A-10 Air-to-Air Kill | Challenger Crash | F-16 Ejection | A-50 Shot Down

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In a country with millions of people and cars going everywhere, the enemy is going to get a car bomb out there once in a while”
-Secretary of Defense Mattis

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

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


February 6th, 1991 - 706th Tactical Fighter Squadron - A-10 scores it’s first air-to-air victory. Captain Robert “Swaino” Swain, callsign SAVAGE 01, had just completed a successful attack destroying two Iraqi tanks when two helicopters off in the distance, moving fast, caught his attention.

“Swaino” maneuvered his formation above the helicopters around 5-6,000 feet but the helicopters spotted him and his wingman, Lt. White, and began evasive maneuvering. The two helicopters split, with one flying to a known Iraqi police station. After confirming no friendlies in the area and the fact that one helicopter landed at a known enemy location, “Swaino” determined the other helicopter to be hostile and began efforts to destroy the aircraft.

AThe “Chopper Popper” tail number 77-0205-10

The “Chopper Popper” tail number 77-0205

“Swaino” had his wingman roll in for the first attempt to take down the helicopter but was unsuccessful. “Swanio” engaged but recalled the challenging attack; he was approximately 65-70 degrees nose low, but the small size of the target and rising terrain made it challenging. He then maneuvered for a re-attack and successfully downed the Iraqi Bo-105 helicopter with multiple bursts of his 30mm GAU-8/A gatling gun.

Iraqi BO-105 Helicopter

Iraqi BO-105 Helicopter


✈️ Atlas 747 Engine Fire Preliminary report - On January 18th, Atlas Air flight 3885 departed Miami International for San Juan, Puerto Rico. Passing 3,000 feet the crew received an overheat warning followed by a fire warning for the number 2 engine. The crew successfully returned to MIA without incident. The NTSB preliminary report points to a third-party vendor who conducted a borescope of the engine and failed to re-install a small plug, allowing hot gas to vent into other areas of the engine compartment. The investigation is on-going.

✈️ Age Cap Controversy | Pilot Retirement Unchanged - The U.S. Senate committee squashed anyone’s dreams of increasing the airline pilot retirement age from 65 to 67 this past week. The House of Representatives passed the FAA re-authorization 351-69, which was in favor of raising the retirement age. However, the Senate Commerce Committee voted 14-13 against it.

✈️ Delta 737 vs. Ground Stairs - A Delta 737-900 wing struck a ground stairs truck in the Cayman island, resulting in the truck tipping over and damage to the 737’s wingtip. 

Air stairs on its’ side

✈️ Challenger 604 Crash | Southwest Florida - A Hop-A-Jet Bombardier Challenger 604 crashed on I-75 near Naples Airport on February 9, around 3:10 p.m. EST. The jet, registered as N823KD and operated by Fort Lauderdale-based Hop-A-Jet, was en route from Columbus, Ohio. The Challenger declared an emergency with a dual engine failure and was unable to make the airport. Both pilots were killed. Two passengers and a flight attendant were transported to a local hospital.

Challenger 604 Crash

Challenger 604 Crash

In Partnership with Bogidope.com


🎯 Marine Helicopter Tragedy | San Diego - A CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter carrying five Marines crashed killing all five. The incident occurred during a routine flight from Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. The crash site was discovered in Pine Valley, with efforts underway to recover the remains and equipment. Maj. Gen. Michael Borgschulte expressed profound sadness over the loss of the Marines from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing's Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, known as the "Flying Tigers.”

They were Lance Cpl. Donovan Davis, 21, of Olathe, Kansas; Sgt. Alec Langen, 23, of Chandler, Arizona; Capt. Benjamin Moulton, 27, of Emmett, Idaho; Capt. Jack Casey, 26, of Dover, New Hampshire; and Capt. Miguel Nava, 28, of Traverse City, Michigan.

🎯 Tower 22 | U.S. Response - The U.S. responded on 3 Feb to the attack on Tower 22, which killed 3 U.S. service members and injuring 34 on the 28th. The delayed response targeted several facilities in Syria and Iraq. On Monday, Iran’s foreign ministry dismissed the U.S. accusation that Tehran was behind the drone strike,” according to the official IRNA news agency.

🎯 F-16 Crash | Pilot Ejects - In less than a year, a third F-16 has crashed in Korea. The pilot successfully ejected around 8:40am local time during a training mission off the west coast of the peninsula. The pilot was picked up by rescue forces approximately 50 mins later.

🎯 Ukraine Shoots Down A-50 - Ukraine successfully downed a Russian A-50 surveillance plane and damaged an IL-22 command aircraft over the Sea of Azov, as confirmed by Ukrainian military officials. The A-50, crucial for radar detection and control, was targeted along with the IL-22, which managed to land despite being damaged. This action signifies a significant operational success for Ukraine, impacting Russian military capabilities​​.

The A-50 is a Russian airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C). It's designed for long-range detection, tracking of air and surface targets, and command and control of combat aircraft operations. The A-50 can control and coordinate multiple aircraft simultaneously, enhancing the effectiveness of air operations.

Russian A-50

The A-50 is a Russian airborne early warning and control aircraft. It's designed for long-range detection, tracking of air and surface targets, and command and control of combat aircraft operations. The A-50 can control and coordinate multiple aircraft simultaneously, enhancing the effectiveness of air operations. The A-50, much like the E-3 Sentry AWAC, is a high value asset.

🎯 Chinese J-10s | Pakistan and Qatar’s Exercise - Pakistan's J-10C fighters squared off against Qatar's Eurofighter Typhoons, showcasing the J-10C's capabilities in simulated combat scenarios. This event marked the first operational exercise involving these aircraft, underlining the Pakistan Air Force's efforts to enhance interoperability and operational readiness with allied forces​​.

Pakistan J-10

Pakistan J-10


🌎 Rocket Man at it Again | North Korean Missile Launch - North Korea launched a ballistic missile in Jan and on 8 Feb. Escalating tensions after recent missile tests continue to mount. These actions follow North Korea's increased military activities, including testing solid-fuel engines and an intercontinental ballistic missile, amid worsening relations with Seoul and closer ties with Moscow​​.

🌎 Chinese Spy Ring Identified -  The U.S. government recently disrupted a sophisticated Chinese hacking operation known as Volt Typhoon, targeting critical infrastructure across the globe. This campaign, initially identified in May 2023, involved commandeering thousands of internet-connected devices to facilitate espionage and potentially disrupt vital services, underscoring a broader strategy to compromise Western security. The operation's neutralization highlights the escalating cyber conflict between the U.S. and China, amidst broader tensions over Taiwan and cybersecurity norms​​.

🌎 Iran Murder for Hire Plot Foiled -  Three men have been charged with murder for plotting to kill two Iranian dissidents who fled Iran and now reside in Maryland. The leader of an Iranian criminal group and member of the Hells Angels were indicted in the plot.

12 Allies Remaining | Taiwan Loses Another One-   The Pacific island of Nauru officially switched its’ diplomatic recognition of Taiwan to align with China. Nauru Foreign Ministry said it was a step forward for the progression of Nauru.


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