LISTEN: Cockpit Audio As Pilots Shoot Down Chinese Balloon
The video below has composite clips including interception audio from the shoot-down of the suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
You will also see a window on the bottom left. That is tracking data from local airplanes coming and going down flight routes and in and out of local airports.
The audio is not in real-time, so the footage and flight tracking data is not fully synced up.
The shooter is FRANK01, an F-22 based out of Langley AFB, and they are coordinated with HUNTRESS, callsign for NORAD's Eastern Air Defense Sector control. You will also hear FRANK02 mentioned.
You might wonder why they were calling each other FRANK!
Well, there is a story for that.
But first, here's the audio of the shoot-down.
Scroll about 5:30 into the video if you want to get right to the moment that they launched the missile
When he says "FRANK 1 HUNTRESS," that is when the pilot pulled the trigger and the missile was launched.
Okay, so who was Frank?
There is a video, below, to answer that.
Frank Luke Jr., gained notoriety as the Arizona Balloon Buster! Luke is credited with shooting down 14 German observation balloons, perhaps the most dangerous kind of mission any fighter pilot could undertake in WWI since these targets were so heavily defended!
Frank Luke Jr.
The cross over his grave now bears the inscription “2nd Lieut. Frank Luke, Jr. Pilot, 27th Aero Squadron; 19 victories. Killed in action Sept. 29, 1918.” The young lieutenant’s record and details of his last flight disclose a story as inspiring as ever to stir people’s admiration, and death in action as valiant as anyone to ever earn a country’s highest award. (Vintage Aviation News).
This video, about his life and death, is quite a story.
His exploits ranged only a scant 17 days, but in this time, as records now reflect, he destroyed 14 German balloons and four aircraft, earning him the title of the “Arizona Balloon Buster.”
His courage in combat not only earned him his nickname, but also the Medal of Honor. His awards included the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Italian War Cross, and the Aero Club Medal for Bravery. In 1930, the American Society for the Promotion of Aviation named him the nation’s greatest air hero. Though unmarried, Luke came from a large family, and many in the Valley of the Sun today carry on the Luke family name. (Vintage Aviation News).