Video clip shows A-7K Corsair jet’s strafing passes on Michigan Range in 1990

A-7K strafe and extremely low fly by in the rain at the Grayling Air Gunnery Range.

Here’s an interesting clip from the Grayling Air Gunnery Range in Michigan on a rainy day on Jul. 14, 1990. Although it’s not the best quality (it was an old VHS video filmed by Chad Thomas from Jetwash Images, who converted and uploaded it to Youtube.com), it is a rather impressive as it shows low altitude strafing passes by an A-7K, few years before it was retired.

The Corsair (dubbed “SLUFF”, Short Little Ugly Fat Fellow) belongs to the 121st Tactical Fighter Wing Ohio ANG (OH), 162d Tactical Fighter Squadron, Springfield Air National Guard Base, Springfield, one of the last to fly the A-7.

The unit received the A-7D in 1978, received the two-seater A-7K in 1982 and eventually moved to the F-16 in May 1993.

As pointed out by our readers, the USAF operated the A-7D as a single seat (only) aircraft. There were no two seaters and all the training was done on the single seater with the IP (Instructor Pilot) on a chase aircraft. The Air National Guard (ANG) did the same when they got the aircraft in their inventory. Then, in the early 1980s, the ANG decided that having some two seat variants of the A-7D was a good idea. The ANG funded the production of a limited number of A-7D two seaters, which were named the A-7K: in total, 30 two-seaters were built. The school in Tucson got some to use in initial training, and each A-7D equipped operational ANG unit received at least one A-7K to add to its fleet, that was also used for VIP and media-orientation flights.

About David Cenciotti 4416 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.

7 Comments

  1. Funny how the jets that get the tag ugly are some of the most amazing to watch.

  2. A minor correction. Units didn’t transition from A-7D’s to A-7K’s. The -K was the two seat model. Most Air National Guard units that flew the Corsair II had at least one. They were used for training. The Colorado Air National Guard flew them and transitioned to the Block 30 F-16C/D’s in ’91. I was in the unit from 1985-1999.

  3. The USAF operated the A-7D as a single seat (only) aircraft. There were no two seaters. All instruction was done via a chase aircraft. The Air National Guard (ANG) did the same when they got the aircraft in their inventory. Then, in the early 1980’s, the ANG decided that having some two seat variants of the A-7D was a good idea. The ANG funded the production of a limited number of A-7D two seaters, which were named the A-7K. The “school house” in Tucson got some to use in initial training, and each A-7D equipped operational ANG unit received ONE A-7K to add to its fleet. The unit to which I belonged used our “K” mostly for public relations flights. The statement in this article that the 162nd TFS “transitioned to the A-7K” is therefore not correct. They kept flying their A-7D fleet with the addition of one A-7K two seater. For most
    A-7D units, this was mostly a non-event. Many said that it was the ANG Bureau flexing their muscles to show that they could have an aircraft built just for them. To us that flew them, it was sort of a novelty to go fly the “K” every so often..

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