It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Angry farmers endanger Apache helos by shining flashlights at them

page: 1

log in


posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 06:12 AM

I didn't know a flashlight could crash AH-64 Apache helicopters. They sure are in trouble if Iraqis read the intarweb and learn how to defeat that killing machine.

Pilot's nightvision are blinded by spotlights?

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 06:26 AM
Good thing for the farmers that they are Brits. If it was in the US, they would have been charged under the patriot act and held in an undisclosed location with no lawyers or trial provided.

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 06:46 AM
Its nice to see us makin a

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 08:18 AM
If they cant even handle some small civilian flashlights, how are they supposed to fare against an equipped enemy?

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 08:23 AM
They're flying NVG, that's why the lights disturb them.

I can't imagine them crashing over the lights; it is my opinion that is just hype to make the farmers look worse.

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 08:38 AM
True enough. How do you like if you're wearing NVGs and some farmer came up to you shining their lights at you and saying "what are those pipes stuck on your eyes?".

However, if the apache is flying in a high altitude and someone flashes their torchlight at it, the apache wouldn't really be in an immediate danger, not from blindness that is.

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 09:30 AM
Does anyone know just what type of NVGs the Brit pilots use? I know with some of the older ones, they will be totaly ruined, "washed out." I dont think the PVS-7 or 14 will be ruined, however, just give you a headache ( I once looked at a small campfire with 7s from about 250M away and my head was hurting all night.) If you are caught using headlights down range at Ft. Irwin, you can acutally be subject to UCMJ, because of the effects it has on NVG users.

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 09:30 AM
Most Apache flying is done Nap of the Earth, which means that some trees are higher than they are. That's why it pisses off the farmers, scares the cows, and freaks out the chickens. If you're flying NVG that low and someone flashes a light in your eyes, you're in very real danger of crashing.

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 10:13 AM
sound like a lot of hype to me .

yes - getting hit by a hi power lamp when using NVGs can put a big crimp in your day , BUT

in most cases you will see the beam before it can be brought to bear on you - if you are flying NOE then they have little chance to track and engage you with a lamp

plus - in devon the ROE doesnt allow supression fire to be used - any numpty with a serachlight in iraq / afghanistan is going to get bombed back to the stone age

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 10:16 AM
Don't mess with farmers. There's a B-52 sitting on a pedestal somewhere because a farmer got pissed at them taking off and scaring his cows, so they were taking off one day and he pulled out his shotgun and shot on of the BUFFs. Did enough damage that they decided to retire it. It was an old G model so was gonna retire soon anyway. It was the ultimate Golden BB shot.

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 10:25 AM

Originally posted by Denied
Its nice to see us makin a

Making a stand against what exactly dude?
I know a few people as customers that fly in the forces and I wouldn't want to see them hurt. I imagine as a tax payer you wouldn't want the cost of having to replace the craft either.
I hope your not suggesting that it's a good thing to go round endangering innocent people's lives are you?

I empathise with the farmers for not wanting their animals to be scared and I imagine they didn't realise the potentially serious consequences of their actions. But to do such a thing if one knew the potential dangers would be irresponsible.
It's like the guy that kept shining Lasers at aircraft, who the hell does that kind of thing? duh duh..

[edit on 19-11-2005 by AgentSmith]


posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 12:39 PM
However i can imagine that farmer likely got in # for firing at B-52's, you dont fire at your own country's aircraft, i wouldnt be suprised if he didnt get arrested.

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 04:39 PM
There is a huge difference from flying over civilian airspace un-armored and getting blinded especially when you’re using NVG’s, and flying in a war zone. Anyone dumb enough to turn on a searchlight in Iraq is going to get ripped a new one by PGM’s before he even hears any choppers.

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 06:14 PM

Originally posted by WestPoint23 Anyone dumb enough to turn on a searchlight in Iraq is going to get ripped a new one by PGM’s before he even hears any choppers.

Exactly right, I was just going to mention that the Farmers were not at risk of being fired upon whereas the enemy would have got a taste of chaingun.

posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 02:17 AM
First Off,

The UK 'invented' Dazzle lighting when they used scintillating searchlight technology under the capable hands of famous Magician Jasper Maskelyne (I think...) to stave off Luftwaffe attacks back in the 1940s on Suez and Alex.

It can and does work, even when you are flying at 10-15,000ft because of the extreme effects (think 70's night club and timed flash bulbs that seem to distort time and angle to 'pure black and white slideshow') it has on a human anatomy already supremely vulnerable to 'the leans' of vertigo due to a range of proprioceptive, vestibular and haptic Darwinistic Disagreements.

Basically, if the fluid in your ears, your guts and your visual sense of acceleration are disrupted, the 'voting process' by which often you are (in an NOE maneuvering helo) _deliberately_ stressing your visceral sense of motion so that you can feel the swing of acceleration but no the residual-constant of gravity. If you swing a light across the eye at a given number of hz per second, the residual 'spatial memory' of images that indicates visual precess becomes lost and the autonomics make an emergency grab for other sensory stimulus which is, unfortunately, almost always wrong.

i.e. There is a bloody damn good reason why birds fly 'straight and level' (ear canals in line with the accelerations of all flight axes) while humans continually prove why they are always going to be pig-under-hawk AT BEST 'suspended from earth' as temporarily terrestrially compromised beings. Especially in peacetime, you don't need to further hazard their general biologic incompetence. For at 90 knots (152fps), you only need to be out of the OODA loop for about a third of a second to die in wheels-rub-dirt flight mode.

That said there are some things which do need to be said here:

1. The PNVS /sucks/ having about the same resolution as a 1960's 8mm camera. At dusk. This is why the Apache crews are often one or both on the goggle because particularly the late Gen-3 and onwards give nearly 70` of focal width and about 20:20 capabilities.
2. As part of the composite upgrade (Longbow is great for killing tank columns and moving motorycles or technicals but can't image worth a freakin' damn for 'low threats'.) that introduced the Arrowhead ITADS, there should be an IPNVS which includes a new FLIR and a coupled CCD typ camera capable of either-or display.
3. The U.S. /far/ from 'leading the field' abandoned work it did under the ARTI effort to further _synthesize_ a 'big picture' of the surroundings which narrowed the number of visual presentations to basically a gridded terrain index and a various goal post height meter 'average terrain clearances'. More like TRON virtualism than anything approaching MITL levels of saturated detail. The reason was of course pilots knew that if they were reduced to flying a video game through systems like VCASS (Visually Coupled Airborne Systems Simulator, a veritable Darth Vaderian contraption, but one which worked) someone would quickly ask why they had to route the preprocessed and fused sensor info to a man at all. You cannot dazzle a man whose eyes do not see the outside world directly at all.
4. In general, helicopter autopilots are not trusted because the kinds of maneuvering (Digging, bobup, pivot and wheel etc.) involves higher accelerations, closer to the ground than automatics can solve for within the limits (pilot reserve means less than 1.5G) of maneuvering. It is also a given that the USAr will not pay for the kinds of obstacle clearance LIDAR/MMW/FLIR necessary to clear fence posts as much as high tension lines.
5. Autopilots ARE superior at rapid-action reponses in the terrain following to low flight regimes (100-1,500ft) where guided threats and high rate guns are most typically encountered. Simply because it is possible to form a direct link between the electromechanical systems and the various APR-39/AAR-47/57/AVR-2 Radar/Missile/Laser Warners respectively. This is _particularly_ important when you are using multiple overlaps of expendables and jammers or need to rapidly stabilize a directed IRCM (laser) onto a missile bearing before vanishing out the side of an incredibly tight tracking gate. Because helos are disgustingly slow and vulnerable and utterly unable to stress even ballistic systems ability 'on the fly, on their own'.
6. Again, this has been a 'known' ever since the days of the AH-56 Cheyenne when a compound helo first proved that a 250 knot airframe could take off vertically an run flat out for 300 miles. Unfortunately, the culprit this time was the almighty Air Farce which also succeeded in ruing the LHX (RAH-66) program by limiting it to a 'penny farthing' (conventional main and tail rotor) system. The result being that helos are too slow to patrol even an 'insurgent' type threat area because they literally cannot refresh a given target zone fast enough (140 knots is about top end for most of the heavy AAH) to be worth the effort. Which is where ALERT and AMUST became a joke of UAVs and 'on the fly' target scanning supposedly providing the eyes for a the Comanche scouts which were the eyes for the Apache spear carriers. A 100 knot UAV can /easily/ outpace a 60-90 knot (NOE) flying helo. Simply on the basis of not having to go over and around (highly predictable) navigation hazards. What's more, it an stay longer (up to 32hrs in the Army Predator) and SEE FURTHER by virtue of a higher altitude orbit wherein, guess what, _It is safer from 'flashes' of all kinds_.
And so the Comanche died because the Army Aviators, like their Air Force cousins, where more interested in having numbers of voters for the clubhouse elections to the Pentagon (and before Congress) than they were in having an effective weapons system.

The Brits, as usual, have bought into a dated if not actually obsolescent weapons system 20 years past being SOA. Because as OIF showed over Najaf when the entire attack helicopter battalion of AH-64D's were crushed by simple MOUT fires, the armed helo is a crippled goat wading thru hip deep lion grass and is both too expensive, too vulnerable and too slow to perform even a traditional skirmisher/screening task which 'air cav' once handled with throwaway suicide sleds (AH-1F Cobra) for NATO.
These days, they would be better of with an (AAS-52+APQ-8) MQ-9 Predator and a raincheck for JCM or GBU-39.
The Farmers have a right to be angry at having THEIR livelihood ruined by their fellow Brit beanie prop bandits. They are just too ignorant of the true nature of the wasteage to make more than a militant mink farm posturing of their 'complaints'.
As of the end of our SEA commitment (and the debut of SA-7 and Redeye along with Rapier and SA-9/13) the only good helicopter is one which can drop off troops that can DRIVE to the sound of gunfire.


P.S. If you wanted to design a _real_ combat rotary wing aircraft, it would have stop wings and a VTDP propulsor outback, capable of 300knots and +/- 5G. As well as a 'solid' (laser proof and armored to 12.7mm) cockpit which presented nothing but virtual data from bugeye sensor clusters around the airframe to a single-aircrew 'mission commander'.

A man who 'flew' his craft via a giant screen LCD which presented him nothing but a direction and stop vector (mouse-like arrow position controller advanced and pulled back by an autopilot tied joystick command) that issued start-go 'destination orders' to a position on a digital terrain map. The autopilot then flying route while autoavoiding all threats and terrain hazards at anthing from 20 to 18,000ft without junior putting a single hand further hand on the stick. Because he wasn't as good as the machine.

Indeed, the human would be monkey-presses-button along for the ride primarily as a 'secure database' of long range sensor imagery interpretation and to act as pickled consent-giver to a weapons suite which reached out a MINIMUM 30nm ahead of the helo so that it /never entered/ contested FIBUA airspace. While it patrolled over-ground at perhaps 3-5miles per minute and scanned (from sidelooking bays in a much more conventional utility shaped airframe like an A-109 or S-76) hundreds more with standoff sensors.

The reason for the latter COE (Contempt Of Engagement aka 'Standoff is Everything') being principally because, when you are only moving roughly as fast as a WWII fighter (under compound thrust), you can be chased OVER the horizon using (FIM-160 MALI) missiles lock on after launch and which have more in common with tomahawk than they do AMRAAM in terms of sustained propulsion over wide, pack-hunting, search patterns.

For that, along with DEWs, is the real danger to rotary wing air. That instead of trying to 'forward with the targets' defend themselves using line of sight weapons. A new enemy will play hyeeeear kitty-kitty games and let us bury our sorry selves in /their/ Briar Patch before running us down like animals as we try and climb the slopes of the killsac, screaming to get back out. And (vs. todays blithering idiocy of RW engineering) it's ALL possible, using simple Quest cell phone and Radio Shack RC levels of weapons design to enable a Ding Hao (human observer corps) level of 'IADS' that instantly obsolesces whole fleets of todays helos for 'pennys on the pound' exchange rate against the 84 million dollar WAH-64Ds mentioned.

Hell, 'even a terrorist could do it'.

new topics

top topics


log in