It’s been awhile since I’ve done a fighter pilot story and I saw one today at fighterpilotuniversity that was too good to pass up…
Subject: Good fighter pilot story: Kill’em and Eat’em
This came from a gent who runs a 2000 acre corn farm up around Barron,
WI, not far from Oshkosh. He used to fly F-4Es and F-16s for the Guard
and participated in the first Gulf War.
I went out to plant corn for a bit to finish a field before tomorrow
morning and witnessed The Great Battle. A golden eagle – big, with about
a six foot wingspan – flew right in front of the tractor. It was being
chased by three crows that were continually dive bombing it and pecking
at it. The crows do this because the eagles rob their nests when they
At any rate, the eagle banked hard right in one evasive maneuver, then
landed in the field about 100 feet from the tractor. This eagle stood
about 3 feet tall. The crows all landed too, and took up positions
around the eagle at 120 degrees apart, but kept their distance at about
20 feet from the big bird. The eagle would take a couple steps towards
one of the crows and they’d hop backwards and forward to keep their
distance. Then the reinforcement showed up.
I happened to spot the eagle’s wingman hurtling down out of the sky at what
appeared to be approximately Mach 1.5. Just before impact the eagle on
the ground took flight, (obviously a coordinated tactic; probably
pre-briefed) and the three crows which were watching the grounded eagle,
also took flight thinking they were going to get in some more pecking on
the big bird.
The first crow being targeted by the diving eagle never stood a
snowball’s chance in hell. There was a mid-air explosion of black
feathers and that crow was done. The diving eagle then banked hard left
in what had to be a 9G climbing turn, using the energy it had
accumulated in the dive, and hit crow #2 less than two seconds later.
Another crow dead.
The grounded eagle, which was now airborne and had an altitude advantage
on the remaining crow, which was streaking eastward in full burner, made
a short dive then banked hard right when the escaping crow tried to
evade the hit. It didn’t work – crow #3 bit the dust at about 20 feet AGL.
This aerial battle was better than any air show I’ve been to, including
the war birds show at Oshkosh. The two eagles ripped the crows apart and
ate them on the ground, and as I got closer and closer working my way
across the field, I passed within 20 feet of one of them as it ate its
catch. It stopped and looked at me as I went by and you could see in the
look of that bird that it knew who’s Boss Of The Sky. What a beautiful bird!
I loved it. Not only did they kill their enemy, they ate them. One of
the best Fighter Pilot stories I’ve seen in a long time.
Photo credit: Flickr / D. Scott Lipsey