Having blogged the best of youtube's 'low level pass' videos I recently came across the most amazing page of 'low level' photos. And since my blog header photo has been up here much longer than it has 'there' I have no hesitation in reproducing it again here along with a couple of 'their' images and a recommendation to drop in at this most amazing of aviation web pages.
Of course the thing about this post-war Lanc shot (note the deactivated nose turret and the dorsal dome) is that the aircraft can't be flown with three Merlins feathered! So a very foolish manoeuvre. It's basically achieved through diving for the deck, performing a high-speed fly-by and then pulling up towards the end of the strip while desperately unfeathering!
Below; the Human Fly, a stunt man by the name of Rick Rojatt, makes a low pass on top of a DC-8 flown by the legendary Clay Lacy in front of the grandstands between events at the 1976 California National Air Races at Mojave. The aircraft is ex-Japan Airlines JA8002. It was owned and operated by American Jet Industries in 1976.
One of the most celebrated images of a low pass is this shot of F-14 Tomcat driver Captain Dale “Snort” Snodgrass making a curving pass alongside USS America. Snodgrass explained: " This was my opening pass in a Tomcat tactical demonstration at sea. I started from the starboard rear quarter of the carrier, slightly below flight deck level. Airspeed was about 270 kts with the wings swept forward. I selected afterburner at about a half-mile out, and the aircraft accelerated to about 315 kts. As I approached the fantail, I rolled into an 85-degree bank and did a hard 5-6G turn, finishing about 10-20 degrees off of the boat's axis. Microseconds after this photo was taken, after rolling wings-level at an altitude slightly above the flight deck, I pulled vertical with a quarter-roll to the left, ending with an Immelman roll-out 90 degrees and continued with the remainder of the demo. It was a dramatic and, in my opinion, a very cool way to start a carrier demo as first performed by a great fighter pilot, Ed "Hunack" Andrews, who commanded VF-84 in 1980-1988.."
oh..and that web page for much much more like this is at vintagewings.ca - prepare to let your jaw hit the floor!