How low can you go?

Taking a look at some extreme-low level passes throughout the past century or so. The tactic has been used throughout modern military aviation. While it is extremely dangerous, it can minimize the time a plane is over hostile enemy troops while terrain masks its approach from both surface-based radar and lookouts. The Argentine pilots who attacked the British Task Force in the Falklands in 1982 often flew incoming missions with their A-4’s and Mirages as low as 4-feet off the deck.

Douglas A-20 Havocs making a low flyby for the cameras, 1939

Douglas A-20 Havocs in a super-tight formation making a low flyby for the cameras, 1939

A WWII era P-40 Warhawk with blades 4 feet off ground

A WWII era P-40 Warhawk with blades 4 feet off ground

USAAF P-47 Thunderbolt at extreme low level

USAAF P-47 Thunderbolt at extreme low level

Low pass by P-47s. Click to big up

Low pass by P-47s. Click to big up

A-4 Skyhawk of unknown origin.

A-4 Skyhawk of unknown origin coming in just a tad hot.

Russian pilot Valentin Privalov flying under the central span the bridge over river Ob. June 14, 1965 in his shiny new MIG-19

Russian pilot Valentin Privalov flying under the central span the bridge over river Ob. June 14, 1965 in his shiny new MIG-19

1964 South Africa - S.A. Army Pilots (marching) claimed the Airforce pilots (flying) could never make them hit the deck

1964 South Africa – S.A. Army Pilots (marching) claimed the Airforce pilots (flying) could never make them hit the deck

Argentine IA58 Pucara coming in close enough to part hair

Argentine IA58 Pucara coming in close enough to part hair

Low flying Turkish Army AH-1 Cobra coming in a little low, 2014

Low flying Turkish Army AH-1 Cobra coming in a little low, 2014

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