the hi-tech age of stealth bombers, low-level flying is still one of the most important parts of combat pilot training.

The fact that some recent scenarios give combat planes the opportunity to quietly operate at medium or high altitude with standoff weapons, because of the lack of anti-aircraft threats, doesn’t imply there’s no longer need to train for flying at low level.

Aircraft involved in special operations, reconnaissance, Search And Rescue, troops or humanitarian airdrops in trouble spots around the world may have to fly at low altitudes as this may be the best way to penetrate the enemy airspace avoiding detection by the enemy’s air defense system.

Even a stealth plane (or helicopter), spotted visually by an opponent, could be required to escape at tree top height to survive an engagement by enemy fighter planes or an IR guided missile.

Low level flying is quite demanding because of the risk involved with flying at high speeds few meters above the terrain. That’s why it’s still part of the Red Flag exercise.

In this impressive HD video, you’ll join a Polish Air Force C-130 as it flies at low altitude between the valleys of Alaska during a RF sortie.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.