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Aviation enthusiast potentially saves pilot's life after seeing sparks coming from his planePhotographer and aviation enthusiast Ian Simpson has lived in the East Anglia region of England all his life, and one of his favorite things to do is photograph planes at Royal Air Force bases in the area. But on the morning of July 13, he realized something wasn't quite right as he watched jets taking off at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, about 70 miles northeast of London. The base is run by the US Air Force and is home to the 48th Fighter Wing, the only US Air Force F-15 fighter wing in… (www.cnn.com) More...
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Once when I watched a C185 on amphibious floats taking off, I noticed that the left main wheels did not retract. I called the pilot on the UNICOM and told him what I saw. He did a flyby and sure enough, he had three up and one down. He put the gear down and did another flyby and all wheels looked down so he came back and landed. Turned out recent maintenance had been done wrong. Two days later a box of very expensive Scotch whiskey was delivered to me with a thank you card from the pilot. In the attached card he explained that he was headed to the lake to take his grandkids for their first ride in his airplane. Had I not noticed it, they would have watched him crash.
I used to live under the approach for 15/33 in CYFC. Years back, a Jetstream 41 overflew the house, but it was making a grinding, screeching noise unlike any other J41 I had heard before. I called the desk at the airport and told them what I had witnessed and they thanked me profusely. A day later, the Station Chief called again to inform me that they had found a bearing failure in one of the engines and had repaired the issue. I was thanked once more. I still look up whenever any aircraft flies overhead, but my ears aren’t what they were then! PK
Always speak up!
Well Spotted Bruce !!
Wild to think that this F-15 was saved by technology that didn't exist when it was designed.
Sadly, the majority of today’s observers probably would have whipped out their cellphones and recorded the sighting, saying “well would you just look at that.” I commend this astute observer for contacting authorities and very likely prevented a possible catastrophic outcome.