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F-111 Encounter

  • Caroline Paige
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


We are crossing the Bristol Channel

and we saw an American bomber, an F1-11

Big, big bomber.

And so we thought, let's go and have

a bit of fun with this on the way.

So, it was up at about two, three thousand feet.

So we pulled in behind it.

About a mile and half behind.

And we simulated firing a missile.

And so then we closed the guns.

And so we get in really, really close.

And we're just looking up.

Just being nosy.

Having a look up inside this airplane.

It doesn't know we're there.

All of a sudden the wheels come down

and then we hear mayday mayday mayday.

F1-11, Bristol Channel, Bombay Fire.


So okay, we're behind or underneath an F1-11

over the Bristol Channel so we call up on the radio channel

and say F1-11 declaring Mayday.

Would you like a visual inspection?

A Bombay fire in an F1-11 meant

the airplane was about to explode.

Sometimes it was a false warning.

If there was real signs of fire in the airplane,

they would've had to eject straight away

because the airplane is just about to explode.

But you don't know if it's a false alarm or real

so do you eject or do you not and it's really scary

decision for them so to have this airplane just happen

to be underneath them looking up at the time

they put their wheels down and declared this mayday,

to be able to be looking into their Bombay and going

well, I can't see any fire, can you see any fire?

No, no fire, they were so made up,

they sent crates of beer to us when they landed.


  • General Dynamics F-111

    © RAF Museum

  • General Dynamics F-111

    © RAF Museum

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