The video shows a firefighting jet, a BAe 146, making a low pass during a fire-retardant drop, and coming very near the top of the subsequent ridge after the drop. It’s hard to watch. The location of the near miss is uncertain, but one thing is clear: The flight path wasn’t intentional. One poster on a popular social media site said that he knew the pilot, who admitted it was a mistake. We imagine they also said they were grateful to be alive. It’s that close.
The phenomenon that some commenters have pointed to is “target fixation,” when you get so focused on what you’re aiming for, in this case, the drop spot, that you forget the overall flight situation. With this near miss, that oversight was very nearly catastrophic.
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