PETALING JAYA: Pictured below is four RMAF MiG-29 Fulcrum flying in a diamond formation above the Butterworth Airbase on Nov 30, 2011. The Fulcrums are training for Lima 2011 scheduled to start on Dec 6, 2011.
What is interesting about the picture is that three of the Fulcrums is carrying an ACMI pod each on the left wing. I have no idea why the birds were carrying these pods usually used during Top Gun-style exercise. Usually when the Fulcrums does aerobatic displays they carried no stores at all, not even a smoke generator (their engines are smoky enough!).
Perhaps they are using the pods for AAR after training or the three pilots are in need of combat training and since they are over at Butterworth why not use that time to get the training under their belt? RMAF had contracted the ACMI training system to Aerotree Defence and Services Sdn Bhd. Incidentally Aerotree is also the title sponsor for the KrisSakti aerial display team set to make its debut during Lima.
If you know why they are using the pods (or those are not ACMI pods!) please drop me a line.
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I have a close friend) at Butterworth who just posted a pic of the MiG-29s doing maneuvers. I’ll check and see what I can find out.
My guess is that the three Fulcrums with the pods had been used for ACM with the Typhoons the previous day while four were used for aerial display training. That morning the three Fulcrums prepared for the display went U/S at the last moment so the three spares (the ones with the pods) were used instead.
it nice to see the MiG still flying …
The “Smokey Bandits” are here!!
They DID put up a nice professional performance though.. A big thumb up to RMAF!
Yes some of them also carried the ACMI pods. Spoke to the ground crews and they said they will be in Butterworth this month for their annual live fire drills hence the pods. The pods are for the Fulcrums and not loaners as in the past.