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A real leemer

LEEMER noun (FEAR, DREAD): Fighter-pilot slang for an unspecified quantity of ice-cold piss injected directly into the heart; describes the feeling a Naval carrier aviator might experience in reaction to, for example, a ramp strike, sudden in-flight engine failure (flameout), or a cold cat shot.

House damaged, person injured after aerobatic display collision

Two aircraft from the Swiss military aerobatic display team, Patrouille Suisse, collided on Thursday with falling debris hitting a house. One person on the ground was slightly injured in the accident.

The two F-5 Tiger planes were part of a formation practicing for a yodelling festival in canton Zug, central Switzerland.

The nose cone of one aircraft broke off and hit a house in the vicinity of the town of Baar, damaging the façade of the building and slightly injuring one person with shattered glass.

The braking parachute of the other aircraft deployed in mid-air but caused no damage and was later recovered.

All the seven aircraft involved in the practice session landed safely and no pilot was injured, according to the defence ministry.

Bayou Pete has video of the incident shot from ground-level, in which the midair and the loss of the nose cone from off the aircraft flying Number Three position can be easily, if not necessarily clearly, seen (older eyes may need to squint a little). Watching his miraculous recovery from a mishap which might very well have ended in real tragedy, all’s I can say is that Number Three’s pilot is one hell of a shit-hot stick—a truly badass fighter jock and one VERY cool customer to boot. For that, I salute you, sir.

The Northrop F5 Tiger, by the by, is a twin-engined supersonic air superiority/ground attack aircraft flown by the USAF and many of our ally nations beginning in the mid-60s, with 400 of them still in service as of 2021. They saw widespread use in the USAF, USMC, and USN during the Vietnam War, until changes in Air Force doctrine had them more or less dumped for larger, heavier aircraft such as the F4, the F100, and the F105 Thud. The Navy used them after the war at its renowned Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), mostly as either trainers or OPFOR adversary aircraft. They’re also widely seen in movies, albeit usually mislabeled as something else entirely for some bizarre reason—as everything from Phantoms to MiGs, which I always found hilarious.

The F5 is small, light, nimble, and more durable than one might expect at first glance, given those first two qualities. Although it was a pretty good aircraft, and any military pilot worth his wings will be quite familiar with it, the F5 somehow never quite achieved the same fame as the Phantom II, the F86 Saber, or latter-day siblings like the F14 Tomcat. The Tiger is a pretty, graceful-looking little thing for sure.


That one’s in USAF livery, all kitted out with a full combat load of Mavericks and Sidewinders. Impressive, no?

1 thought on “A real leemer

  1. I’ve always thought that, for the generation, it was one of our better fighter aircraft designs.

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