Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Now THIS is a pilot!

Watch this footage taken from this F-16's HUD (Heads-Up Display) as this pilot dead-sticks his bird into an emergency landing WITH NO ENGINE.

Lest ye think that's no big deal, F-16s are not Cessnas. They have glide aspects resembling those of concrete blocks. They stay in the air due to massive power and when the power dies, the aircraft ceases to fly. Failing to get a re-start, the only option for the pilot is to eject and kiss a $20 million dollar aircraft goodbye.

But here we have a pilot who manages to keep some flight control and he descends at a high rate sufficient to keep the airspeed high enough to attempt a landing. But he only gets one shot at this. Too short or too long and it's pieces-parts all over the terrain. And to start with, he's at 9,000 feet just seven miles from the airport, so he's got to put that nose down and dive at an insane rate. The little box on the right side of the display shows his altitude dropping off; if it were a dial like in my Cessna, the hands would be spinning like a fan.
Aw, hell. Just read the description here at An Ordinary American, one of my new favorite blogs. He explains what you're seeing better than I can. And here's the video:Notice that the airspeed indicator (in the little box to the left side of the display) shows him still doing 200 knots as he crosses the runway threshold. He touches down and his landing roll stops on the rubber marks where aircraft landing from the other direction touch down--he used every bit of that runway. Just...damn. THAT is flying.


  1. Holy crap. I'm not much of a flyer but that was one heck of a display.

  2. AMAZING. Most impressive was the highly controlled breathing of the pilot with hardly a change except at that last moment...

    Impressive as hell.

  3. I finally got to watch this. I know slitch about flying but it is obvious that this landing was prety darn amazing! What a cool and smart head on that pilot.