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USAF Thunderbirds

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F-111 C/C:
Went to an Airshow today and the Thunderbirds were the Demo team finale and about 4 manuevers into the show, #4 had to land IFE. They suspended the show while one of the opposing solos lead him in and he landed without incident and was met by all the Fire Support. The five other planes just kind of flew around in the distance for about 15 minutes until they cleared #4 off the runway and then they attempted to resume the show sans one aircraft but it was kind of lame for the rest of the show. Kind of hard doing all the "Diamond Formation" stuff with only three planes. I know as well as anybody about planes breaking but in the 30+ years watching them (T-birds, Blue Angels, Red Arrows, Snow Birds, etc.) I can't ever remember anything like that happening.

shawn a:
The show announcer didn't say anything about the reason?
At Salinas one year, the Snowbirds had one of their planes hit a bird, so it landed for a checkup. Then they resumed the show.

F-111 C/C:
No she just calmly said that #4 had a problem making necessary for him to land then she went on for a while about the pilot's training to handle situations like this and how they were following the proper procedures to have him land safely. It must have been serious enough for him to shut down at the end of the runway and need to be towed off. Most IFEs they err on the side of caution but can usually taxi back into the chocks no problem.

shawn a:
I imagine their maintenance is top-notch, but don't they fly some of the oldest F-16s?, or did they switch to-C models?

F-111 C/C:
Yeah they're flying Block 52s now but I believe they're pretty stripped down to just NAV stuff they need to perform.


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