Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome times

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captainfurious
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Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome times

Post by captainfurious »

A couple of months ago I was in Cairo and whilst at the Pyramids 2 Egyptian Chinooks flew straight over. I've obviously never seen Egyptian Chinooks so it was pretty special and totally unexpected.

It got me thinking about other times I've randomly seen special aircraft at unexpected times. I can think of 3 others.

In Greece I was on a very early morning day trip from Athens and a number of Mirage 2000's circled and landed at a base we passed at random after an early morning practice.

In San Francisco a few years back I didn't realise it was Fleet Week. Out of nowhere I was treated to nearly an hour of the Blue Angels darting all over the city on a practice display.

Finally, when in Singapore after leaving the hotel for the first time immediately the Black Knights flew over almost in a personal welcome to the city. Still no idea why there was a flyby.

Seeing these aircraft totally unplanned is a real unexpected treat and rank up there for me with anything I've seen planned at an Airshow. Also, these are either nation types or teams I had never seen before or since making it even more special.

So I wondered what memories others had when they had randomly seen an aircraft that brought a smile.

farnboroughrob
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by farnboroughrob »

We have all been there...

Panjim, Goa about 10 years ago Indian AF Mi-8 clattering away a mile or so away and a Indian AF HS748 climbing out of the Navy base. Saw IL-38's, Shars' and TU-142's as well that were a little closer.
I had a San Francisco fleet week experience last year. I was there the weekend before a managed to miss photos of a pair of F/A-18's, T-38, C-17 and a pair of SH-60's familiarisation flights through the bay. All either too far away or my camera wasn't ready.
Sat at Albuquerque Balloon festival and seeing a formation of 4 C-17's do a run and break landing at Kirtland AFB, about 5 miles away.

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CJS
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by CJS »

Not quite as exotic but I was driving home from work a few years ago the day before riat and a Tucano flew right across me, super low. I whooped!
With just the slightest bit of finesse, I might have made a little less mess.

ThreeM
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by ThreeM »

Around 20 years ago I was walking along the Ventimiglia sea front in northern Italy when a pair of Canadair CL-415s started scooping up water in the bay. They'd disappear for 10 minutes to deliver their load over fires in France before returning to repeat the procedure.

FarnboroJohn
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by FarnboroJohn »

I holidayed in Switzerland in my youth without knowing where all the bases were and was on a coach excursion that ran straight past a line of about 20 Vampires and Venoms seemingly in fields! On the same trip we had more than one view of a Swiss Ju52 droning across blue sky with amazing mountain scenery all round. Awesome!

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verreli
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by verreli »

I was hiking the GR-20 in Corsica a few years ago and while up in the mountains was treated to a Mirage turning and burning at low level a few 1000ft below me. No camera on that occasion.

A couple of weeks ago I was in the Lake District photographing Blea tarn in Langdale. I heard jet noise and cursed my luck for not being over at Thirlmere, Then from below up popped a Hawk T2 in a turn overhead which then dived back down into the valley in a Langdale loop. Really dynamic flying and nice to watch.

Tom105
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by Tom105 »

2015, 2 Commando Sea King Mk.4 just before retirement thought I had missed my chance at seeing one, however got 4 flypasts over the house and not just any MK.4 one of them was ZA298.
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Wyvernfan
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by Wyvernfan »

Circa 1992 and just a random day aircraft spotting up Grange road at the back of Duxford airfield, when from nowhere came the formation for the final RAF F-4 Phantom flypast - right over the top of the airfield. Sadly I didn’t have a camera with me but it certainly made my day.

Early 2000’s and stood watching the endless 737’s coming and going at Stansted, when on separate occasions I got to see firstly a Balkan TU-154 land with an impressively noisy reverse thrust, and then a Russian Govt TU-134 take off. Both of these were firsts for me, and although they happened at an airport I had no idea they ever came in to Stansted!


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parsley
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by parsley »

Just going off the top of my head (I'll probably think of more) but doing my summer holiday job at the warehouse my dad worked at in July 1976 and hearing a droning overhead beat a hasty exit out of the front door to see L1649 Starliner
N7316C of Burns Aviation at about 10000ft en route from Le Bourget to Shannon before a no doubt long and slow trans Atlantic crossing.

...it's the one that Lufthansa were restoring but have now put into store after already spending about 90 million Euros on the restoration.

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HeyfordDave111
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by HeyfordDave111 »

Some from me,

Cruise in the med, called in at Katakolon, constant pairs of Greek Buckeyes
Same Cruise in Turkey, Desert sand camo Huey, Naval huey and Green camo huey, plus pairs of T38's
Same Cruise in Athens, getting buzzed by a Skycrane while up the Parthenon

India holiday
Buzzed by a mig 29, Kamov 52, and 748's

Switzerland buzzed by Hawks near Lucerne

Peru...... 3 x Mil 17's

Thats about it i think apart from getting buzzed by 3 Tornado's very very low level as i was driving an open top double decker Hagen Das bus up the A1 north of Berwick on a hot sunny day with 3 topless models lying down on the top deck getting sun.
Might have been the same Tonka 3 times though just to make sure he got the pictures :biggrin:
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psquiddy
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by psquiddy »

13th September 1970 I saw a Concorde fly over my house - my Dad did not believe me until we saw on the news later that it had made its first visit to Heathrow that day.

Concorde again - I was on a train from Croydon to Brighton and saw the Pepsi Concorde on the ground at Gatwick.
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Costar1198
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by Costar1198 »

Early 2010s I think it was, going down Brighton Marina for the first time, stepped onto the beach and the first thing I see is an RAF Chinook flying past, the same happened at West Wittering beach near Chichester (albeit a hell of a lot closer and lower), and then a random Yak 50/52 aerobatics sequence... same day I believe, was always something going on in that area, remember seeing plenty of Harvards at the caravan park in nearby Selsey, a Seahawk too I believe, no idea why any of this was happening (although there was a C130 over Tangmere museum when I arrived there once but I think it had something to do with Goodwood), but it made me very happy as a young boy in his early 10s.

I think the only other time I can think of was when I saw a Tornado whizzing past my great uncle's house, presumably on it's way to Beachy Head and beyond?

warferry
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by warferry »

At work in the drawing office in Portsmouth one evening .
Took a break on the fire excape heard a aircraft appoaching .
It was a Casa 2.111 (He 111) to all intents doing a run on the dockyard.
Turned out which I found out later it was on route from Spain to Blackbushe.
Flown by Neil Williams who later was killed on another flight.
I as a youngster with my sister saw German He 111 that had crashed during WW11.
It was shot down on a similar raid on the dockyard.

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aviationanoraks
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by aviationanoraks »

Been a few over the years but two that spring to mind were two B-52s low over the top of Broadway in Worcestershire when I was a kid. The first time I had ever seen one and got the bonus of a second.
The other time was some years later while on the Isle of Capri and was treated to a low pass just off the coast by an Italian Starfighter.

Rossbeef
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by Rossbeef »

A few years ago in Zakynthos I saw a pair of A-7 Corsairs. The only time i ever saw them in the air. :sad:

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JJC
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by JJC »

Some of the most satisfying and pleasing opportunities are the ones that come out of the blue/totally unexpected.

A few off the top of my head:

Danish MH-60R on the back of a frigate in Reykjavik harbour // Icelandic coastguard Puma OTT into land.

Australian MRH-90 pootling around Sydney harbour // RAAF schemed C-47 following the coast before a storm // pair of Harvard’s flying around Auckland harbour.

Algerian Merlin on several occasions making flights from Newquay airport // An RN Sea King following the coastline rather low some years ago.

Good times! :biggrin:
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5944
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by 5944 »

XH558 flying over Kettering when it returned to flight a few years ago. The other memorable one was probably 20 years while hiking with the Scouts in Scotland. I didn't know a great deal about aircraft then, but pretty sure it was a Tornado. Whatever it was came up from below us and up over the top of the mountain. It would've been a few hundred feet above us but it certainly felt a lot lower!

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Ian G
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by Ian G »

I think it was August 2005 when Polish Fitters visited Coltishall? Peter345 and I were camping in Wales during their summer visit and we jokingly remarked as to whether the Jaguar pilots would show them round the loop! Of course those were back in the halcyon days when there were no real 'restrictions', you had absolutely no idea what was coming and it was still a relatively unknown place.

The whole week was, unfortunately, pretty miserable and certainly not the weather to be up the side of a mountain in. Thunderstorms were forecast one particular day so we decided to definitely give the hills a miss and went for a drive to the coast instead. Driving back, I can vividly recall seeing a lightning bolt strike a tree in the distance and blow it to matchsticks! We were driving back near to Corris corner when - yes, you guessed it - Fitters and Jaguars flew right overhead!! What a picture that would have been!!
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Steve Bond
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by Steve Bond »

Driving through the Scottish Highlands on the way to Leuchars for Battle of Britain Day in 1967, a USAF Helio U-10 floatplane took-off from a loch we were passing.

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Skyflash
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by Skyflash »

When I was about ten a Nimrod buzzed my house in Bridge of Allan (on the outskirts of Stirling) - a most unusual visitor at that time. It was so loud that everyone on the street came charging out of their houses to see what was causing all the noise!

Overflights from fast jets (mainly the Phantoms from Leuchars, and F-111s from down south on their way to/from using the ranges in the Highlands) were fairly common, as were C-130s, but that's the only time I can recall being buzzed by a jet-powered 'heavy' like that.
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RS2
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by RS2 »

Three separate occasions but similar in nature, seeing the Argosy, Neptune (I seem to remember another reasonable size twin with it) and Britannia all flying overhead or in the general area on delivery to the Museum at Cosford. The Britannia was the closest, almost directly overhead, whilst the others were within about a mile but all a good few miles from Cosford.

On another occasion whilst at school seeing G-BCDZ the sole HS748 Coastguarder flying low over the school with the undercarriage coming down. It appeared to be heading to Halfpenny Green but have never been able to find any records of it having been at Halfpenny Green.

Finally low level over a project I was working on in the Herefordshire countryside, a Jaguar leading a pair of A7 Corsairs. This was of course in the days when you'd be disappointed not to see at least a few low levellers a day in the Worcs / Hereford skies but A7 Corsair IIs weren't the norm!

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CJS
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by CJS »

Oh yeah, I forgot - XH558 flying low right in front of me inbound to a flypast over RR at Filton shortly before retiring. That was kinda cool.

And seeing what I presume was one of the Shackleton's final sorties, just off the south coast at Bexhill in 1991. The only time I saw one fly. :yahoo:
With just the slightest bit of finesse, I might have made a little less mess.

Smog Monster
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by Smog Monster »

Whilst waiting to see Metallica in Zurich last year the PC9 team flew right past the stadium.

micktruan
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by micktruan »

I was driving returning from the north leading a Cat A escort, when I looked in my wing mirror and saw a SR 71 on finals, almost drove off the road.

Whilst parascending in Rhodes spied a couple of Greek A7s on the horizon close enough to recognise them.

Whilst at school in South Africa seeing 25 Harvards in a 50 formation practice for the airforces anniversary.

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psquiddy
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Re: Aircraft seen randomly at unexpected but most welcome ti

Post by psquiddy »

Smog Monster wrote:Whilst waiting to see Metallica in Zurich last year the PC9 team flew right past the stadium.


Which reminds me - Monsters Of Rock at Donnington very long time ago - a Korean 707, AN12, C130, Varsity all taking off from EMA. The site is right at the end of the runway.
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