Monday, April 21, 2008

Pelican shatters Aussie F-111

There is no way that General Dynamics designed the F-111 to fly like this. And certainly by all accounts, the flight crew of this aircraft should have bit the hard one after it struck a pelican at 3,000 ft during a mock bomb run last Friday on April 11.

It sure does give you a clear picture, though, of what hitting a 30 lb bird at 340 mph can do. This Royal Australian Air Force F-111 had its nose cone completely shredded by the impact leaving an interesting unwoven fiberglass wicker Gonzo nose in it's place.

The pelican then hit the leading edge of the right wing before becoming ingested in the #2 engine causing a subsequent flameout. Rough day. The crew is being heralded by the RAAF as heroes for maintaining control of this wicked shimmy after the incident, which occurred just West of Brisbane.

The aircraft could fly again by next month. Nice job, mates.


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