Military Photo: Attack of the Killer Cactus

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The damage is from flying a Marine Corps Harrier aircraft too low, about four feet off the ground. The incident occurred during a night close air support training mission near Yuma, Arizona. The pilot was wearing Night Vision Goggles and was taking instructions from a FAC (Forwars Air Controller) on the ground. The pilot apparently rolled in too steeply, and was told by the FAC to abort. The damage to the aircraft is from cactuses and other desert vegetation. The the site of the near crash was examined, vegetation was torn off at an "altitude" of about four feet. The pilot was very lucky, as he was going several hundred kilometers an hour and one wrong twitch on the joystick would have flown him into the ground.

Posted: 11/01/2004


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