Fighter jet that buzzed Berkeley was “personal air show” from one bro to another




I fail to grasp why this is news anywhere, let alone on Boingboing. Unless the news is Berkeley getting all hot and bothered over a non-incident.



It’s not major news; but given the cost per hour of operation on the F/A-18E is somewhere between 10k-25k(depending on configuration and approximations used), I’d certainly hope that our pilot friend has a very convincing account of why this isn’t a bros-before-taxpayers use of office equipment for personal amusement.

Uncle Sam’s Killin’ Gear Is Not A Toy, kid.


His ego is writing cheques his body can’t cash.


I strongly suspect he was in the air as part of training. It’s not like they’re gonna let someone borrow a fighter for the hell of it for a couple hours.


The pilot’s name wouldn’t happen to be Sununu, would it?


Oh man, when I was a engineering major for a bit in Rolla we got regular sonic booms from the jets doing test and shakedown flights and every now and then some low passes every once in a while as well.


I can explain why.

The student brother let his friends in on a gag his navy brother played, and through the wonders of social media, may well have just given a career limiting move to his navy brother. Which, admittedly, it probably was, but social media led to his being caught and reprimanded for a no harm no foul situation. I have a naval aviator in the family, so I’m partial to such shenanigans.



It doesn’t cost that much, this particular aircraft runs on bropane.


But can you always tell a harmless rule violation from a dangerous one with sufficient accuracy? I mean, e.g. the Cavalese killers also didn’t mean any harm.


how do you get from me describing one point in the past, to you calling me out for my not being able to predict all future cases? That’s obnoxious. Please go concern troll some noob.



I hate to see people in charge of millions of dollars of equipment screwing around like teenagers. They should know better. Reminds me of this:

Two Navy instructor pilots from San Diego
have been forever stripped of flying status and two student pilots will
have to repeat training because of a September incident in which they
dipped two $33 million helicopters into Lake Tahoe while trying to take
photos for the squadron’s Facebook page


It’s the little comments…


I was sitting in my truck eating lunch on Crissey Field one fine October day twenty + years ago when the Blue Angels began their practice run over the SF Bay in preparation for Fleet Week. When the jets came screaming out of nowhere, two Asian ladies strolling along the waterfront were so shocked they both hit the ground and screamed. I tried to console them but they were pretty upset and crying, it was really bad.

That’s one reason this shit is f#cked up.


What, you mean Iron Eagle wasn’t very realistic?


Because this act of war by the military-industrial complex on the People’s Democratic Republic of Berkeley caused severe disruptions to the local chi and forced residents to evacuate their bikram yoga sessions and hold emergency drum circles until fair-trade, organic marijuana and Che Guevara shirts could be distributed via zero-emission vehicles to low-income renters.


I was there. It was mildly disturbing, to the point of leading me and neighbors to step outside and see if a regular jet was at way too low an altitude and going full-throttle to clear the hills or crashing into something. “Is it fleet week again?” Or if a military jet was escorting a confused or hijacked commercial or civilian aircraft.

At Burning Man, the military overflights (presumed to be with surveillance cameras fully operational, for “training” purposes) became an anticipated ritual over the years. The perimeter security team (don’t call them “Rangers”) would allegedly turn off their marine radar then, “to avoid looking like a big fat target.”

Lesser known is when Bush Jr. flew directly over Berkeley during his second term. It was in a helicopter, at appropriate altitude, but easily predictable if you looked at his itinerary and recognizable if you looked up to see the unique heat-seeking-missile deterrent system and backup aircraft hot on its heels when the distinctive military-chopper thumping sound became audible, around sunset. It sparked some conversation at the community’s common meal that evening about what an appropriate form of protest, visible from the air, might be; the consensus was that fireworks were too provocative/aggressive a measure, and might risk return fire.