OK, pilots, what’s going on here?

Reader Glen W. sent me the link to this video, and says “I’m clueless about this”.  So am I!  Can anyone explain what the pilot’s doing?

I’m glad I wasn’t on board at the time . . .


EDITED TO ADD: OK, Irish found the story. Thanks, buddy!


  1. Hmm, that's interesting. My first thought is the pilot was practicing some type of evasive manuvers, as he would in an unfriendly area, my second thought is that the original manuever was to "fall off" to the right wing, and the yoke was turned left, then corrected.

  2. I can't think of any valid reason to reduce your lift that way right after rotation, so my guess is either accidental control input or the pilot pulling a Mr. Fumducker.

  3. What Richard Blane said. Looks like he over-corrected.

    The other is he wanted to see if the bird was a maneuverable as he was told they were. But why would you do it that close to the ground?

  4. I'm thinking that was just stupid. Obviously deliberate and way too close to the ground to be able to recover.

  5. My vote:
    A signal to his girlfriend that he loves her (body) and though he's headed home to his wife he will return soon. Unfaithful husband and aviator who doesn't care about risk.

  6. Empty bird, lots of power on tap… And stupid, doing it that low. Real easy to get into an accelerated stall!

  7. My first thought (before I read the story) was that the pilot was taking off in a very strong cross wind coming from the port side.
    You see this a lot with General Aviation aircraft such as Cessna 150's. In such a situation, if one leaves the wings level, the cross wind will lift the wing on on the windward side, possibly causing a ground strike with the wing on the leeward side.


  8. The olive in his Martini was on the wrong side. Then it was almost ejected and he had to correct.

  9. I was jumpseating in an empty A320 once. That pitot checker stood it on it's tail and just about bounced my eyes of my glasses. My arms and legs were dangling straight out. I had no idea how powerful empty cargo planes were. The acceleration was impressive.

    It looked controlled, but a bit too close to the ground for my comfort.


  10. Irish found the story and Old NFO is on the button. Kinda dumb maneuver that low, with low airspeed, and the rollers still hanging in the wind.

  11. That's a late model 747. Even the early versions had power to spare. One of the reasons the new jets have even more thrust available is they want aircraft climbing out as steep as possible for noise control around the airports. The climb angle is f'ing ridiculous nowadays. You'd think they were dealing with VC in the bushes, the way they want jets scrambling for altitude.

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