Archive for Monday, May 3, 2010

Fighter jets give Baldwin City a close buzz

May 3, 2010

At least a few of the A-10 fighter jets that were in an air show in St. Joseph, Mo., this weekend raised some eyebrows Monday morning when they flew over Baldwin City closely — very closely.

“I think they were awfully low,” said Margi Walbridge, who has lived here all her life and first heard one, then saw one from her home on Fifth Street. “It didn’t seem like the plane was much over the tree tops.”

It happened around 10 a.m., but how many planes there were is anyone’s guess. Walbridge thinks there were three. Police Chief Greg Neis said two of his officers saw at least two, but he didn’t.

“I heard them go over,” said Neis.

Numerous other Baldwin City residents heard them and some saw them. And, yes, they were real. Lt. Miles Blocker, who was working the operations desk at the St. Joe airport for the 139th Airlift Group, confirmed that A-10s left there headed south and home Monday morning.

“It was a formation going back to Whiteman Air Force Base,” said Blocker.

As for what the jets were doing flying so low, he said he didn’t know the specifics, but can imagine.

“That was them doing what they do,” he said. “They’re on their own.”

Walbridge, like most other residents, is used to the many jets and helicopters that fly over town heading to or from Forbes Field in Topeka, but this was different.

“Yeah, I thought, ‘uh, oh, is something wrong?’” she said. “I think it’s sad to think like that, but it’s because of 9/11. But I didn’t see anything on the news about something being wrong.”

Sunday’s Sound of Speed Airshow at Rosencrans Memorial Airport attracted an estimated 17,000 to 25,000 people, according to organizers of the event. The famed Blue Angels were among the aircraft that performed during the two-day event.

If anyone was lucky enough to have taken pictures of the jets this morning, please send them to the Signal at jmyrick@baldwincity.com.

Comments

TheOnlyGreyghost 4 years, 4 months ago

Wish I had pictures, or had even seen them, but by the time I got outside, they were out of sight. I only heard two, unless one of those was actually two flying in close tandem. My friend ran outside in time to see the second one and ID it.

The Warthog is designed to fly exceptionally low to repel ground fire in advance of the fighter planes it accompanies; it features titanium armor and hydraulics redundancy in case of a hit. It can lose an engine and part of a wing without crashing.

I imagine we had a couple of hotdogs having fun and enjoying the beautiful day. It's a pretty cool plane with an unmistakable profile, due to where the engines are located and its wide, straight wings. Consider yourself lucky if you were outside and got to see these amazing aircraft.

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Torch 4 years, 4 months ago

The Warthog is a ground attack aircraft. It doesn't really 'accompany' fighters. It's an air-superiority weapon and is devastating. The Army loves this aircraft.

About 12 years ago the Air Force said it was going to get rid of them and the Army stepped up and said they would take them. The Air Force wants nothing to do with the Army getting fixed wing aircraft so the agreed to maintain them.

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TheOnlyGreyghost 4 years, 4 months ago

Since we must quibble over terminology, let me clarify my statement. The A-10 has been used extensively ahead of (rather than closely accompanying) light-skinned, faster fighter jets. With its low-flying and long-loitering capabilities, it has been used effectively (notably in the Persian Gulf conflict in '91) to disable missile launch sites and tanks, making it safer for precision-strike jets to come in and pinpoint other targets.

I believe it will be news to the USAF that they are "getting rid" of their Hogs; they are currently being modified (designation A-10C) and are projected to be in use until the late 2020s.

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markdunn 4 years, 4 months ago

That was awesome. I was standing outside when the first one flew over. There were 4 in all.

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dsharkie8 4 years, 3 months ago

Correct Mark. There were 4. One was doing a few acrobatic moves "Tank Killers" I don't believe they make them any more. they were putting on a show. Thanks guys!

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