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June 6, 2011 7:35 AM   Subscribe

Video of a jet flying really close to the ground. [via]

Another angle here.
posted by quin (80 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
How were they not hit??
posted by dunkadunc at 7:37 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


That looks pretty dangerous. I bet that pilot's mother wouldn't be happy if she knew he was doing that.
posted by marxchivist at 7:38 AM on June 6, 2011 [16 favorites]


I bet the plane's owner wouldn't be too happy if they knew they were doing that.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:39 AM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Flying on the ground is wrong.
posted by stevil at 7:40 AM on June 6, 2011 [15 favorites]


Something's fishy here. Where's the jet wash? These guys would have been tossed around by the wake turbulence yet I see nothing of the sort. I say fake.
posted by Jamesonian at 7:44 AM on June 6, 2011


The original "North by Northwest" still stands on its own. This remake is gratuitous.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:48 AM on June 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


Don't know if its fake or not but perhaps we could figure it out by listening for Spanish for "do you have an extra pair of pants?" because given that I nearly pissed myself watching the video, I can't imagine filming that and not doing the same.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:49 AM on June 6, 2011


I dunno.. The grass is pretty beat down on the flight path, and a few of the guys are rolling on the ground ..
posted by k5.user at 7:49 AM on June 6, 2011


I'm leaning toward Jamesonian on this one. No wash. And, judging by the first fly-by, it would seem that the jet's wing should have diced the spectators. Or, at the very least the cameraman, who seems to have not hit the deck.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:49 AM on June 6, 2011


judging by the first fly-by, it would seem that the jet's wing should have diced the spectators.

You can see him pull up at the last second.
posted by DU at 7:50 AM on June 6, 2011


Is anyone else suddenly thinking of the Kid Sampson scene in Catch-22?
posted by 40 Watt at 7:50 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is how I know it's not fake: There's a moment as the camera catches the face of one of the bystanders, and in his eyes you can clearly see the words HOLY FUCKING SHIT.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:51 AM on June 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


I love the second plane flying a lofty 40 feet off the ground and imagine its pilot saying, "That 15-foot guy is an asshole!"
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:52 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Where's the jet wash?

Look at the trail left in the grass.
posted by stbalbach at 7:53 AM on June 6, 2011


FINALLY, a way to make mowing the lawn fun, if only for a little while, I'm sure it'd become a chore again
posted by Blasdelb at 7:53 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


You can see the trail of the first airplane in the grass when the second one comes around.
posted by procrastination at 7:53 AM on June 6, 2011


I vote not fake at all. These airplanes are bigger than you think so those wings are well more than six feet off the ground (as in well, at least a few feet more). If you poke around you can find similar aerial stunts such as flying a few feet above still bodies of water to leave a wake.

I also vote needlessly and irresponsibly dangerous.
posted by meinvt at 7:55 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


So I'm guessing "Vuelo Rasante del IA 63 Pampa" is Italian for "Watch me cause you to soil your Pampers".

Or as a Newfoundlander would say, "Lord T'underin' JAY-zuz!"
posted by Mike D at 7:57 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can't explane it.
posted by rmmcclay at 7:58 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I also vote needlessly and irresponsibly dangerous...

and f-ing awesome...
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:59 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


This guy is still standing after a direct flyover
posted by greenhornet at 7:59 AM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's an ekranoplan!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:02 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


"I vote not fake at all."

Me, too. I speculate that the pilot didn't intend to fly quite as low as he/she did.
posted by bz at 8:02 AM on June 6, 2011


Is anyone else suddenly thinking of the Kid Sampson scene in Catch-22?

There are many traumatic elements from that book that I tend to forget about until some jerk on the internet reminds me.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:03 AM on June 6, 2011


Something's fishy here. Where's the jet wash? These guys would have been tossed around by the wake turbulence yet I see nothing of the sort. I say fake.

As for wake turbulence: An IA63 (the plane in the video) has a single engine that puts out 3,500 lbf of force. That's not a whole lot, really -- not enough to knock people around unless they're standing directly behind it.

For comparison, a 747 has 4 engines that each put out ~60,000 lbf. Some bigger engines on twin-engined airliners put out upwards of 115,000 lbf. That kind of thrust will cause serious effects!
posted by wrok at 8:07 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ha, nice title.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:07 AM on June 6, 2011 [13 favorites]


Stupid, yes. Fake, not necessarily.

Planes have reduced drag near the ground, at a height proportional to their wingspan. There are a number of craft designed to take advantage of this effect, particularly over water. The Soviet Union worked on developing a bunch of low-flying huge air vehicles capable of transporting cargo along Russia's interstate-highway-like network of rivers (video with a lot of ekranoplan pictures, but with annoying music).

If weird, bulbous, ginormous vehicles can fly in a controlled manner just above the ground, I'm gonna say it's possible for a good fighter pilot to strafe his jerk buddies.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 8:07 AM on June 6, 2011


I bet the pilot was more freaked out then the people on the ground.
posted by oddman at 8:07 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thank you -- not only for that, but also because it led me to this, and Battle of Britain be damned, you just know that this announcer will forevermore refer to it as a SHIT!fire.
posted by Mike D at 8:08 AM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Flying on the ground is wrong.

Bravo, sir.
posted by mediareport at 8:09 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: needlessly and irresponsibly dangerous.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:11 AM on June 6, 2011


At least twice every flight, airplanes fly that close to the ground and even closer, almost always under complete control. Look at an airplane taking off or landing: they generally remain within a few feet of the center line of the runway. But normally a runway doesn't have loose grass and rocks that might get sucked into the engine, much less stray humans standing on it.
posted by exogenous at 8:18 AM on June 6, 2011


Freeze frame at 0:18 in the first video and you can see a couple things

1) the jet wash being laid down in the grass right behind the plane

2) the nose of the plane is BELOW the horizon from the POV of the camera operator

in fact,

3) The bottom of the plane is closer to the ground than the dorsal/ventral height of the fuselage

Which leads me to

4) The pilot fucked up with how low he/she wanted to go and this was almost a horrible, horrible accident.

and, I doubt many will agree with me but, ...

5) this is excellent evidence for some kind of reckless endangerment proceeding, because it was a stupid, unnecessary stunt that ended well only by the barest margin.

I know I'd be pretty upset if I had been there. A 40 foot flyover is just fine for pants crapping; this was just plain dangerous.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:19 AM on June 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Gopher, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby.
posted by bwg at 8:19 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Back home, on Tatooine, we call that "taxiing."
posted by crunchland at 8:21 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Eh. standard stuff. If you've spent any time walking in Scotland, being buzzed by the RAF at 30' is pretty normal.

Operators at Hagshaw Hill wind farm once had to dig a chunk of olive-drab carbon fibre out of a blade tip. Seems the local RAF boys were playing chicken under the blades, and one got clipped.
posted by scruss at 8:23 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Throw yourself at the ground, and barely miss.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:30 AM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Didn't notice it until now, but the title of this post has already earned my Awful Pun of the Week award.

But I secretly love it.
posted by schmod at 8:32 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


40 Watt, thanks for saving me the trouble of googling up the kid's name. My first thought as well.
posted by brokkr at 8:35 AM on June 6, 2011


Blue Angels commander relieved of duties at his request. Says he is stepping down after leading jets too low at air show in Virginia.
posted by scalefree at 8:42 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


This guy is still standing after a direct flyover

SOMEBODY PUT SHIT IN MY PANTS!
posted by stavrogin at 8:56 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love the steadicam they used.
posted by babbyʼ); Drop table users; -- at 8:57 AM on June 6, 2011


Aww, I wanted to be the one to link to Alain de Cadenet getting buzzed by the Spitfire.

Here are more low passes and low pass compilations. Many feature musical accompaniment or clips from Top Gun.

1
2, courtesy of the Armee de l'Air
3, courtesy of our friends at Tupolev
4, doin' it Merlin-style
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:02 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gopher, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby.

Fixed that for you.
posted by crapmatic at 9:02 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, count me among the ones that would beat the crap out of this pilot.

I used to live next to a Marine base that had an air show each year, which featured the Blue Angels. They would always pass low over my house during the show, and it rattled everything. But low was 50-ish feet. Not five.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:16 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll raise you an A-10
posted by krautland at 9:38 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


this is excellent evidence for some kind of reckless endangerment proceeding

Reckless endangerment proceeding? We don't need no reckless endangerment proceeding.
posted by stbalbach at 9:39 AM on June 6, 2011


ARGENTINAAAA! FUCK YEAH!
posted by En0rm0 at 9:43 AM on June 6, 2011


Low enough to leave a mark on the grass.

I'm remembering the rule about Old Bold Pilots.
posted by eriko at 9:45 AM on June 6, 2011


This is a low pass.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 9:54 AM on June 6, 2011


Here's video of the Blue Angels pass going too low. Nowhere near as dramatic, I'd guess they got as low as 20', but then they weren't supposed to be there. Particularly at an airshow.

Low passes sometimes go terribly wrong (warning: people dying in fiery crashes).

Fighter pilots are trained to do this. What scares the hell out of me is when jackass general aviation pilots do stunts like this. As long as they do it somewhere where they'll only kill themselves, OK, but there's a lot of "hey watch this" at fly-ins at little airports that are really a bad idea.
posted by Nelson at 10:02 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's only one way to find out if it's fake.

Somebody page asavage to this thread...
posted by DreamerFi at 10:07 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Throw yourself at the ground, and barely miss.

This pilot, however, is certainly not a hoopy frood.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:11 AM on June 6, 2011


I must have been seven or eight and my parents had just bought a house built on the side of a canyon next to Lake Worth in Texas. This was also directly adjacent to (then) Carswell AFB where there's still an air show every summer that the Blue Angels fly. It had nothing to do with the air show, but the Angels liked to fly down the length of the lake below cliff level, which was pretty cool.

Eventually, one of them came down the lake and banked into our little canyon, which not only narrows rapidly, but has a high tension power line running across it a few hundred yards in. I don't know exactly what would have happened if that FA-18 had hit a power line, but the pilot clearly didn't want it because I have a very clear memory of looking down from the balcony we were standing on and seeing down into the pilot's cockpit as he pulled out of his bank and kicked on his afterburner to stand that thing on its tail and rocket off into the sky. I was just sort of shell shocked, but when my ears quit ringing, my dad was still screaming obscenities at the long-gone pilot. And that's the story of how I learned the word, "cocksucker."
posted by cmoj at 10:20 AM on June 6, 2011 [31 favorites]


For all those pant-crappers, I lived/worked on aircraft carriers for a couple of years. For anyone who has worked that close, merely feet away, to aircraft operating at speed, it becomes second nature after awhile. Much like those Indian circus acts involving driving a car horizontal across a circular wall twenty feet off the ground, it's all fun routine until something goes wrong.

Now, if they'd been breaking the sound barrier at that height, something different altogether.
posted by jsavimbi at 10:22 AM on June 6, 2011


One little twitch in the wrong direction and bad things happen.

I was at an air show a couple years ago, and an F-22 did a low fly-by at high speed. It was going FAST (and didn't even land!) because everything was still super-secret and they didn't want anyone to get too close a look.

Anyway, you see it coming in along the runway centerline, zooming in, and suddenly it's passed with barely a whisper. I was thinking to myself, "Huh, that was really quiet, not so ba-" KABOOOOM!!!! as the sounds of the aircraft struggled to keep up with the airplane.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:29 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


What seanmpuckett said, look at this:
http://www.imageuploads.net/ims/pic.php?u=41187R4p46&i=196441
posted by hat_eater at 10:30 AM on June 6, 2011


Absolutely reckless insanity. People really need to take things a lot more seriously otherwise horrific stuff like this happens (first 10 seconds or so...).
posted by Skygazer at 10:57 AM on June 6, 2011


He really pranged his kite right in the how's-your-father.
posted by Venadium at 11:00 AM on June 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


jsavimbi: Now, if they'd been breaking the sound barrier at that height, something different altogether.

No kidding. My Dad was at Farnborough Air Show in 1952 on the day John Derry's De-Havilland 110 crashed into the crowd at Mach 1. He has, in fact, never forgotten it.

Derry was pulling into an upward roll when the wings cracked off from the stress. Dad says he remembers seeing the plane upright in front of him like a crucifix, and cracks of daylight where the wings were supposed to be welded to the fuselage.

When he got home from the air show, he says, there was blood all over his trenchcoat.
posted by rdc at 11:46 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


¯¯¯\
posted by ShutterBun at 12:09 PM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apparently the gondola accident in Italy is too often forgotten.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:14 PM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Goddammit Maverick!
posted by sharpener at 12:29 PM on June 6, 2011


Not fake. And a US military pilot would loose his commission for far, far less stupid flying.
posted by kjs3 at 12:53 PM on June 6, 2011


Related ?
posted by Hoosier Prospector at 1:16 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also related, from the opening scene of "Always." (though undoubtedly the telephoto lens exaggerates just how close the plane was.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:28 PM on June 6, 2011


Haha, the guys' reactions are hilarious.

Also, i'm inclined to believe it's real if only for the fact that it's the classic stupidity only a true argentinian would display and/or cheer.
posted by palbo at 2:12 PM on June 6, 2011


Heh, I've flown in that Catalina. It used to be a fire bomber based out of Moses Lake, WA. They sold it around '99 and now I believe it's sitting somewhere in Montana.
posted by the_artificer at 2:12 PM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


My bet is on RC
posted by Mick at 2:24 PM on June 6, 2011


This is why we can't have flying cars. First it's donuts above the lawn, then it's buzzing your friends in a fighter jet. They are gateway vehicles.
posted by howlingmonkey at 2:59 PM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mick, you can see the pilot in the still I posted.
posted by hat_eater at 3:00 PM on June 6, 2011


This reminds me of a possibly apocryphal anecdote I once heard about a friend of my family who was a fighter pilot in the Spanish Air Force in the 1970s. He was stationed in then-Spanish Sahara at the time of the Green March. Since the situation was explosive, his squadron always kept two Mirage F1s ready to scramble. For the pilots this meant waiting for hours in full gear, in the cockpit, in the sun...in the bloody Sahara Desert. Not pleasant.

So, he and his wingman had almost completed their watches when the supreme commander of the Spanish forces in the Sahara, a not-particularly-popular Army general, suddenly shows up with his entire entourage and orders the flyboys to make a little demonstration. So they did.

The flyby was so low that they clipped the antenna off the general's jeep. And although the two pilots went directly into custody after their landing, their reputation within their squadron soared...
posted by Skeptic at 3:20 PM on June 6, 2011


How's 12 inches?
posted by Twang at 5:17 PM on June 6, 2011


Out of shot: Maverick, inverted.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:25 PM on June 6, 2011


The pilot's view has just been posted here on Liveleak
posted by episodic at 5:17 AM on June 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Thanks for the update - deserves to be more widely seen. Looks like it's too low-res to get anything interesting from the HUD, sadly.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 5:36 AM on June 7, 2011


I'm missing some context. Were the pilots landing (did I see the beginning of a tarmac towards the end)? Obviously some of the reactions by the people on the ground seemed to indicate hilarity, but I've also seen reactions by people who experienced near-disasters to convey similar.

I'd like to think this was a near-fatal accident, especially since it appeared there was a sharp dip in the pilot's descent, shortly before screaming across the grass.
posted by CancerMan at 12:12 PM on June 7, 2011


RAF Harrier, Afghanistan.

Squaddie #1: (facing camera): "I'm not scared".

Squaddie #2: (behind camera): "You should be ..."
posted by cstross at 12:53 PM on June 7, 2011


Were the pilots landing

No. It was a high speed pass. Landing is totally different: you get as slow as you can without stalling and bring the plane down in an orderly fashion. This video is a pilot showing off moving very fast low to the ground. He happened to do it over a runway, probably because you can count on it being relatively clear.

I agree the cockpit view of the low pass makes it look like the pilot flinched when he realized how low he was. That's fairly frightening.
posted by Nelson at 7:45 PM on June 7, 2011


Is everyone familiar with Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport? and Tegucigalpa, Honduras Toncontin airport?
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 9:13 AM on June 11, 2011


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