BOTSWANA F-5A

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FLYBOYJ

"THE GREAT GAZOO"
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Apr 9, 2005
Colorado, USA
I spent a month in Botswana back in 2001. My company sold chaff dispensers to the Botswana Defense Force (BDF). I found this photo today on an old disk. They have 10 of these they purchased from Canada.
 

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My dad loves the F-5 too, he got to see them during exercises against Lightnings. Great picture, I bet you'd love to fly one of them, eh, FB!? That'd make your grin from the other thread look like a frown...
 
plan_D said:
My dad loves the F-5 too, he got to see them during exercises against Lightnings. Great picture, I bet you'd love to fly one of them, eh, FB!? That'd make your grin from the other thread look like a frown...

You're right D! The F-5 is so simple to maintain and even when you sit in the cockpit everything is so accessable...

My father-in-law flew them and worked with the Dutch AF in the early 1980s with theirs. He loved them. He said it wasn't quite the performance of an F-16, but it came damm close at half the price.

Had I stayed in Botswana another week I probably would of gotten a ride. :cry:
 
I've never actually seen one up close. My dad used to love the Lightnings going up to intercept them and then watching the F-5s running rings around the big fat rocket called the EE Lightning. :lol:
 
plan_D said:
I've never actually seen one up close. My dad used to love the Lightnings going up to intercept them and then watching the F-5s running rings around the big fat rocket called the EE Lightning. :lol:

That's pretty funny! Although your dad probably had a blast flying that rocket! It always reminded me of "Thunderbird 1." I loved watching those films when they take off and go straight vertical! :shock:

I was told it could be a real b*tch if the top engine started leaking. Did your dad ever say how reliable they were?
 
...erm...yes, yes he did...and let me tell you, he was an electrician on them and he can't think of a worse plane to fix than the EE Lightning. They ALWAYS came back with a snag on them, ALWAYS without fail. He said they were the most rewarding planes to fix because they were such cunts to fix. And taking out the engines...my god, he rants and raves about that quite often...you mention the Lightning in his presence...this is always said "It was a wonderful aircraft while flying but a twat to fix!"

To pull the top engine out you had to pull the whole top of the plane off, then get a crane to lift it out! The bottom one was no easier. You couldn't just pull the jet pipe out and silde it out the back like on Phantoms...no, no...this was 1940s shit design...everything was complicated on the Lightning.
 
I worked a bit on a Hunter, Meteor and Vampire and it seems British aircraft in some cases were well thought out and very innovative, on the other side, it seemed that the engineers wanted to punish the maintainers!
 
He loved watching it. He also 'loved' one coming home with the jet pipe on 2 engine burnt out, with fire coming out of the side of the aircraft. :confused:
 
Oh there are some funny and scary stories from my dad's time with Lightnings. One funny one he told me the other day was a Lightning than tipped up on it's back wheels. It'd been emptied completely, and they'd not put weight on the front...it was being towed and the tow stopped and the Lightning just tipped backwards, lifting the tow in the air.
Unfortunately, back in those days cameras were allowed no where near bases...so, he didn't have a camera handy...they just all lifted it up and about 7 lads sat on the nose and cockpit to keep it down...just picture the look on the lad's face in the tow truck, hung up in the air. :lol:
 
That's great! :lol:

When things like that happen it's always amazing how everyone responds. I've had several of those happen around me, mainly fuel spills. When I was in the Naval Reserve we had a guy slam on the brakes on a tow tractor as he was towing a P-3. The tow bar broke and came through the back window just missing the driver! :shock:
 
What a lucky bastard.

Another one was during exercise one of the other leccies was on a Lightning while the base was getting 'attacked' these Bucs buzzed the place at about 30 feet...and the lad shit himself and fell off the front of the wing, on to the fueling probe, then on to the Red Top and landed flat on his ass on the ground. Everyone rushed out to see if he was alright, but then he got mocked for days.

Also, they used to have the gun cam in the nose wheel and the leccies used to have to wind it up for a few seconds to get it in. So, the other techs would stand in front and pull stupid faces and do stupid dances. SO the pilots would get a debrief and the first 5 seconds would be a bunch of techs being morons...and then it'd get to the gun cam. :lol:
 
OH that's great! Too bad you couldn't get your hands on those clips, you could have a hit website! :lol:

When I worked at Lockheed, smoking wasn't as restricted as it is today. We would get a new guy in the cockpit during ground runs on new P-3s and some one would blow cigarette smoke through this tube that held the pilot's glare shield. It terminated behind the whiskey compass right at the top front windshield. When the smoke came out it appeared that the compass was on fire! Some one would shout "Compass Fire, pull the circuit breaker!" The new guy would be sh*ting himself looking for the circuit breaker for the whiskey compass!
 
:lol: :lol:

One thing with the cockpit on the Lightning was that it was hydraulically powered and often it would run out of pressure so the hood would close. With the new lads they didn't know how to open it 'cos there was just a pump in the cockpit, but the hood was quite heavy (obviously) so they were stuck! Everyone would just laugh until it got old and they'd let them out by putting the pressure back in from the outside.

It happened to my dad but he just happened to have a book so he just sat in there for like 10 minutes reading. And the Flt. Lieu came out and tried to complain, then had a go at everyone to get him out of there. After a while people would learn to stand on the seat and pump it while standing up to lift the hood.
 

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