Low level passes

Subject: Low level passes

Thought you may like these
Buccaneer S.2B
In the 1980s and 90s, No 208 Sqn RAF were the real experts in ultra low-level under the radar nuclear strikes. During the International Air Tattoo in 1993, to mark the squadron's 75th birthday, this Buccaneer S.2B was flown at an altitude of just 5 feet for the entire length of RAF Fairford's runway.

Piper Cub

Sometimes, the difference between ground and aircraft is quite literally... inches. A Piper Cub comes as close as possible to a wing strike without damage.

B-17 Flying Fortress

Modern day photographer Murray Mitchell captured this action shot super low B-17 Flying Fortress performing for a film crew and followed by a P-51D Mustang and a P-47 Thunderbolt. Photo via http://www.murraymitchell.com/

Boeing 707

A Boeing 707 of Air Zimbabwe, flown by Darryl Tarr doing a low level, high speed flypast in Harare in 1995. According to witnesses, this was not the lowest the pilot flew. Tarr says that his radar altimeter read 10 feet beneath his keel at one time.


Phantom drivers love it down low

Sukhoi Su-30

This Sukhoi Su-30 could be going Mach .98 or it could be hovering.


A British-based B-17 flown by Don Bullock beats up a grass field.

T-33 (RCAF 21261)

The legendary Ormand Haydon Balllie checks wheat production at a farm outside of Duxford in 1974 in his T-33 (RCAF 21261) The Black Knight.


Not actually a scene from the Second World War, but rather the opening scene in the great film A Bridge Too Far. A school boy watches over his shoulder as a recce Spitfire rips up a cobbled road in the Netherlands.

Diamond Star Twin

The twin-engined Diamond Star Twin rips along a beach. Judging by the number pf cameras at the ready, this was not an unauthorized fly by.

Panavia Tornado

A Panavia Tornado spews heat, gas, and vapour as she howls from the runway with her wingtip a few feet off the ground.


With speed brakes out this is neither a landing nor a take-off. This low flying Lightning is an F6 in 5 Sqn markings. The photo is definitely of a low pass since wheels-up landings were not to be attempted in a Lightning due to the large ventral tank underneath. In the event of the 'cart' not coming down, the standard Lightning action was to point the aircraft somewhere safe (eg the North Sea) and eject.

P-47 Thunderbolt

A USAAF P-47 Thunderbolt at extreme low level.

Sukhoi Su-27P

On 13th June 1992 flamboyant Russian test-pilot Anatoly Kvotchur in his Sukhoi Su-27P "Flanker" arrived at the Air Tattoo International at RAF Boscombe Down in company with his T-134A "Crusty" support aircraft. He maintained formation as the Tupolev completed the let down and landed and stayed in position until the transport engaged reverse thrust.

A-20 Havoc

An A-20 Havoc beats up sand dunes at Benghazi in 1942.


Blenheim aircraft from 60 Squadron RAF level out for the "run in" to make a mast-head attack on a Japanese coaster off Akyab, Burms in 1942.


An Argentinian Pucara ground attack aircraft forces mechanics to hit the tarmac in this dramatic low fly by.

South African Air Force Harvard trainer

A South African Air Force Harvard trainer rips up a beach on the Atlantic coast near Saldanha Bay with its propeller tips no more than three feet from the sandy surface. A group of Army officer candidates walking up the beach are just now realizing that their lives are in jeopardy. In the far distance you can just make out three other Harvards.

Vickers Wellington I

A Vickers Wellington I medium bomber is about to scare the bejeesus out of this RAF photographer at RAF Bassingbourn, in 1940

Antonov A.10

This Russian Antonov A.10 seems to take the prize for low level flight in a large airplane flying at less than 3 feet. You can make out the vortices of the turboprops as she thunders down the snow covered runway.

Blenheim IV

An RAF Blenheim IV light bomber flies low to lay a smokescreen during a demonstration of air power in front of a gathering of Regular and Home Guard officers and NCOs in East Anglia, 29 March 1942.
© 2013 Imgur, LLC.

I'll Bet on the Buff In Any Fight...

"The cape buffalo always looks at you like you owe him money."
Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC (Ret)

Bull buffalo comes to the rescue of a friend brought down by young lion in Kruger National Park in South Africa

December 16, 2013 by David Strege

lion 2

Lion sent flying by buffalo in South Africa; photo is a screen grab from video

First, let it be stated up front that no animals were harmed in the making of this video, except perhaps the ego of a young lion getting badly bruised, as suggested by Barcroft TV in its post.

Two young lions were stalking a buffalo in the Mjejane Reserve on the border of Kruger National Park in South Africa when one lion decided to pounce. After bringing its prey down, the lion thought it would be enjoying a fresh meal of buffalo. It thought wrong. Watch as a bull buffalo comes to the rescue to save its friend, sending the lion flying in this amazing wildlife video:

Ian Matheson, 52, and his son Oliver, 16, were on an early morning drive in Kruger Park when they noticed the lions stalking the African buffalo, a.k.a. a cape buffalo. They watched for 45 minutes until one lion finally brought the buffalo down, as the prey cried out for help. Soon, the cavalry arrived in the form of a bull buffalo, which launched the lion in the air.

Iconic Icosahedronic Stocking Stuffer

Courtesy: http://ournerdhome.com/gingerbread-d20/

Geek culture + home decor

Geek Holiday! Make a D20 Gingerbread House

Geek Holiday Gingerbread D20  Gaming Dice

I have never in my life  made a gingerbread house, but it seemed fitting that my first one be shaped like a D20 (plus a bonus D4 and D6).

Okay, I realize this isn’t a “house”, but we weren’t really sure what else to call it. Plus it’s not actually gingerbread, it’s just graham crackers… so… “Gaming Dice Shaped Graham Cracker Structure”? That doesn’t sound as good. Anyway.

The Gingerbread D20 is a patience-trying project. Consider yourself warned. It is hard to the get the angles right, hard to get the shape to stay formed correctly, hard to get the icing to go on/stay straight, and hard to not eat while you’re making it. But after all of the frustration (and snacking), we kinda love it so wanted to share anyway.

Geeky Holiday DIY D20 Gingerbread House

First get some graham crackers from your s’mores stash. Graham crackers are really easy to cut – you just use a butter knife (or other lightly serrated edge) to score the cracker about halfway through, then snap it.

DIY Geek Holiday D20 Gingerbread House

We used a ruler to measure each edge to the same length (2.5 inches) to make a perfect-ish triangle. Make a ton of them. At least 30, since a bunch won’t be quite right.

For the “glue” we used melted white chocolate Candy Melts. Yum. We melted the chocolate directly in ziploc bags, then cut a tiny corner of the bag off to pipe the chocolate.

DIY Geek Crafts D20 Gingerbread House

The easiest way that we figured out to do this is to create 3 “domes” of 5 triangles each. Cam found a bottle cap to balance the center points of the triangles on that was just about the right height. He assembled the dome, then piped the chocolate up each seam. BE PATIENT, and hold it in place for a couple of minutes until it starts to harden. After the chocolate hardened we tried to scrape off most of the stray chocolate to clean things up.

DIY Geek Crafts D20 Gingerbread House

Repeat until you have all three domes. The next step is best done with 2 people, which is why we don’t have pics. I held the domes together (there will be a large opening on the top) while Cam piped them together from the inside. Then we held everything in place for what felt like forever until they hardened (probably 4 minutes). Next, we reinforced all of the outside seams again. Put it in your fridge to really make sure it’s stuck. Last construction step is to take your leftover triangles and cover the hole – once you’re at this step it will be clear what goes where by looking at a [real] D20.

We bought a red “Icing Writer” from Michael’s to fill in the numbers. Once the Gingerbread D20 was done, we used extra graham crackers and white chocolate to make a D6 and D4, which were MUCH easier.

Geek Holiday Gingerbread D20  Gaming Dice

You might also notice the little green/red/white dice hanging out with the gingerbread gaming dice. That’s a sneak peak for a post we have coming up next week… DIY chocolate dice! That is a quick, fun, instant-gratification project that you can make a giant bowl of for your geeky friends (or use for a DIY geek gift).

DIY Chocolate Gaming Dice



Suppose the Grand Canyon were man-made. It could have been formed (though it wasn’t) by agricultural or industrial erosion; the results of poor farming methods can look very similar — artificial badlands — if on a smaller scale. Would this hideous scar on the fair face of the earth still be a national park? Would anyone visit it other than groups of awed schoolchildren studying Environmental Destruction, absorbing the dreadful lesson of what can happen to a desert raped by human exploiters? Strip mining can produce spectacular and dramatic landscapes. W.H. Auden loved the lead-mining landscapes of Cornwall above all others; the evocative and aromatic hillsides of the Mediterranean, with their olives, sages, thyme, and dwarf conifers, are a result of centuries of deforestation, goat herding, and the building of roads and cities.

– Frederick Turner, “Cultivating the American Garden: Toward a Secular View of Nature,”Harper’s, August 1985