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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

mazing images of CF-18 fighter jet crash in Lethbridge
Michael Ivanin, Photographer
Oakville | On | Canada | Posted: 8:42 PM on 07.23.10
->> Amazing images of CF-18 fighter jet crash in Lethbridge, Alberta great work by Ian Martens http://bit.ly/9Olmim
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 9:18 PM on 07.23.10
->> Well there is your 2010 Spot News winner. Wow.
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
| | | Posted: 9:44 PM on 07.23.10
->> Wow, talk about a photog paying attention and being spot on with their timing!
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Daniel Berman, Student/Intern, Photographer
Seattle | WA | US | Posted: 9:47 PM on 07.23.10
->> Now that is the decisive moment.
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Ron Hawkes, Photographer, Photo Editor
Rockland | ME | USA | Posted: 9:54 PM on 07.23.10
->> Those are truly amazing photos. There is capturing the moment and then there are these. Wow
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 10:21 PM on 07.23.10
->> Wow! Well the first step in taking great photos... You have to be there!
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John Korduner, Photographer
Baton Rouge | LA | United States | Posted: 11:02 PM on 07.23.10
->> I think he might have some competition with the "sailing" photos of the whale jumping onto the yacht the other day. At first I swore it was a photoshop job like the shark leaping at the helicopter from a few years ago.
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Michael McNamara, Photographer, Photo Editor
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 12:13 AM on 07.24.10
->> Here's the video: http://www.canada.com/news/Pilot+survives+fiery+fighter+crash+Alberta/3315220/story.html

Whoever was picking songs to play on the tarmac must be clairvoyant.
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Jim Wells, Photographer
Calgary | AB | Canada | Posted: 12:38 AM on 07.24.10
->> Fantastic series of images, Great concentration....Listen carefully to the music in the background of the video posted by Michael...
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Jim Wells, Photographer
Calgary | AB | Canada | Posted: 12:39 AM on 07.24.10
->> sorry michael I repeated, apologies...
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 1:50 AM on 07.24.10
->> Interesting question for someone with a flight/military background. Right at the end the plane does a severe bank that almost seems planned/intentional. Is that a pilot thing? It almost makes me think the pilot forced that last bank to allow himself to be ejected clear as the plane plummets.

Yes, no?

Still amazing to stay on target like that and get that series of photos. I think that is more impressive than the whale photo. It seems like that whal was out there and there may have been boats molesting the 40-ton wrecking ball.

Either way, nice shots...boat too, but I like this one.
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Mike Huffstatler, Photographer, Assistant
Rancho Cucamonga | Ca | United States | Posted: 2:13 AM on 07.24.10
->> While I was not a pilot, I was in the Navy and part of the Naval Air Command working mostly with EA6B aircraft and a few others.

This is pure speculation on my part but it appears to me that he was demonstrating the low speed pass capabilities of the aircraft. I've not read much about the story to see if it was anything different. He appeared to drop below stall speed and could not recover. I'd call the roll a bit fortunate as it allowed the ejector seat to push him away from the bird rather than right on top of it.

Mike
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Baron Sekiya, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hilo | HI | USA | Posted: 6:44 AM on 07.24.10
->> Photos are a little bigger on the MSNBC site
http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/07/23/4739027-pilot-ejects-an-ins...

Look at the photos at MSNBC. Looks like the starboard engine flamed-out. The nozzle on the port engine is wide open so he was probably on that, the starboard nozzle is closed. Also after impact flames are only shooting out of the port engine indicating that it's the only one pushing air (and flames) though.
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Jeroen de Jong, Photographer
Waalwijk | _ | Netherlands | Posted: 10:27 AM on 07.24.10
->> I think Mike has the right theory for this accident.

I witnessed a mid-air-collision once (
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBQKrJh6O70 at around 2:50) and never hope to see it again. It scared the **** out of me. It was a mirracle nobody got hurt (one of the planes slammed into the ground close to other airplanes on wich people sat to watch the show)

I witnessed a plane going down, also in a stall, in Belgium. The plane had no ejection seat and the pilot died.
Ironicly it was on the same date, not the same show, as the Ramstein-disaster in 1988 (
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHD0ifsnpVc&feature=related 71 died)

The pictures of this crash show how it is to be at the 'right' time at the 'right' place. I wish to never witness something like this again.
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 11:12 AM on 07.24.10
->> I'm also speculating, but at that air speed, angle of attack and altitude, it would seem to me that anything that goes that wrong that quickly would leave the pilot in mortal danger. A drastic interruption to the thrust from one or both engines, which are providing a good bit of the lift that's keeping the plane in the air, is going to immediately upset the attitude of the plane.

I counted just over one second from the time the canopy blew to impact. Phew.

I'm guessing the pilot had little control over things once the thrust became grossly unbalanced and he's extremely fortunate that the plane rolled to one side just prior to his ejection which angled his trajectory away from the fireball that engulfed his aircraft.

Looks like he got a couple swings in his 'chute before impact. One of the witnesses claims he was unconscious at the moment of impact and was dragged a couple hundred feet. Often the extreme G's of ejection will cause a pilot to temporarily lose consciousness, and many times a pilot will impact the ground before awakening, which can result in all manner of leg and back injuries.

If the pilot was dragged along the ground while being unconscious, as reported, this is yet another fortunate occurrence, as this also could have pulled him into the fireball - the extreme heat of an explosion and fire like this frequently causes strong updrafts from the fire and results in powerful local winds radiating inward towards the crash site.

When I was in the Navy in flight school (too many years ago to mention), we were shown photos and videos of low altitude crashes wherein pilots who escaped their imminent demise by rocketing out of doomed planes were sucked into the fireball that their aircraft made on impact. Most didn't survive.

It would appear this young man is extraordinarily fortunate, and I'm sure all of our prayers are with him and his family.

In any event, extraordinary images.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 3:08 PM on 07.24.10
->> The right engine shut down; at that speed it's not possible to recover.

The engine shutdown (one of the pilots on here might have some ideas) is why the nozzle-looking-thing on the right side is choked down. When it shut down, the difference in thrust between the two sides caused the plane to turn right; the loss of thrust resulted in loss of airspeed+lift->control.

The pilot got out really well though - if he'd ejected while the plane was still upright he would've gone straight into the fireball...
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Dennis Montgomery, Photographer, Assistant
Ogden | UT | United States | Posted: 4:27 PM on 07.24.10
->> After 26 years in the Air Force and 2000+ hours in RF-4's, and having served as an accident board president, the first thing I would say is not to speculate on the cause(s) of an accident until all the facts are available.

The one thing I do know is with an apparent loss of control--for whatever reason--the pilot had little or no control authority to change the aircraft attitude or where it was headed. With control authority, you would try to zoom for altitude to improve the chances of a successful ejection and if possible, to point it away from any populated area. He knew right away he had no option other than to eject. He made the right decision and a obviously a VERY timely decision. Although the ejection seats today are rated as "zero-zero", meaning sitting on the ground at a dead stop you can safely eject, it is the sink rate that is critical. If you are headed at the ground at 2000+ feet per minute at low altitude, that zero altitude rating becomes meaningless.

Regarding the fireball, I have a friend who ejected from a B-52H at low altitude and he said he was headed directly towards the fireball(that is one big fireball too) and he said the heat actually lifted his chute up and carried him away from the fireball. The only injuries he suffered were 3rd degree burns on his neck and wrists where his skin was exposed. I do know that if you are too close to the fireball, the nylon on the chute and the lines/risers can melt and in that case you are "toast".

Great photos and its especially great to see the pilot survive. Thank the lord for ejection seats...they are amazing.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 4:29 PM on 07.24.10
->> > Thank the lord for ejection seats...they are amazing.

For serious!
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John Korduner, Photographer
Baton Rouge | LA | United States | Posted: 12:23 PM on 07.25.10
->> It looks like a classic stall, and I'm assuming that wing configuration also makes it prone to spinning, as you can see it begin to enter a spin. Stalling at that altitude's a nightmare scenario, let alone spinning.

I remember the standard procedure in a t-37 would've been reduce thrust, full opposite rudder, and nose down until you could generate lift, which obviously is no good at 100 feet...I think 3500 ft was the floor where you were expected to eject if you found yourself in a spin, maybe it was 7000ft because it took 3500ft to recover from a spin.

The one funny story I remember was an IP telling a story about ejecting. He collided while flying formation, and walked away with just scratches and the other guys broke a bunch of bones. His explanation was that following the collision the other pilots ejected immediately while going 200+ knots, whereas he waited until the plane stalled before ejecting.
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Harrison Shull, Photographer
Fayetteville, WV | Asheville, NC | | Posted: 9:15 AM on 07.26.10
->> Cool shots.

I am a pilot (not jets, though!) and flying that close to stall at that low an altitude is flirting with disaster. Glad it turned out as "well" as it did.
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John J. Kim, Photographer
chicago | il | usa | Posted: 1:19 PM on 07.26.10
->> one of those frames would win at least second place in some kind of regional, monthly clip contest.
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Steve Russell, Photographer
Toronto | ON | Canada | Posted: 1:55 PM on 07.26.10
->> Awesome photos Ian!
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Ian Martens, Photographer
Lethbridge | AB | Canada | Posted: 12:16 AM on 07.27.10
->> I knew there was a reason my ears were burning.
I can tell you, that was a very surreal experience seeing a plane crash right in front of me. Very much felt like a dream watching that jet fall to the ground and blow into that giant dome of flame.
While I'm pretty happy to have captured those images, I'm really glad the pilot didn't end up in the middle of all that wreckage.
That was one unreal day.
Thanks for all the nice words about my pictures!
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Thread Title: mazing images of CF-18 fighter jet crash in Lethbridge
Thread Started By: Michael Ivanin
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