Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Deadliest Air Show Accident In History: The Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 Flanker Crash At Sknyliv 15 Years Ago Today

A Ukrainian Flanker crashed during a display at Sknyliv airfield, in Ukraine. The accident killed 77 people and injured 543.

The deadliest air show accident in history occurred on Jul. 27, 2002, at Sknyliv airfield near Lviv, Ukraine, when a Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 Flanker crashed during its display routine.

The two pilots, Volodymyr Toponar and Yuriy Yegorov, ejected safely but as a consequence of the crash 77 people died and 545 were injured, 100 of whom were hospitalised.

Several videos show the incident from different viewpoints.

The Flanker can be seen performing a sort of split-S at low altitude, descend rapidly towards the apron and taxiway. The aircraft’s left wing clipped a tree, struck the asphalt and dragged four rows of barbed wire that mowed down onlookers. The jet then hit some stationary aircraft, including an Il-76MD transport aircraft before beginning to explode and cartwheel into the crowd.

Following the disaster, the pilots stated that the airbase map they had received differed from the actual layout they found at Sknyliv airfield, where they had been also denied an extra rehearsal flight before the show. Although the root cause of the crash was found into the pilots violating the plan and performing “difficult maneuvers they had not done before”, other factors, including a small flying zone and inappropriate zoning by the show organizers who had allowed spectators to gather so close to the flight line were blamed for the tragedy.

On Jun. 24 2005, a military court sentenced pilot Volodymyr Toponar (who has always claimed the crash was due to technical problems and a faulty flight plan) and co-pilot Yuriy Yegorov to 14 and 8 years in prison, respectively. Yegorov was released in 2008.

Here’s a video of the crash and aftermath. Beware, it’s graphic content.

 

Take A Look At This Epic Video Of A B-1 Bomber Performing A High-Speed Flyby At Oshkosh

This is one of the coolest B-1 footages ever!

Filmed on Jul. 26, the video below shows a B-1 Lancer bomber performing multiple high-speed passes in full afterburner and swept wings at dusk, during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017 airshow, the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration, running from Jul. 24 to 30 in Wisconsin.

Note the “condensation clouds” generated by the aircraft during the flybys: these are a quite common phenomenon during turns and high-G maneuvers when the angle of attack reduced the pressure on the wing’s upper surface bringing the water vapour contained in the air to the condensation temperature.

The footage, taken by Airailimages is truly epic as it lets you watch the high-speed in slow motion.

H/T Ashley Wallace for the heads-up!

Check Out This Cool B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber IQT Graduation Video

Here are the newest four graduates as pilots of the Stealth Bomber.

On Jul. 21, 2017, B-2 IQT (Initial Qualification Training) 85 class (the 85th IQT class on the stealth bomber) graduated four new Spirit pilots.

The class is the initial qualification training course to qualify as B-2 Stealth Bomber pilots. It’s a 6 month program with 10 flights in the mighty “Bravo Deuce”. During the course each pilot got to drop 4x 2,000 lbs mark-84 weapons and was trained how to evade enemy air defenses.

Among the pilots who attended IQT 85 there were 3 guys fresh from pilot training and 1 guy who was a previous C-17 airdrop instructor pilot.

B-2 pilots are dual qualified in the T-38A Talon, a jet used to keep the proficiency in instrument flying, formation, and just to keep their hand flying skills sharp. Noteworthy, 3 of the new B-2 pilots are also T-38A IPs (Instructor Pilots) at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The newly graduated pilots were given the numbers #643, #644, #645 and #646: the Spirit numbers are given anytime (including non-pilots like generals, senators, etc.) who get a flight in the B-2.

“While we were in training the B-2 did its mission to destroy the ISIS camp in Libya so we threw some of the drone footage in the video,” said one of the newly graduated pilots in a message to The Aviationist.

Congrats guys!

Photos Of AH-64D Apache Armed With “Spike” Missiles Prove That The Weapon Is Operational For the Israeli Attack Helicopters

Recent photos show the Israeli Air Force AH-64D carrying Rafael “Spike” missiles.

Taken by Noam Menashe recently, the images in this post show IAF AH-64D “Saraf” of the 113 “Hornet” Squadron based at Ramon, Israel, carrying the indigenous Spike missile system in what appear to be the NLOS (Non-Line Of Sight) variant.

According to AFM, the photos have been cleared by the Israel Defense Forces censor proving that the missile system is now officially considered part of the Israeli “Saraf” armoury.

The NLOS is an ultra-long range version of the precision attack system believed to have a maximum range of up to 25 km and a weight of 70 kg.

According to Rafael, the SPIKE NLOS weapon system can be operated in either direct attack upon target detection using LOBL (Lock-on Before Launch) Mode or firing from stand-off in automatic navigation mode based on operator or target acquisition system provided coordinates (INS navigation).
A bidirectional RF data link enables transmission of the missile seeker video image to the operator as well as real-time updating or steering of the missile.

Indeed, along with the range and non-line of sight firing capability, the electro-optically guided Spike has the ability to switch between targets and abort its mission if the operator believes the initial target should no longer be engaged.

Spike NLOS can also receive target data from remote target acquisition systems, such as airborne UAVs, or remotely operated via networked command and control systems. The communications between the missile and operator is conducted over an optical fiber, enabling effective, broadband, secure two-way communications.

The AH-64D “Saraf” 743 with the Spike NLOS missiles. Image credit: Noam Menashe

 

Salva

Salva

Video Shows Three Canadair CL-415 “Water Bomber” Aircraft Picking Up Water Together During Firefighting Mission In France

Watch This Pretty Unusual Footage.

The video below was filmed at Cagnes-sur-Mer, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France.

It shows three Canadair CL-415 water bomber aircraft involved in a firefighting mission near the picturesque French Riviera town on Jul. 24, 2017. Whilst “Superscooper” planes are constantly supporting firefighting operations across the world for decades it’s at least unusual to see three water bomber planes scoop up water from the sea at the same time.

The aircraft in the footage below (filmed by Amine Abid) belong to the fleet of the French Sécurité Civile that operates a fleet of more than a dozen CL-415, a type of amphibious aircraft developed to deliver massive quantities of suppressant in quick response to fires.

The firefighting mission is undoubtedly one of the most hazardous for pilots. The very low altitude, the smoke that reduces visibility, winds causing turbulence, the large concentration of aircraft in the same area, the generally abrupt topography and the need of perform several fill-drop cycles in a short time make the water bomber role particularly risky. You can find several videos on the Internet showing the CL-415s cooperatively working against forest fires: however, you will hardly find anything like three water bombers performing a water pick-up in close sequence as shown in this pretty cool video.

 

H/T @mehdiAA for the heads-up