RAF Pilot Flies F-15

#1

Flt Lt Chris Ball, right of picture, has traded his Tornado GR4 for an F15 as the USAF steps up its operations in southern Afghanistan
[Picture: MOD]
 

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#2
That has to be a RAF officer, the mustache is just so Biggles.
 
#3
Hello,

is he the pilot or the backseater?

I am almost surprised they could find one for him to fly given the problems the F15 fleet has had recently.
Last I heard 163 out of 441 fighters were likely to be permanently grounded.
That looks like an F15E,does anyone know if they have the same issues as the other F15s?

tangosix.
 
#5
tangosix said:
Is he the pilot or the backseater?
According to the MoD press release tomahawk6 linked to he's the driver. It'd certainly be interesting to afer it's all over get him to sit down and write free and frankly about the differences between the planes and RAF/USAF both good and bad. And yes that moustache, so Biggles-esque.

Although this does raise the interesting question of if he ever operates in a sector that has British troops and accidentally fires on them who gets the blame for it? He is British but technically the plane and backseater are American so that's 2:1 so we could try and just bash the yanks as normal. ;)
 
#6
IIRC, an RAF exchange pilot was awarded the DFC in 1991 whilst flying with a USAF F-16 Sqn.
 
#7
It's no big deal. We've had jockeys flying F117s and B2s on exchange.
 
#8
Nice tache - very Top Gun. I wonder whether he is Iceman or Goose?
 
#10
That looks like an F15E,does anyone know if they have the same issues as the other F15s?
That is open to debate

The Strike Eagle doesnt have the same issues as the C models.
The problem is that the issue was thought to be down to old age. Now it seems to be a quality control issue and if true then the whole fleet needs to be inspected and the F15E might well be affected.

Years ago the MoD got caught up in a botched PfP (theres a suprise) with the lowest bid company to conduct overhauls on RAF Tornado F3s. It turned out the workers were removing rivets with hammers and wings were getting irrepairably damaged. As I understand it it came to light in a test flight of a number of 'completed' aircraft when the things wouldn't fly properly. Wing droop, instability etc. A job lot of airframes had to be scrapped because it was considered too costly to replace the wings and the contract was finally handed over to BAE Systems. Who would have thought it eh? The government wasting money in a botched attempt to save money?
 
#12
It may well be that "pravda.mod.uk" has latched onto this statement to make the item news-worthy.

Flt Lt Ball is part of an established RAF/USAF exchange programme, but it is unusual for UK fliers to join live operations:
On the contrary, I don't think it is uncommon for exchange officers to take part in operations. I recall that an RAF pilot won a DFC flying a F-117 during the Kosovo campaign. We certainly took our USAF exchange officers to every recent party. Limitations on deployment of exchange officers tend to ocur when their nation is not taking part in that particular operation - ie usually those that come from EU countries.

I hope that the moustache is an "on det" jape!
 
#13
I must admit, this is a bit of a non-story!

RAF aircrew on exchange with the USAF, USN and USMC have flown on ops in GW1, GW2, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq in types such as the F-117, F-15E, F-16C, AV-8B, JSTARS and AWACS.

As intimated, RAF pilots have won the (US) DFC and other decorations on the F-16C (GW1) and F-117 (Kosovo) to name but 2.

We're also the only nation allowed to have an exchange pilot on the F-22.

Regards,
MM
 
#14
Nowt new,During Op Granby we had a pilot flying the Stealth Fighter & currently have growbage on exchange postings with the USAF & USN as well as other countries.Must be a sloooowwwww news day.
 
#15
Spike,

The RAF exchange officers (both Jag mates) were in the process of swapping out during Granby; the experienced one had departed whilst the new one was still undergoing sqn work up. Therefore, they both missed out on flying in the war.

That said, we did have exchange guys on the 117 during the 80s whilst it was still a 'black' project. The official line was that they were posted to the A-7 which was used at the time by the sqns for day time currency flying from Tonopah. To my knowledge, we're still the only nation granted exchange posts on the USAF stealth platforms.

Regards,
MM
 
#16
Magic_Mushroom said:
Spike,

The RAF exchange officers (both Jag mates) were in the process of swapping out during Granby; the experienced one had departed whilst the new one was still undergoing sqn work up. Therefore, they both missed out on flying in the war.

That said, we did have exchange guys on the 117 during the 80s whilst it was still a 'black' project. The official line was that they were posted to the A-7 which was used at the time by the sqns for day time currency flying from Tonopah. To my knowledge, we're still the only nation granted exchange posts on the USAF stealth platforms.
Regards,
MM
I think you're right on that,When I was at Kinloss, we often had P3 growbags on exchange & we even had a Aussie SNCO bombhead working in the dump.
 
#18
Dunno, but it's across the board. We had a spam JENGO (iirc) at WTM in the late '80s, so it's not just an aircrew thang. He was absolutely horrified at our Xmas foodfight in the JRM - and probably with his dry cleaning bill.
 
#19
Magic_Mushroom said:
I must admit, this is a bit of a non-story!

RAF aircrew on exchange with the USAF, USN and USMC have flown on ops in GW1, GW2, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq in types such as the F-117, F-15E, F-16C, AV-8B, JSTARS and AWACS.

As intimated, RAF pilots have won the (US) DFC and other decorations on the F-16C (GW1) and F-117 (Kosovo) to name but 2.

We're also the only nation allowed to have an exchange pilot on the F-22.

Regards,
MM
What not even the Isreali's?
 

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