Near Miss

Editor's Note:

This is a remarkable story and matching photograph. To the best of my knowledge, the original author of the story is Hank Montjar.

Picture Credits go to Victor Archer .

Thunderbirds — Close Call

This one was really close. Big post flight hose-down.  Check out the speed brakes fully deployed [on tail] on the F-16 on the left!  These guys are better than this, but close calls do happen.  Obviously the timing was off in this maneuver. In a crossover,  both planes try to cross each other at the same altitude going different directions.  The lead plane flies a constant airspeed, and the second plane adjusts his airspeed (relative motion) to stay as close possible without having a mid-air.

In the photo, the second plane [left one] was going too fast and put out his speed brakes (panels sticking out on tail) and idled his engine (decreased contrail).  He also was changing his altitude, based on the aeronautical law that states that two planes cannot occupy the same airspace at the same time.  The altitude change was what saved his butt.

I still can't believe they didn't swap paint.

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