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Evacuation planes using combat landings, decoy flares at Kabul airport

Evacuation planes landing in Kabul to rescue US citizens and Afghans are taking no chances — they’re making nose-dive combat landings and deploying decoy flares to ward off potential missile attacks. One French Air Force A400M taking off from the beleaguered airport launched a half-dozen flares moments after takeoff, footage from ITV Turkey posted by CBS News shows. The flares are designed to draw heat-seeking missiles away from the aircraft. ( More...

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jbermo 22
As a civilian, I recall flying "combat landings" when flying military chartered airliners (B-747) into "hot zones". . . . The procedure was always a night arrival, landing clearance many miles out with no or minimal radio conversation after that. All nav lights, landing lights, and logo lights turned off (and with pax window shades pulled down). A full flap final approach and landing flown as steeply as comfortably possible. Runway lights dark, however, turned on (with landing lights) at the last possible moment just prior to "crossing the fence". . . and lastly - a special walk-around inspection looking for bullet holes when parked.
clarify 4
If the runway lights are dark were there navaids (localizer + glideslope) to help keep the plane aligned? And if this is a steeper than normal approach, was the glideslope adjusted for the steeper angle (i.e., could the plane request, say, 8 degrees)?

Of course more recently we have RNAV and synthetic vision.
jbermo 1
Yes, all navaids were available, and when in the Middle East, cloud cover was rarely a factor, also, military airfields are usually nice and long. . . simply inch along the glideslope a dot or so high, but with full flap.
sparkie624 1
Sounds like fun! - Try that on a Commercial Flight over here and see what you passengers have to say! :))
skylab72 2
Yeah, Sparkie, I agree...

"I sometimes think in all this world the saddest thing to be
Old Admirals who feel the wind, and never put to sea."

I'd love to take the lowest level GIB job on a J-model Herc and do the Kabul run til the job is done! That sounds like fun!

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Dave Steele 4
It’s sarcasm. Learn to recognize it.
Russ Nelson 1
Sarcasm?? Oh, yeah, right, SURE!
Rich Boddy -5
Your pathetic tears taste soooo good. Your beta cuck attitude is in very poor taste, man up.
Chris Croft 6
Air Force, Navy and Marine aircrews flew similar missions at another hellish piece of real estate, Khe Sahn. God bless them for trying.
chugheset 3
I read that the biggest problem is currently small arms fire which unfortunately combat landings and flares may not help avoid.
It seems prudent given the situation.

When our Commander in Chief provides instructions like this in the "clear" where both our enemies and allies can see it, this type of problem will result.

The Afghanistan pullout was handled about as poorly as is possible. It put our forces and allies on the ground in immediate duress and risk.

It should be investigated.
Dan Chiasson 11
Politics trumped (no pun intended!) logical and practical thinking. The current sh*t show that is Afghanistan was self-produced and a gift to the Taliban and others. The US now owns this sh*t show.
Dave Steele -1
Joe Biden and his staff own it. There’s absolutely no argument here.
Brenda Kesler 15
Biden doesn't own all 20 years of poorly defined missions, and in fact he didn't support Obama continuing the war there. Looking from the outside I think it is easy for all of us to believe we could have conceived of a 'better' exit strategy, but Monday morning quarter backing is easy. Trump also handed him this mess having already withdrawn the majority of forces. It took four Presidents to get us here.
N Porcello 1
Joe Biden owns the horror show that is Afghanistan now. Did Joe Biden at all change the terms of the agreement that Trump put together with the Taliban? No. Did Joe Biden listen to Gen Austin Scott Miller, or McKenzie or Milley Gen of the Joint Cheif's about destabilizing Afghanistan with a premature pullout, or expedite the visa process for the Afghans who helped America and our allies over the last 20 years as city after city fell to the Taliban? No. Remember this is the same Joe Biden that pushed the war in Iraq so hard- diplomacy is not his strong point. Much as it hurts to say it, not everything is Trumps fault.
Randy Marco -3
trumpf OWNS IT.... he released 5000 Taliban, one of which is the HEAD of the Taliban currently running Afghanistan.

trumpf ALSO cut the deal to leave in 14 months and broadcast that deadline to the world.

Steele YOUR statement demonstrates YOU are an uninformed ignoramus!
Harry Venison 1
His orange Jesus can do no wrong. He owns the Rethuglican Q-Anon party, it's now a cult.
steve lowy 2
No civilian aircraft are landing in Kabul. Just military aircraft
Brenda Kesler 1
As purely a civilian who loves flying and had a dad in Vietnam, I'm curious what the success rate is of those decoy flares? I'm dreading the next 5 days until we can get out, even though I support the mission to stop.
wjm100 2
There have been multiple generations of shoulder-launched heat-seeking missiles, called MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems). The later generations are much harder to decoy with flares. Fortunately, from what I've read terrorist groups tend to have older generation MANPADS, which can be fooled by multiple simple flares and advanced multi-spectral flares. Nevertheless, it's not a risk one wants to take. The real threat is from ISIS-K and while a suicide bomber can hide in a crowd, MANPADS are large and weigh about 30 lbs. So they are much harder to conceal from the Taliban, which is a mortal enemy of ISIS-K.
Joe Fiala 1
It is still amazing that we don't have weekly reports of shoulder launched heat seeking missiles hitting military and commercial planes from terrorist groups in many locations in Middle East and elsewhere. Even the older generations of missiles would still hit a target sometimes.
Paul Kesler 1
Hi Brenda ! Are we related??


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