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Am I the only one who's annoyed by those artsy-fartsy safety videos?  Just give the facts and let me get back to watching something I chose or listening to music I chose.  I don't want to watch a 5 minute video from some wannabe Steven Spielberg.  I don't want to watch a bunch of ratty kids learning about whatever myth or history or agenda of the day is popular.  I am not enlightened, entertained or impressed - just feel like 5 minutes was stolen from me (I mean if I was forced to watch it on an airplane).

PS - the latest AC safety briefing is just as bad.

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54 minutes ago, Seeker said:

Am I the only one who's annoyed by those artsy-fartsy safety videos?  Just give the facts and let me get back to watching something I chose or listening to music I chose.  I don't want to watch a 5 minute video from some wannabe Steven Spielberg.  I don't want to watch a bunch of ratty kids learning about whatever myth or history or agenda of the day is popular.  I am not enlightened, entertained or impressed - just feel like 5 minutes was stolen from me (I mean if I was forced to watch it on an airplane).

PS - the latest AC safety briefing is just as bad.

Grump! 😀

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I am still waiting for the day when the safety briefing explains and shows you why you need to keep your seat belt fastened. That would make for a good video.

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On 8/14/2022 at 4:33 PM, Falken said:

Seeker - you need the option of a like for your posts, esp the last one!

The default for the forum software is that reaction icons; likes, etc are disabled on posts made by moderators and Admin.  When I researched the reason for this I found it was to prevent people from "liking" everything the moderator (or Admin) would post as a bid to seek special treatment or favour.  My first reaction was - "well, that's silly" but on further consideration decided just to leave it as is. 

I don't think it would be a problem but human nature is a curious thing.  Maybe not a problem for me or for the person who clicked a "like" on my post but s-a-s someone will claim they see a pattern in who I'm allowing to post certain things based on how many likes the person gave me.  Yeah, like I said - silly but who needs the headache.

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3 hours ago, Seeker said:

 Yeah, like I said - silly but who needs the headache.

One of the things I like about voting on other forums is that downvotes tend to stifle the obnoxious posters or keep them in check.  Maybe there are other explanations for it but I  seem to have notice a lot of interesting people have dropped off in the past few years just as the amount of persistent belligerent postings started to increase.  We just don't have the discussions we used to have in days of yore.  One or two obnoxious posts stifle things after just a few posts. 

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4 hours ago, Specs said:

One of the things I like about voting on other forums is that downvotes tend to stifle the obnoxious posters or keep them in check.  Maybe there are other explanations for it but I  seem to have notice a lot of interesting people have dropped off in the past few years just as the amount of persistent belligerent postings started to increase.  We just don't have the discussions we used to have in days of yore.  One or two obnoxious posts stifle things after just a few posts. 

Wadayamean “other forums”? There’s more? 🤔 

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18 hours ago, Seeker said:

The default for the forum software is that reaction icons; likes, etc are disabled on posts made by moderators and Admin.  When I researched the reason for this I found it was to prevent people from "liking" everything the moderator (or Admin) would post as a bid to seek special treatment or favour.  My first reaction was - "well, that's silly" but on further consideration decided just to leave it as is. 

I don't think it would be a problem but human nature is a curious thing.  Maybe not a problem for me or for the person who clicked a "like" on my post but s-a-s someone will claim they see a pattern in who I'm allowing to post certain things based on how many likes the person gave me.  Yeah, like I said - silly but who needs the headache.

the like button is just a way to send a dose of dopamine to the original poster,

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12 hours ago, Specs said:

One of the things I like about voting on other forums is that downvotes tend to stifle the obnoxious posters or keep them in check.  Maybe there are other explanations for it but I  seem to have notice a lot of interesting people have dropped off in the past few years just as the amount of persistent belligerent postings started to increase.  We just don't have the discussions we used to have in days of yore.  One or two obnoxious posts stifle things after just a few posts. 

Yes, I given this topic lots of thought both before and after I took up the reins.

This forum/website used to be quite vibrant and active with many posters from different companies and with different POVs and now, well, it isn't.  Now it's devolved to a smaller number of the hard-core with well-known attitudes and personalities - tell me the name of a poster and I'll tell you the content of his/her post.

I think what we're seeing is nothing more than the maturation and fragmentation of the internet through the lens of the AEF.  Back when this website started in the 90s it was one of the first - if you wanted to talk about aviation/airplanes/airlines you really had few choices.  The internet was new and exciting and everybody had lots of pent up energy to post/argue/complain.  So, naturally the numbers of members were high and the number of posts were high.  Add to this the fact that "anonymity" was a new and dramatic element. 

Now, we're all older.  The internet is older.  In the beginning I had about 6 websites I could go to on a regular basis - now there's millions.  Facebook, Twitter, Ebay, Amazon, Youtube, Netflix, on and on.  They each take a slice of a person's time and attention.  Personally, I spend no time at all on Facebook/Twitter/Social media but I do spend time on Youtube/Netflix/podcasts and there's a motorcycle forum I visit and a firearm forum I visit.  I just don't have the time (or motivation, if I'm honest) to sit down and write a long diatribe about something to post here.  I suspect it's the same for others.

It's been posited that the more overt political posts on the site are the cause of the downward trend in the quality and number of posts along with the reduction of participation.  It's been suggested that I shut down all the political topics and then the aviation-minded posters will return.  I don't think that's what happened at all.  I think the number of people with time and energy to post have dropped.  People have more places to visit, more entertainment to consume and, in general, the shine is off stogy old internet forums.  Less people posting on aviation-themed topics makes the political posts stand out more.  That's the way it seems to me.

So, what can be done, what should be done?  I would guess that the demographic on the AEF skews much older than other aviation forums - retired or almost retired.  When I ask my younger (30-40 year old) co-workers about what forums they participate in the answer is almost always - none.  The world has moved on.  The new thing is Whatsapp, Signal or Telegram "groups".  Nobody has time for an internet forum with threaded discussions on complicated topics.

I can't even get my airline friends to signup and participate.  That's sort of embarrassing to admit.  (Yes, I have friends).  I've shown the site to several of them in person, got them signed up, showed them the aviation topics, etc.  When I ask them, gently, about why I don't see them logging in/participating - because they are too busy, got too many distractions and not because the site is too political or doesn't have enough aviation on it.

Anyway, what do I know?  I'm just some random dude who, in truth, knows little about what it takes to make a site successful.  Please send your suggestions and opinions about what steps should be taken to ensure the longterm viability of the site.

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43 minutes ago, Seeker said:

Anyway, what do I know?  I'm just some random dude who, in truth, knows little about what it takes to make a site successful.  Please send your suggestions and opinions about what steps should be taken to ensure the longterm viability of the site.

In my opinion, there have been only two so called long time posters who recently decided to leave this forum. I have also noticed the tone of replies on all forums have toned down considerably since.
 

Sometimes when you are given an unexpected gift, the only answer should be “Thank You”

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The Greatest Escape
...that never happened.

The tale of when Lt. Bruce W. Carr, USAAF, supposedly was shot down and stole a German Fw 190A fighter plane to fly back to his base is a popular one. It even inspired the recent Hollywood film "Top Gun: Maverick"....
 

Too bad it's an urban myth.


What REALLY happened is both humorous and typically American -- and it deserves to be told. So let's put the false legend to bed. So what's the truth? Well, "Boys will be boys" -- and that it wasn't exactly Lt. Carr's finest hour....

 

August 23, 2022

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Thanks for posting

 

What I found a bit unusual was the Captain flying the approach with his left elbow on the arm rest.....there is no way I  could  do it that way......want both arms free to flail about should things go south any time during the final phase of flight.

Pilots.......we all have idiosyncrasies,..... I guess  😉

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You notice just seconds before landing his left elbow went inside the arm rest ???  If there was a really strong cross wind or gusty conditions he might have had to put in more left aileron and in my case I don't want that arm rest in my way....

 

I guess a lot depends on arm length, and seat position and just personal preference....This Captain was on a 747-400 so probably needed to rest his arm due to exhaustion from carrying his wallet around 😂

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Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022

Emma Helfrich - 1h ago
 

The U.S. Air Force has released a number of striking photos showing 37 A-10 Warthogs in an orderly formation on the flightline at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho. The Warthogs are from multiple units across the globe, which have gathered in Idaho for the latest iteration of a biennial bombing, missile, and tactical gunnery competition for A-10s dubbed Hawgsmoke. 

Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022© U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Mercedee Wilds

Hawgsmoke 2022 kicked off on September 6 and will wrap up tonight. This year’s event was hosted by the Idaho Air National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing, and the snapshots that have already come out of it are impressive. The 37 Warthogs involved in the competition make up more than a tenth of the Air Force’s entire 281-strong fleet all in one place. 150 Pilots, as well as maintainers and weapon teams from 15 active duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve units, are participating in the overall competition, including the following outfits:

25th Fighter Squadron from Osan Air Base, South Korea47th Fighter Squadron from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona66th Weapons Squadron from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada74th Fighter Squadron from Moody Air Force Base, Georgia75th Fighter Squadron from Moody Air Force Base, Georgia76th Fighter Squadron from Moody Air Force Base, Georgia104th Fighter Squadron from Warfield Air National Guard Base, Middle River, Maryland107th Fighter Squadron from Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan163d Fighter Squadron from Fort Wayne Air National Guard Station, Indiana190th Fighter Squadron from Gowen Field Air National Guard Base, Boise, Idaho303rd Fighter Squadron from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri354th Fighter Squadron from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona357th Fighter Squadron from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona358th Fighter Squadron from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri422d Test and Evaluation Squadron from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada On Sept. 7, over 30 A-10s from across the nation parked at Gowen Field's flightline in preparation for the competition. Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur More than 150 pilots, maintainers, and weapon teams from approximately 14 active duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve units from across the globe are in the competition. Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur

 
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022© Provided by The Drive

To start the competition, the 124th performed a missing man formation on Tuesday to honor fallen soldiers and mark the beginning of the traditional Hawgsmoke opening ceremony. The Air Force noted that Idaho's Warhawk Air Museum also performed a flyover with a Curtiss P-40N Warhawk and a Republic P-47D Thunderbolt. It is important to note that the A-10’s official nickname is actually Thunderbolt II, a direct reference to the P-47, and both aircraft were built by the same manufacturer. 

Hawgsmoke — a play of the 'Gunsmoke' aerial gunnery competitions dating back decades — was first established in 1996 by Col. Cliff Latta, the operations group commander of the 110th Fighter Wing in Battle Creek Michigan, according to Hawgsmoke.com, an unofficial website dedicated to the competition. Latta wanted a way to showcase his unit to the other Air National Guard A-10 squadron at the time, and thus the world’s first Hawgsmoke competition was held that same year in conjunction with the annual Air National Guard A-10 Operations Group Commander meeting.

 
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022© Provided by The Drive

A-10 Thunderbolt II pilots participate in an opening ceremony after arriving at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho, to compete in Hawgsmoke 2022. Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Mercedee Wilds A-10 Thunderbolt IIs arrive at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho, to compete in Hawgsmoke 2022. Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Mercedee Wilds

The 175th Fighter Wing out of Martin State, Maryland, was crowned the winner of the inaugural Hawgsmoke in 1996 and started what would later become a tradition among winning units to host the next competition. However, the military started to lose interest in Hawgsmoke over the next four years, so Latta attempted to reinvigorate the event in 2000 by including every A-10 unit in the Air National Guard, Active Duty, and Air Force Reserves, as continues today.

“Hawgsmoke was established to allow current Hawg Pilots an opportunity to show their stuff,” Latta once said. “The goal was to have a low-key fighter pilot weekend with the comrades … that just happened to have a competition attached.”  

the tarket can be seen at 2:43 of the following video.

 

The Warthog, however, came long before Hawgsmoke, nearly 20 years before to be exact. The first A-10A was delivered to Arizona’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in 1975 intended specifically for close air support missions. The Warthog went on to receive a significant amount of notoriety for its role in the Gulf War where it had a mission-capable rate of 95.7%, flew 8,100 sorties, and launched 90% of the war’s AGM-65 Maverick missiles. The Hawgsmoke competition was introduced five years after the Gulf War ended and by then the aircraft had already retained a legendary reputation.

 
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022© Provided by The Drive

Three A-10 Warthogs taxi on the runway ahead of the Hawgsmoke competition. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Joseph R. Morgan An A-10 Warthog as it speeds up for take-off during the 2022 Hawgsmoke competition. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Joseph R. Morgan

The most recent competition was Hawgsmoke 2020/2021, which was held last April after being pushed back a year due to complications brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. After the event’s three-year hiatus, the 190th Fighter Squadron from Boise, Idaho came back to win their third Hawgsmoke competition overall having also been the reigning champions back in 2008 and 2010. The 190th, also known as the Skullbangers, outperformed a total of 12 units to win their third title after exceeding in a number of competitions meant to test maintenance, weapons load crews, and pilots in various combat-reminiscent scenarios. Points are awarded through a number of drills that range from weapons loading to strafing.

TAn A-10 Thunderbolt II arrives at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho, to compete in Hawgsmoke 2022. Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Mercedee Wilds

“It was awesome,” said Lt. Col. Jason ‘Jodi’ Cobb, 190th Fighter Squadron A-10 instructor pilot in an Air Force press release. “Overall, we came together as a group of A-10 pilots with great camaraderie and esprit de corps for the mission that we are focused on. It’s really exciting to get together with people that we don’t ever get to see and go do what we do, it’s surreal. It’s really a high honor in order to [be a part of] Hawgsmoke.”

The 190th Fighter Squadron, having won this aerial warfighter skills competition three times since its inception in 2000, is back on their home turf defending the title. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Joseph R. Morgan

 
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022© Provided by The Drive

The true champion of Hawgsmoke, though, will always be the Warthog. The storied aircraft has evaded complete retirement for decades now. While that day may still come in the not-so-distant future, especially now that support is building in Congress to allow for the retirement of another batch of A-10s, the Air Force is nonetheless working to modernize at least a portion of its A-10 fleet to ensure that it remains a key player in future high-end conflicts. You can read all about what those upgrades will entail in this past War Zone feature, here.

 
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022© Provided by The Drive

An A-10 Thunderbolt II, from the Idaho National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing, Boise, Idaho, performs a strafing run during the Hawgsmoke 2022 gunnery competition. Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Joshua C. Allmaras

There is also the possibility, albeit remote, that the Warthog could find new life in the skies over Ukraine as the country continues to fight against Russia’s invasion. In fact, resourceful Ukrainians have made it so the country's fighter pilots have already been able to train on the A-10 with DIY flight simulators in hopes that this day may come. Some Ukrainian officials, however, would instead prefer a more “fast and versatile” system while others ask 'why not both?' Regardless, even top U.S. Air Force officials have stated that transferring A-10s to Ukraine is not off the table, and considering they are the biggest proponents of unloading the aircraft, doing so would, at least to some degree, give them a reason to draw down the USAF A-10 force even further.

If the A-10 finally does leave the Air Force's inventory in the coming years, it will certainly be sad to see Hawgsmoke go along with it. But until then, the A-10 community will continue to make the best out of their aircraft.

With that in mind, it has now been announced that pilots from the 190th have defended their title from last year and won Hawgsmoke 2022. Congrats, Skullbangers!

Contact the author: Emma@thewarzone.com

 
An A-10 Thunderbolt II, from the Idaho National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing, Boise, Idaho, performs a strafing run during the Hawgsmoke 2022 gunnery competition at the Saylor Creek Bombing Range, south of Mountain Home, Idaho, Sept. 8, 2022. The competition traces its heritage back to 1949 and the Gunsmoke gunnery competition. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Joshua C. Allmaras)
An A-10 Thunderbolt II, from the Idaho National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing, Boise, Idaho, performs a strafing run during the Hawgsmoke 2022 gunnery competition at the Saylor Creek Bombing Range, south of Mountain Home, Idaho, Sept. 8, 2022. The competition traces its heritage back to 1949 and the Gunsmoke gunnery competition. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Joshua C. Allmaras)© Provided by The Drive
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022© Provided by The Drive
Thirty-three A-10 Thunderbolt II’s arrive at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho, to compete in Hawgsmoke 2022, Sept 6, 2022. Hawgsmoke is a biennial USAF bombing, missile, and tactical gunnery competition for A-10 Thunderbolt II units which provides unique training. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Mercedee Wilds)
Thirty-three A-10 Thunderbolt II’s arrive at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho, to compete in Hawgsmoke 2022, Sept 6, 2022. Hawgsmoke is a biennial USAF bombing, missile, and tactical gunnery competition for A-10 Thunderbolt II units which provides unique training. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Mercedee Wilds)© Provided by The Drive
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022
Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022

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On 9/8/2022 at 9:12 PM, Kip Powick said:

 

Thanks for posting

 

What I found a bit unusual was the Captain flying the approach with his left elbow on the arm rest.....there is no way I  could  do it that way......want both arms free to flail about should things go south any time during the final phase of flight.

Pilots.......we all have idiosyncrasies,..... I guess  😉

The 787 has pretty light controls so normally it's fine - I get your point about wanting to have the extra freedom of movement should you need it and do the same thing - stow the armrests for hand-flying.

What I find odd/distressing is that the second the nosewheel touches the ground he lets go of the controls and reaches back/down with his left hand to do something.  Then a few seconds later he has his left hand on the glareshield and is doing something on the MCP with his right - isn't on the tiller, the yoke or the thrust levers!  Probably dialing down the range on the nav display to be ready for the taxi-in but this need not be done while decelerating from 140 knots on the runway.  Later, when he gets down to taxi speed, he burps the thrust levers to force the system to stow the speedbrakes.  Not approved, AFAIK, I'd certainly argue against it from an airmanship POV anyway.

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31 minutes ago, Kip Powick said:

Never flew it so not familiar with the after landing procedure but , I too , noted he let go of everything just after landing. Thought perhaps it was SOP for that company...FO takes  it automatically ???

Wouldn't be a very good SOP if that was it.  IAC, you can see in one part of the rollout that the FO is busy on the MCP panel too so neither of them are on the controls.  No, I think it's just a case of a guy who's really comfortable and feels like he can deviate and take shortcuts.  It's fine, until it isn't.  Like a guy who feels he can do the logbook, brief an approach, drink coffee and joke with the FA simultaneously.  He's a hero until he forgets or misses something.

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16 hours ago, Skeptic said:

Bbrrrtttiful Images Of A Flightline Packed With A-10s For Hawgsmoke 2022

Several years ago, my company looked into the possibility of converting A-10s into fire retardant air tankers. There were a few barriers to doing so, including the fact that it was never certified in a civil role. Unfortunately the weight of the Gatling gun is the piece that made it impossible. It couldn’t be removed because it’s integral to the forward structure. Too bad, it would have made a very effective tanker. 

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