[Photo] Stunning ultra-low altitude flyby of a Royal Navy F-4K Phantom

Feb 23 2014 - 5 Comments

When the Royal Navy flew the F-4K Phantom aircraft. At ultra-low altitude.

“I can hear it but I can’t see it yet”: this could have been the last words those two Matelots said before the Fleet Air Arm Phantom thundered few feet above their heads at RNAS (Royal Naval Air Station) Yeovilton, Somerset, southeastern part of the UK.

It’s unclear when the image was shot. For sure it must have been some time between 1968 and 1978, when 48 F-4Ks (which received the British designation FG.1), served with the Royal Navy at Yeovil and aboard HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier.

The plane was primary fleet air defence aircraft, combined with a secondary strike capability, and replaced the de Havilland Sea Vixen.

The latter flew also at very low altitude as the image below, taken during FAC (Forward Air Controller) training proves.

Sea Vixen

Image credit: Crown Copyright / Royal Naval Reserve Air Branch


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  • JJTX

    Talk about a low-blow!

  • Gridlock


  • R.Lopaka

    Blimy!….That Phantom HAS to be around here somewhere mate!!

  • Sharkey Ward.

    That was 1969 – with Neil Featherstone flying the jet (if I remember rightly). Reminds me of my court martial – but that is a different Vixen story.

  • Steve Sestrich

    “I can hear it but I can’t see it yet” Having witnessed a low pass by a USAF A7 at White Sands Missile Range, I can say they probably saw it before they heard it. In my case the plane whooshed silently over my head, then a second later the sound followed.