E-Ticket Ride!!!

You hear about E-Ticket rides, but this one IS one!!!

F/A-18 running VR1251 from  Punta Gorda, CA to Fallon, NV…

Notice how he was looking back over his shoulder?  He was looking for his wingman, to make sure he was at the correct interval…

A bit of background- VR (Visual Routes) are four digit routes that are 1500′ AGL and below and ‘normally’ no faster than 420 kts IAS.  In actuality, they are normally flown between 250′ and 500′ AGL, and ‘squeaked’ up to 500 kts if there is nobody watching…

You can go to the web page below and follow the route. It’s the thin grey line with the numbers 1254 on it. Note to the arrows- It’s ONE WAY…


Now ‘my’ E-Ticket ride was NUC-VR1350-Boardman, Boardman-VR1352-FAL. Got to do that one in the right seat of an A-6 back in the day… 🙂

Fun? Oh hell YES!!!

But also serious training, rolling inverted and pulling over ridge lines is done to minimize the planform, minimize the balloon (negative G) effect, and get the airplane back down quickly. This is also important to minimize the radar vulnerability by keeping the airplane below the bad guys radio horizon (which is why they fly down valleys).

Enjoy the ride, and be thankful we have folks willing to take the challenge to do this not just in the day, but also at night and in bad weather…

h/t JP


E-Ticket Ride!!! — 16 Comments

  1. Looks like fun! from the safety of my desk … not sure how my somewhat older stomach would respond, these days. Dang it.

  2. That was fun!!! Lets do it again and again and again…

  3. Geez. And if I get caught doing that stuff in my Cessna at 100kts, I get in trouble. How fair is that?

    Uh, not that I do that sort of thing in my Cessna.

  4. That does look like fun and like very good training. A good thing those routes exist.
    On the other hand, I now know some properties that I would never, ever buy as horse-owner!

  5. Very cool, but I’d have puked all over my flight helmet at about 2:14.

    Give me a nice, heavy tracked vehicle and I’ll have all the fun I need.

  6. I used to work at the Umatilla Chemical Depot just east of the Boardman Range. You had a 5000 foot altitude restriction there as I see on the map.

  7. DAMN..just watching that on the big screen is intense. I can’t imagine the adrenaline rush. It must be awful trusting to sit in the “passenger” seat on a run like that…:)

  8. … and this is why I wish we still had F-111s in the RAAF.

    I have heard outrageous stories of automatic terrain following (autopilot slaved to the terrain following radar) at minimum altitude and supersonic speed with the controller set to “hard-hard” that made my stomach churn from just listening.

  9. Rev/WSF- one word- Pukin… 😉

    SoCal- Yep!

    drjim- Agreed!

    Murph- You’d be FOD for them… 😛

    Brighid- There used to be one up near your place if I remember correctly…

    acair- Yep! It pays to actually ‘check’ those things… 🙂

    DB- Not me, I want to ‘see’ what I’m going to hit… 😀

    Mike- Yep, DEFINITELY not the place to go booming through/over… but 1354 clipped the NW corner then parallelled the North edge… Strange to say the least!

    Pissed- Yep (Trust me I was too damn busy to be scared until later on my ride)…

    Sendarius- Yep, Hard-Hard and 500 feet was supposedly VERY interesting ride… 🙂

  10. How many of your readers know what an “E” ticket is? I have a full book including “E”‘s early ’60’s vintage in pristine condition.

  11. PH- 🙂

    Craig- I do, I think mine are from the 70’s… I just threw them in the collection of old papers for the kids, along with the moon landing, and others!

  12. E-Ticket indeed. I wish that I could strap an F-18 on my sorry ass and fly VR Hard Deck.