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  • Pilot Charged w/83 Counts of Attempted Murder | U.S. Hits Iranian bases | Russia Executes Own Soldiers

Pilot Charged w/83 Counts of Attempted Murder | U.S. Hits Iranian bases | Russia Executes Own Soldiers

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

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If it ain’t broke, fix it until it is…”
-Unknown (applies to most military applications)

🎙️ 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 #83 Drops Thursday with MSgt Brett Yoakum was supposed to drop last week we got delayed with an edit and upload.  Brett shares his experience as a C-17 loadmaster during the evacuation of Afghanistan and his time in law enforcement.  Patrons get early access, ad-free, and “There I was…” exclusives.

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


✈️ Joseph Emerson, an off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot, allegedly attempted to shut down the engines of a flight he was jump seating on, believing he was experiencing a mental breakdown after consuming psychedelic mushrooms 48 hours prior. Charged with over 83 counts of attempted murder, 83 counts of reckless endangerment and 1 count of endangering an aircraft.

According to the criminal complaint, Emerson said, “I didn’t feel okay. It seemed like the pilots weren’t paying attention to what was going on. They didn’t…it didn’t seem right.” EMERSON also said, “Yah…I pulled both emergency shut-off handles because I thought I was dreaming and I just wanna wake up.”

Horizon Airlines Flight number 2059, tailnumber N660QX

Horizon Airlines Flight number 2059, tailnumber N660QX

Of Note: On April 7, 1994, Federal Express Flight 705, en route from Memphis, Tennessee to San Jose, California, became the target of a hijack attempt by Auburn R. Calloway, a FedEx flight engineer. Calloway, facing potential dismissal for falsifying his flight hours, boarded the flight with concealed weapons, including hammers and a speargun. After takeoff, he attacked the flight crew with the intention of crashing the plane to make it appear as an accident, allowing his family to claim a $2.5 million life insurance policy. Despite sustaining serious injuries, the crew managed to subdue Calloway and safely land the aircraft. Calloway was a former Navy pilot and he had been employed by FedEx for about seven years at the time of the incident.

Calloway was tried and convicted of multiple charges, including attempted aircraft piracy and attempted murder. He was sentenced to two consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole, plus 25 years for the weapons offenses.

Auburn Calloway’s ID badge following the brutal attack

✈️ A Delta 767 climbing out of Prague experienced a compressor stall on departure and subsequent engine failure. The crew stopped their climb at 3,000. Listen to the pilot’s radio call at 1:13 in the video below — *golf clap.* Sounds like this crew did a nice job handling the emergency and safety getting the jet back on the ground.

✈️ Boeing has reported over $2 billion in losses on the new Air Force One project, with an additional $482 million loss in the third quarter. The delivery of the two aircraft has been delayed to 2026. Former President Donald Trump's negotiations with Boeing and the subsequent fixed-price agreement has left Boeing regretting that deal.

Air Force One on Approach to Land

Air Force One on Approach to Land

In Partnership with Bogidope.com


🎯 U.S. fighter jets executed airstrikes on two sites in eastern Syria associated with Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). This action was in retaliation for multiple drone and missile attacks against U.S. bases and personnel in the region that started earlier in the week. The targeted locations included a weapons storage facility and an ammunition storage site used by the IRGC and its affiliated groups.

An undated photo released 6 Oct by CENTOM of an Iranian UAV

🎯 All charges against Col. Jon Meredith, previously accused of sexual assault and conduct unbecoming of an officer, have been dropped by the Army. The pivotal turn in the case was the discovery of text messages between the accuser and her husband, whom Meredith had given an unfavorable performance report, conspiring to make the assault allegation. While the criminal charges are dismissed, he still faces administrative action for conduct unbecoming.

🎯 The U.S. Air Force has increased its fighter presence in the Middle East in response to growing threats to American forces in the region. The New Jersey Air National Guard's 119th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron's recent arrival in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) region has expanded the Air Force's fighter footprint to six squadrons. This move comes as U.S. bases in the Middle East face attacks from militia groups aligned with Iran, and concerns rise about a potential region-wide escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

🎯 The U.S. Army's Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, was officially renamed Fort Eisenhower during a ceremony on Friday. This change marks the last of nine military posts to be renamed as part of the Department of Defense's initiative to redesignate Army bases named after Confederate soldiers.


🌎 China's Defense Minister, Li Shangfu, was dismissed from his position and removed from several state roles, including his membership in the Central Military Commission and his status as a state councilor, after a two-month absence from the public eye. This move follows a series of unexplained high-profile personnel changes in China's leadership. Li's last public appearance was in late August, and his removal has paved the way for potential high-level military talks between China and the U.S., as Li had previously been sanctioned by the U.S. in 2018. The specific reasons for Li's dismissal and his current whereabouts remain undisclosed.

Li Shangfu

🌎 The White House announced that Russia is executing its own soldiers who fail to obey orders and is threatening entire units with death if they retreat from Ukrainian artillery fire. This revelation is believed to indicate morale issues within the Russian military 20 months into its invasion of Ukraine. White House National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, described the actions as "barbaric" and indicative of Russia's military leadership's poor handling of the situation.

🌎 China's Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, has indicated that the journey to the upcoming San Francisco summit between President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden might face challenges. This statement comes after Wang's recent meetings with Biden and other top U.S. officials in Washington, where they discussed the potential bilateral meeting on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit.


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