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A320 Lands in a Field | Chinese JF-17s to Argentina? | E-8 JSTAR Last Operation Flight

F-35 Lands on a Highway | F-16 vs. JF-17

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“Flying isn’t dangerous. Crashing is what’s dangerous.”- Rules of the Air

🎙️ TAP #80 Drops Monday with Captain Sterling Gilliam, who spent 30 years flying off big ole boats in the US Navy. Over 1300 carrier traps. Shoutout to E3 Aviation for the huge production effort that went into making our trip possible at NAS Pensacola. Let E3 Aviation elevate you on your Aviation Journey.

John "Rain" Waters and Capt Sterling "sterls" gilliam recording interview at National Naval Aviaton Museum in Pensacola Florida

🎙️Thanks for subscribing here are a few free 👉 "There I was…" stories.👈 Hope you enjoy!

Radar Scope:

Chinese Fighters in South America? The United States and China are vying for military influence in Argentina, exemplified by Buenos Aires' decision on whether to purchase second-hand Danish F-16s or new Chengdu JF-17 Thunder fighters from China. The U.S. is exerting pressure to deter Argentina from enhancing China's military footprint in Latin America. The potential acquisition of Chinese jets would signify a shift in Argentina's traditional alignment with Western powers and indicate China's growing influence in a region considered America's backyard.

No One Asked Me, But Here’s My Opinion: This certainly throws a bit of spice on things. Does it feel a bit like the Cold War days? A decision to purchase the JF-17 vice the F-16 would signal a significant shift away from traditional Western alliances and give China a new foothold in the Western Hemisphere.

See a comparison table between the JF-17 vs the F-16 at the bottom of this email

JF-17 Fighter jet taking off

Tell me about it…

The JF-17 Thunder, primarily flown by the Pakistan Air Force, has also been exported to Myanmar and Nigeria, making it a multi-national combat aircraft; with over 150 units built.

✈️  A320 Lands in a Field – We highlighted this story a couple of weeks ago, but now more information is coming out of Russia about what caused the mishap. In case you forgot, on September 12th, A Ural Airlines Airbus A320-200, en route from Sochi to Omsk, faced a hydraulic failure during its final approach to Omsk, leading to a forced landing in an open field due to fuel exhaustion near the village of Kamenka. All passengers and crew survived.

What had happened was… The crew experienced a hydraulic failure on approach and initiated a go-around to troubleshoot. Buuutttt the landing gear never retracted and was overlooked by the crew. While holding, they calculated their fuel numbers for their divert, but those calculations were based on a clean, gear-up, configuration. They are not the first crew or pilot to miss their gear, and they won’t be the last. Of note, it has been reported that Russian Airlines are struggling to maintain their aircraft with the lack of parts due to the sanctions.

A320 aircraft in a field after landing short. Slides deployed for egress

Ural A-320 after landing in a field

Tell me about it…

Fun fact: The crew landed with 217 liters of fuel or roughly 57 gallons.  For my big wing and military types, that’s 370 pounds of fuel.

✈️ The captain has turned on the fasten seatbelt sign A Delta Airlines Airbus A350-900, en route from Milan to Atlanta, encountered severe turbulence during its descent, resulting in 17 injuries. The incident occurred as the aircraft was navigating through a weather system. The turbulence was so severe that it warranted an investigation by the NTSB. The aircraft, however, landed safely.

A JetBlue Airbus A320-200, flying from Guayaquil, Ecuador to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, encountered severe turbulence near Jamaica, resulting in altitude deviations of -50/+800 feet and injuries to seven passengers and one crew member.

No One Asked Me, But Here’s My Opinion: I’m guilty, I have had my seatbelt unfastened even with the fasten seatbelt sign-off. You never know when something “weird” might happen. Food for thought…I know some of you like to take your shoes off on flights…keep those shoes on during takeoff and landing. Last thing you want to be doing having to egress an aircraft

👆Not where you want to be looking for shoes

✈️  The U.S. Air Force is adapting its operations to be more agile and versatile, especially in the context of potential conflicts with near-peer adversaries like China or Russia. This adaptation is evident in their recent exercises involving aircraft landing on dirt runways, and highways, and other non-traditional “runways.” These changes are part of the Agile Combat Employment (ACE) strategy, aiming to make Air Force units more flexible and harder to target. The focus is on dispersing forces, utilizing a variety of operational bases, and integrating drones more extensively into military operations. This week two Norwegian F-35s landed on a highway in Finland along with a whole host of other fighters.

No One Asked Me, But Here’s My Opinion: ACE has been in the works for the Air Force for the past few years. The basic idea is to spread forces out to make targeting more difficult. The operating assumption is that a peer adversarial would be able to target bases and airfields. It’s a must when it comes to be more nimble and harder to target.

MQ-9 Reaper landing on a highway

Low Down

Lowdown: A request for the tactical ground picture in an area of interest.

  • The E-8 JSTARS has completed its final operational mission, marking the end of an era for this iconic surveillance and command aircraft.

  • U.S. citizen Travis King has been released after months of detainment in North Korea.

  • The USAF has conducted its first flight of a U-2 spy plane equipped with a significant avionics upgrade.

  • Iraq has purchased CH-5 drones, Chinese UAVs similar to the U.S. MQ-9 Reaper, boasting a 60-hour flight capability and a 10,000 km range.

  • France and Niger are strengthening military ties following a coup in the West African nation.

  • Maj. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, the first female fighter pilot in the USAF, has retired, marking the end of a groundbreaking career.

  • The U.S. Air Force's Rapid Dragon program, focusing on palletized munitions, has garnered attention from the Chinese Communist Party Central Military Commission, according to the China National Defense News, due to its potential to launch significant firepower quickly.

  • Norway has marked a significant milestone by successfully landing two F-35As on a highway, showcasing enhanced tactical survivability and flexibility of military assets during large-scale conflicts.

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