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  • 767 Engine Fire | 5 Pirates Captured | AC-130J Hammers Militants | F-35 Upgraded Software

767 Engine Fire | 5 Pirates Captured | AC-130J Hammers Militants | F-35 Upgraded Software

Your insider view into the latest in aviation, defense, and geopolitics

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“Go in close, and when you think you are too close, go in closer.
-Thomas McGuire

Thomas McGuire

(Major Thomas McGuire - Second Highest Scoring Ace- Medal of Honor - 3 Silver Stars - 6 Distinguished Flying Crosses - 3 Purple Hearts - 15 Air Medals)

🎙️ Listen to The Lowdown on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. We dive a bit deeper and share some “bonus” thoughts.

🎙️ TAP #85 with Jack “Farely” Stewart is now out. “Farley” is a former F/A-18 fighter pilot and Top Gun Graduate.

Lowdown: 3-1 Brevity communication for a request for the tactical ground picture in an area of interest.


✈️ Skydiver's Fatal Clash | Pilot Convicted - A French pilot has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and operating an aircraft without a valid license, following a horrific incident where experienced skydiver Nicolas Galy was decapitated by the aircraft's wing. This tragedy occurred during a skydiving jump in July 2018 over Bouloc-en-Quercy, France. The court ruled that the pilot's negligence led to Galy's death.

✈️ NTSB report from A FedEx 767 engine fire on 18 Oct 2023 was released this week. FDX 541 from Memphis to Las Vegas was climbing out when the crew experienced a loud bang and received a fire warning light. The crew stopped their climb at 3700 MSL and returned to Memphis. The NTSB reported ground inspection revealed the engine had experienced an under cowl fire, and the main fuel pump housing had fractured from the main fuel supply line.

FedEx Flight 541’s Flight Path off 18R and returning to 18C

✈️ Runway Overshoot | Poseidon Investigation - A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft, part of Patrol Squadron 4 based in Whidbey Island, Washington, overshot the runway and ended up in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, on November 21, 2023.

P-8 Poseidon Overshot Runway at Kaneohe Bay

✈️ Osprey Mishap | Training Tragedy - A U.S. Air Force Osprey crashed into the sea near Japan's Yakushima Island on November 29, 2023. The incident, which occurred during a routine training mission, resulted in at least one fatality among the eight crew members onboard. The aircraft, a tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey, was found approximately 3 km from the shore along with wreckage and an empty life raft. The crash occurred under clear weather conditions, with witnesses reporting that the aircraft's left engine was on fire as it attempted an emergency landing.

In Partnership with Bogidope.com


🎯 The USS Mason detained 5 five pirates off the coast of Yemen. US Navy personnel and a Japanese destroyer responded to a distress call from an Israeli-owned tanker that was under siege from a group of pirates attempting to seize the vessel.

🎯 North Korea has launched its first spy satellite after two previous failed attempts in May and August. A few hours after its’ launch, Pyongyang was claiming to be viewing US military facilities in Guam from the satellite’s feed. South Korea said it is too early to tell the functionality of the satellite and the claims coming out of the North. But this launch does follow a fall meeting between North Korea and Russian President Vladimir Putin, where North Korea agreed to provide weapons to Russia.

🎯 The Pentagon ordered a strike by a US Air Force Lockheed Martin AC-130J Ghostrider gunship in Iraq on November 21, 2023, following an attack on American forces at the Al Assad Air Base. Since October 17, there have been 66 attacks by Tehran-backed militants against US forces, including one that downed a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reaper off the coast of Yemen. In total, 62 US personnel have been injured in these attacks.

🎯 The first production F-35 equipped with an early version of the Technology Refresh 3 (TR-3) software was flown recently at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas. This flight is part of the Pentagon’s strategy to potentially end a months-long delivery halt of the latest F-35s by using interim software versions, with full TR-3 capabilities to be completed later. TR-3, which includes hardware and software upgrades, is crucial for the F-35's Block 4 modernization but has faced delays due to software integration issues.

🎯 Five U.S. Army special operations troops were killed when their MH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during a training mission on November 12th. The MH-60 was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The crash was related to routine flight training and not due to hostile activity.


🌎 U.S. authorities thwarted a plot to assassinate Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in the United States. The Biden administration raised serious concerns with the Indian government, suspecting its involvement in the plot. Pannun, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, has been a target of interest due to his advocacy for the creation of an independent Sikh state, Khalistan. This issue is sensitive for U.S.-India relations, especially regarding their shared concerns about China's rise. India's National Investigation Agency has filed a case against Pannun, alleging his involvement in terrorism and conspiracy.

🌎 Brazilian intelligence has warned that Venezuela is mounting a possible invasion of Guyana. Such an aggressive land grab would provide Venezuela with access to Guyana’s mineral-rich landscape.

🌎  Russian Maj-Gen Vladimir Zavadsky, 45, was killed by a mine on Wednesday. He was deputy commander of the 14th Army Corps at the time of his death; they say At least six other Russian generals are thought to have died since Russia invaded Ukraine.


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