A ‘low and slow’ Bronco pulls one over on an F-4 crew

By Mark Brophy

©2000 Mark Brophy, All Rights Reserved.

This story was predicated by an email that started out with this explanation from Merlin about why the OV-10 community was so friendly and unique:

Grump Hodgson once described it to me as a product of the OV being the “ugly duckling” of military aviation… they didn’t fit in with the fighters, helos, transports, bombers, or anyone else really, so they kind of had a community that stuck together but never really inherited an undue amount snobbiness or such. Far as I’m concerned, history has proven it to be a majestic swan! 🙂

Mark’s response is a classic:

“Ugly duckling” you say!! Yes, Grump is right. I remember flying out of Yuma on deployment to mark targets for F-4’s. We would catch our daily ration of “low & slow” from those guys, but we got them back. Like being alongside of an F-4 we were going to work with and waiting until they power up to check their brakes, then very gently put reverse pitch on the props and go backwards. MAN!! You could see both those guys in the F-4 standing on the brakes thinking they had a brake problem. Once they caught on, they usually gave us their “IQ” sign. Anyway, yes, the OV-10 was low and slow, but I felt it was more like “up close and personal” for the poor guy on the ground needing air support.All the best,
Mark Brophy
LtCol USMC (Ret)
Air Observer
Tampa, FL