Thunderbird crash photo (head-on)

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Lieven

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Unread post23 Jan 2004, 18:18

For those interested in the canopy jettison of the Thunderbird F-16, have a look at this one:


Pilot ejects 0.8 seconds before the jet impacts the ground. [Photo by SSgt Bennie J. Davis III - Still Photographer, USAF]


(click for larger version)
Last edited by Lieven on 16 Sep 2004, 16:35, edited 4 times in total.
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heatseeker

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Unread post23 Jan 2004, 23:43

Lieven:

Do you have any way of knowing who uploaded this photo to the gallery? I stumbled across this pic just before you posted it in the thread and I've been in awe ever since.

From being at the Mountain Home AFB a half dozen times or so, I can tell you that the area from where this photo was taken is well beyond the runways, far from public access. There is nothing but the control tower and sagebrush beyond the runways, nothing, nodda, zilch. The photographer must have been Air Force personell and this makes me wonder how many other photos are floating out there.
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habu2

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Unread post24 Jan 2004, 00:18

I'd bet money that photo was taken from the control tower, based on the aspect angle and relative elevation. If you look at some of the stills of the crash and subsequent fireball taken from the crowdline you can see the control tower in the shots.
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Lieven

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Unread post24 Jan 2004, 00:20

heatseeker, I've received this one via an F-16.net member. That person however couldn't tell me who the original photographer was. I assume it was taken from the tower.
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Habu

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Unread post24 Jan 2004, 00:31

But is it a photog, or a guy with binoculars?
However, you logic is sound, I bet it was a photog.
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Loader

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Unread post24 Jan 2004, 15:14

I received it at work as well, the note stated it was from the tower.
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heatseeker

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Unread post24 Jan 2004, 17:24

You guys might be right about the control tower---the photo was probably taken from a higher point than ground level. Although when you see the fireball hurling what appears to be right next to the tower, there was an appreciable distance between the debris and control tower, which would result in more of an angle to take the photo during ejection. The photo looks no more than a couple degrees off the nose.

Has anyone seen the aerial photo of the debris scatter? They flashed it on the TV during the news of the accident report, but I have not found it on the net.
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heatseeker

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Unread post24 Jan 2004, 18:42

The complete text in the report can be found on one of our local TV stations website. You have to register your email address in order to view articles, but don't worry, they do not send mass emails or anything.

This is the direct link, but may not work if you're not registered yet:
http://www.ktvb.com/news/localnews/ktvb ... c4a7c.html

Go to http://www.ktvb.com to register and search for "Thunderbird report".

The report is very lengthy too long to post here.
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Habu

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Unread post24 Jan 2004, 20:00

Can you give us a username and password, so we don't have to register?
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Rampage

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Unread post24 Jan 2004, 21:25

Did you guys read about the blade blend that was just performed by the engine guy. I bet there where some sleepless nights for that guy. I don't care how confident you are in your work if a plane crashes just after you worked on it you're going to wonder.
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Unread post25 Jan 2004, 01:50

The most interesting number in the report to me was the decent rate of 8400fpm at ejection! That is a heck of a decent rate for an ejection at 140ft (there is a minor discrepency there if you do the math. , about 28ft...)

Beyond that if you examine the full size down-throat photo you will note that the top of the seat behind the pilot's head is a blur of grey. That is the parachute headbox mortaring off the seat. To either side of his helmet you can see the black flaps starting to spread out. The parachute shroud line stowage tunnels are there. The seat is yawing slightly due to the rocket under the seat intended to give a small amount of lateral movement to clear the vertical stabilizer. Speaking of the aircraft, the LEF are clearly at full down position too...

Kevin
The Ejection Site
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Unread post25 Jan 2004, 05:16

Yes - LEF down, hstabs ~3 deg deflection, AB plume visible, you can even gauge the descent angle from the heat-distorted trail of the jet... lots of detail in that photo.
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Unread post25 Jan 2004, 07:02

Hello,
I have seen a few of the pictures and vid clips of this incident. In my opinion this incident did not have to happen. It looks like the pilot could have recovered the aircraft even though he entered the maneuver too low. Am I wrong or am I not seeing it correctly?
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Unread post25 Jan 2004, 07:13

I think the pilot was in the best position to make that decision. Others here will confirm he was already past the point of recovering after he was 45 ~deg nose down after going over the top.
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Unread post25 Jan 2004, 08:49

I think so too....a 45 degree downline in that reverse half cuban is the last chance you have of determining if you can complete it.
Do your homework, Tiger!
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