Maj. Kim Campbell and a Shot-to-hell A-10 Thunderbolt

The A-10 was designed to keep its pilot alive, even flying close air support, and all the damage that could bring. Air Force Pilot Landed Damaged A-10 Using Only ‘Cranks and Cables’.

On April 7, 2003, Major Kim Campbell was flying a close air support mission over downtown Baghdad.

“We were originally tasked to target some Iraqi tanks and vehicles in the city that were acting as a command post, but on the way to the target area we received a call from the ground forward air controller or FAC, saying they were taking fire and needed immediate assistance.”

The FAC ultimately turned out to be a member of the captain’s squadron. Once over the target area, they descended below the clouds to positively identify the friendly troops and the enemy’s location.

After her last past over the enemy position she was hit by hostile fire knocking out both hydraulic systems. But an A-10 pilot doesn’t need no hydraulics, because it has manual redundancy.

After realizing both of her hydraulics systems were impaired, Major Campbell said she had to put the jet into manual reversion, as the back-up system. She said that manual reversion is a system of cranks and cables that allow the pilot to fly the aircraft under mechanical control.

With the aircraft in that degraded mode, she flew for an hour, back to her base, and landed safely. Click the link above for a view of the damage to her aircraft.

“I am incredibly thankful to those who designed and built the A-10 as well as the maintainers who did their part to make sure that jet could fly under any circumstances, even after extensive battle damage,” said Major Campbell.

See this link for a compilation of images of A-10s battle damage.

3 thoughts on “Maj. Kim Campbell and a Shot-to-hell A-10 Thunderbolt

  1. I love this description of the A-10 (from the 2nd link above – the collection of photos.)

    Cockpit armor is a good thing, especially since that is where your stick actuator resides. Knowing that the A-10 would be the target of lots of ground fire, the Hawg designers went to great lengths to extend the life expectancy its pilots. [SNIP]

    You’ve maybe heard about the A-10 simulators?

    You go out back, climb in a dumpster, and they throw rocks at you.

    There’s nothing like realistic training. 😉


Comments are closed.