A U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet from the Royal Maces of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 flies in formation with two Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15J Eagles during a dissimilar air combat training exercise near Okinawa, Japan.
While you’d imagine that with an almost limitless sky, collisions between aircraft should be almost impossible, the reality is that nothing is shorter than a straight line, and as such the skies are filled with a sort of invisible highways, pre-established flight paths between airports that all aircraft have to follow to get from point A to B in the most efficient, quick manner, this is why the following accidents managed to take place:
Charkhi Dadri mid-air collision
On 12 November 1996 over the village of Charkhi Dadri, to the west of New Delhi, India, two commercial aircraft, Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 763, a Boeing 747-100B, and Kazakhstan Airlines Flight 1907, a Ilyushin Il-76TD, collided in the approach path of Delhi’s airport, a narrow flight path used to both departures and arrivals, where a combination of pilot error on behalf of the Kazakh aircraft, lack of a modern radar in Delhi, and the airports extremely congested approach path lead to the loss of 349 people on board both planes, becoming the third deadliest aviation accident in history.
Dniprodzerzhynsk mid-air collision
On 11 August 1979 over Ukraine, near the city formerly named Dniprodzerzhynsk, two Tupolev Tu-134A’s on scheduled domestic passenger flights, and both operated by Aeroflot, Aeroflot 65816 and Aeroflot 65735, collided while on cruise flight after an overworked and understaffed air traffic control made a series of communication and direction mistakes, ultimately culminating in a break down of communication and the subsequent crash, killing all 178 people on board both airliners.
Zagreb mid-air collision
On 10 September 1976, British Airways Flight 476, a Hawker Siddeley Trident, collided mid-air near Zagreb, Yugoslavia (now Croatia), with Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 550, a Douglas DC-9. The collision was the result of a procedural error on the part of Zagreb air traffic controllers, a combination of bad coordination and use of improper radio language, leading to the loss of all 176 people on board both planes.
All Nippon Airways Flight 58
On 30 July 1971, a Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) Mitsubishi F-86F Sabre fighter jet collided with an All Nippon Airways Boeing 727-200 airliner, causing both aircraft to crash. All 162 occupants of the airliner were killed, while the Sabre pilot, a trainee with the JASDF, ejected before the collision and survived. The crash occurred after the fighter pilot,
Technical Sergeant Yoshimi Ichikawa , which was practicing air combat maneuvers with his instructor in another Sabre, failed to monitor the air traffic around him, until his instructor realized the impending collision and ordered him to break away from the airliner, an order that came too late.
Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 1103
On 22 December 1992, a Libyan Arab Airlines Boeing 727-200 took off from Benina International Airport near Benghazi on a domestic flight to Tripoli International Airport. At an altitude of 3,500 ft (1,067 m) during the aircraft’s approach to Tripoli airport, the aircraft disintegrated after allegely colliding with a Libyan Air Force’s MiG-23, resulting in the death of all 157 passengers and crew on the airliner, while the 2-man crew of the MiG ejected.
This one, while still being classified as a mid-air collision, but after the fall of Gaddafi, the military pilot involved claims the airliner was ordered shot down by Gaddafi himself, in an attempt to show the west the consequences of the embargo imposed on Libya after the bombing of Pan Am flight 103.
Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907
On 29 September 2006, a Gol Transportes Aeréos Boeing 737-800 collided in midair with an Embraer Legacy 600 business jet over the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. All 154 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 737 died when the aircraft broke up in midair and crashed into an area of dense jungle, while the Embraer Legacy, despite sustaining serious damage to its left wing and tail, landed safely with its seven occupants uninjured. The accident was caused by errors committed both by air traffic controllers, further compounded by lack of radar coverage over the area of collision, and by the American pilots on the delivery flight of the Embraer Legacy, whom failed to turn on their anti-collision system or TCAS, being unfamiliar with their brand-new aircraft.
Japan scrambles fighter jets as China flies drone over disputed East China Sea
Japan air force scrambled fighter jets to shadow Beijing’s movement in the disputed islets in the East China Sea on Thursday (18 May) after four Chinese coastguard vessels entered contested waters administered by Japan. An apparent drone was reportedly seen flying above one of the vessels.
Japan Air-Self Defense Force scrambled two F-15 fighter jets, one E-2C early warning aircraft and an AWACS surveillance plane in response to the deployment of a drone-like object in the island that China calls as Diaoyu and Japan as Senkaku.
It is thought to be the first time Japan has scrambled jets in the region in response to a drone.
The face-off is said to be another sign that Japan is on high alert over China’s growing military assertiveness in the disputed territories and farther into the Pacific. Japan controls an island chain in the East China Sea that stretches 1,400km south towards Taiwan. The contested Senkaku Island is controlled by Tokyo, but Beijing has laid claims on it.
Japan has strongly protested the recent Chinese incursion. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the drone flight is “a new type of action by China. We have sternly protested [to China] that it is utterly unacceptable”.
The Chinese vessels were reportedly equipped with guns, Kyodo news agency cited Japan Coast Guard as saying. The Chinese ships were ordered to leave the waters but they left the waters only after two hours, according to Japanese media reports. The drone-like aircraft was seen flying for about four minutes west of northwest of the Senkaku.
“This is escalating the situation and absolutely unacceptable,” Defence Minister Tomomi Inada said in a separate news conference on Friday (19 May). “We regard this as a serious infringement of Japan’s sovereignty.”
The case constituted “airspace incursion” for Japan, Inada added.
China, however, rubbished reports that drone was deployed by the coast guard. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the drone was sent by “relevant media” for aerial photography and that it had nothing to with the vessel. She did not name the media company.
“This is not a military action as has been hyped up by some media,” she said during a daily news briefing.
Hua added that the islands are part of the mainland and that China has every right to sail in the waters. “As for the so-called representations or protest by the Japanese side, of course we can’t accept it.”
Tokyo has responded to Chinese intrusion in the contested waters some 13 times since the start of this year, Reuters cited Japan’s coastguard as saying.
The Shinzo Abe government’s figures released earlier in April, showed Japan’s Air Self Defence Force scrambled its fighter jets 1,168 times over the past 12 months - up from 873 in 2016 - to chase away Chinese and other foreign aircrafts.
A record number of 851 jets were dispatched to intercept the approaching Chinese planes, which was again 280 more instances compared to the corresponding period last year.
Japan Air Self-Defense Force UH-60J Black Hawk helicopter from the Komatsu Air Base refuels from a US Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow during a helicopter air-to-air refueling training mission above the Sea of Japan. This is the first time that members of the 353rd SOG held HAAR training with JASDF members in Honshu Island in Japan.
(U.S. Air Force photos by Osakabe Yasuo, 5 JUN 2014.)
How exactly does the Mitsubishi F-2 stack up against the F-16?
WEEABOO WEEABOO WEEA-wait, I already used this joke.
Now that we’ve gone over the F-16 a bit by way of talking about Pierre Sprey and the Fighter Mafia (and because I’m out of booze and the storms have stopped), I can answer this question. For those of you who didn’t read that and are too lazy to do so now, there’s a few things we need to know before we go into the F-2 program:
The F-16 was born from a belief that the U.S. needed a lot of simple, lightweight, and cheap fighters
Originally, the F-15 was intended to fill this role until expanding mission requirements made the design grow in size and complexity
Pierre Sprey is an idiot whose greatest “success” - advocating for the F-16 - was only as successful as it was because it eventually got handed a ton of advanced equipment that turned it into a superb multirole fighter platform in addition to being a capable air defense platform thanks to liberal application of advanced BVR missiles (which Sprey and the Fighter Mafia also hated)
Ok, now that we’ve covered the important parts, it’s time for NOTORIOUS MiG’S SUPER KAWAII NIPPON FIGHTER JET DEVELOPMENT CHRONICLES