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Please don't try to land a fighter jet like this

Technically Incorrect: Reddit's aviation forum has become fascinated this week by footage of a Russian Su-35 fighter jet fighting for its survival as its wing scrapes along the runway.


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Straighten it up now. Евгений Радченко/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Fighter jets can do many things.

Why, even in these pages we've seen them scare the trousers off someone standing on a runway. We've seen them take off and then soar vertically, as if they were a rocket.

I have yet, though, to see evidence that a fighter jet can land on one wing.

Nevertheless, Reddit's aviation forum has been fascinated this week by footage of a Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet trying to do just that. Well, perhaps not trying, but looking as if that's the way its pilot wanted it to be.

The footage is from last year and it shows the jet bank rather steeply as the pilot decides to land. To the lay eye, the angle of approach seems on the margins of insanely hopeful.

The plane lands with a bouncy castle leap, then lurches to the left. Its left wing scrapes along the runway before it spins the other way and it seems as if the right wing may have its own scraping sensation. Somehow, the jet lives happily ever after.

The BBC quoted pilot and instructor Graham Flack as saying: "I do not think any quick reactions were involved in saving the situation. He or she was fortunate that the aircraft bounced the way it did and maybe the aircraft's computer would have been working overtime to help correct the situation."

Had I been in the plane, I fancy my duodenum would have been working overtime to correct the sudden indigestion situation.

The Su-35 has been around since 2008. The Russian air force has quite a collection. I wonder, though, how many have landed like this, and I wonder how many sweet words of comfort this pilot was offered when he emerged from the cockpit.

There's a sense that some fighter pilots have a daredevil patina surrounding their icily controlled core.

Perhaps, though, this pilot thought that he'd overcooked his angles, thereby burning his patina and his career to beyond a crisp.