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Unread postPosted: 25 Apr 2006, 19:24
by Meathook
Gums and Snake-1..

Nice to know you boys made it home (and contribute to this board from time to time), amazing how clear your memories are (mine too) even after so much time has past (who could ever forget those events).

You hope you can forget sometimes, then you realize you cant, it (the adventures both good and bad) stay forever.

What an era it was for us all (that were there), both maintainers and it is all electronic and guidance, speed and design...amazing huh, but guys like you blazed the trail so it would get better for the next guy or gal going into harms way.

Thumbs up and salute to you both (glad you made it home).

Mission Accomplished

Unread postPosted: 26 Apr 2006, 05:45
by Snake-1

And it was guys like you and your crew that made sure that we had the best damn machines possible to do the job. The hours you guys put in to correct some piddily minor write up so the bird would go off the next day at 110 percent made all of us who got all the glory proud. My crew chief was as much part of my team as my GIB was and nobody screwed with any of us. There never was a them (maintainers) and us (aircrews) just "WE" and it was great.


Unread postPosted: 26 Apr 2006, 15:17
by Meathook
I could not agree more, it has always been "us or we" it should be.

Sometimes politics did try and get into the way in the USAF (some folks just love that rank of theirs and play on it far too much), if only they knew, it is the person that comes first.

The position is always understood (I think some did forget that simple fact) because we all have them at some level.

Respect is earned, then given (when deserved) some folks feel they had to try and push it down another's throat (especially the wives :-)

I think it is because some folks lost that simple "team spirit"...there is no "me" in team, just an us, we breath and bleed together, pants go on the same way!

Ahh..the good ole days!

See ya

Salute brother.

Unread postPosted: 26 Apr 2006, 17:44
by Snake-1
To often people forget that the US on their uniforms stands for more then its original intent. It also states the silent spirit of the team as a whole.


Unread postPosted: 26 Apr 2006, 18:26
by Meathook
Roger that!

Unread postPosted: 28 Apr 2006, 03:51
by Snake-1
To complete the loop on the three aircraft accidents that really could have cost me my sweet cheeks this is the first of the three in an A-37 when Gums and I were there.

It was Friday, September 13, 1968 and I'm on the pad with Al Barnes (a great guy and super stick --- remember him GUMS???) assigned to aircraft 513. We were loaded with the standard pad load of 2 750 nap cans, 2 drop tanks, 2 500 pounders, and 2 250 lady fingers. At 0813 the klaxon went off and the Hun driver who answered it yelled "RAPS" and Al and I bolted for the door and our waiting steeds. Being old hands at this "Goat Rope" we were quickly strapped in cranked our birds and headed for the arming area.

When we were cleared for Takeoff we taxied on, ran engines up, cross-checked each other and were ready to go. I released brakes and Al would follow at the 8 second interval that we briefed. Acceleration was fast and smooth and I thought "here we go again in the name of freedom" when all Hell broke loose.

At about 80 knots (just before rotation) the nose started to veer to the right about 15 to 20 degrees. Quickly applied left rudder didn't help at all and the nose kept going right. Pulling back on the left throttle did less then nothing and the nose continued right. By now the nose is at (or near) the right edge of the runway and about 45 degrees from the runway heading.

Knowing its to late now to try to save the bird I shut down both engines and hit the master switch off. This was when the right main gear hit a runway light and sheared off the aircraft. This resulted in sparks from the broken gear struct with the aircraft now riding on the right hand drop tank and NAP can and the aircraft beginning two of the three ground loops before coming to rest. Somewhere in this series of ground loops the left gear sheared from the excessive side loads adding to the excitment at hand.

The first loop and a half were on the side of the runway and asphalt side apron. This caused the bottoms of the fuel tanks and NAP cans to split open. Between the sparks from the sheared gear , the ruptured tanks, and opened NAP cans a huge fire was brewing and trying to catch me as I spun in the soft mud just off the runway. Chunks of burning NAP and fuel were being thrown all over the aircraft and surrounding areas as I kept rotating and, finally, came to rest some 50 to 60 feet off the runway with the nose now facing east and pointing at the spot I had released brakes just 7 or 8 seconds ago.

There I sat for several seconds (that seemed like hours) wondering if I should blow the canopy or try to open it manually. Smelling fuel and not wanting to stay and become a crispy critter so young in life, I tried the manual route first and to my surprise the canopy opened.

Also to my amazement, there was a fire free path about five feet wide directly to my left that led to blue sky and brown mud. Just as my feet touched the ground the canopy slammed shut when the fire destroyed the electrical system. Heading down the fire free path I didn't think I could move that fast with all the combat gear and chute on but as I said so often God must love fighter pilots cause I cleared the site to the north and into the open just as Al was passing what had been a perfectly good aircraft some 15 seconds ago. Later Al told me that as he passed he called the tower and told them that the pilot didn't make it out and the flames had engulfed the whole aircraft and were now about 200 feet high.

Imagine tower's and Al's surprise when the tower saw me hot-footing it away from the dead bird-- not wanting to be in the same acre of real estate should any of the bombs decide to go boom and really ruin my day. But luckily the mud from the last four days buried the bombs -- under the fire-- and prevented them from exploding.

I found out later that that the right wheel had recently arrived in country from the manufacturer and instead of installing an inside and outside bearing they installed two inside bearing which are a little larger then the outside ones. So after the wheels heated up after a rapid taxi to the arming area they decided to lock on me just at rotation.

Noting the first paragraph ---- Ask me if I ever flew on Friday the 13th. again!!!!!!!!!!!!


Unread postPosted: 29 Apr 2006, 03:33
by Meathook
Amazing, just pure amazing..the man upstairs watches many of us, no doubt he watched you that day.

Flying on the 13th...cant say I blame you :-)

You da man! Salute, I know how that luck runs...what a day that was - WoW

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2006, 03:35
by Gums

Oh yeah, Al was here for the reunion in 2001. Went back to his roots in MS and lives there now.

Best story about him was a double-engine rollback when he couldn't recover either motor. Yelled at him to jett everything, shut'em down and try for airstarts while he could still glide a minute. It worked.

That sucker got to go to Edwards for the A-9/A-10 flyoff 'cause I was at SOS and they needed a young sprog right then and there. Sniff, sniff, sniff. 'course, I got to get into Vipers about 9 years later and never flew the 'hog. But woulda been neat to fly those two planes in 1970.

On some of our alert pad missions we didn't go to the arming area, but used the midfield exit/entrance and they would pull all the pins right there at the alert pad. Your incident or maybe Jim Gray's might have been the reason we had to go down and use whole rwy plus the arming area.


For those who haven't had the pleasure of flying a well-maintained jet, nothing like it. And I can remember the "hang dog" look on a crewchief when his jet and pilot didn't come home. They would sit on top of the revetments at Korat and count the planes coming down intitial. And they always had a cold towel and ice water for me when I climbed outta the jet.

Gums sends..........

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2006, 07:26
by LWF
Just out of curiosity, did anyone hear serve in or alongside Misty? I've read a book about Misty but I'd also like the point of view of pilots who saw it firsthand.

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2006, 11:39
by asiatrails
Snake-1 wrote:I'm a stick and not an engineer but I think it was the JP-4 we used combined with the fuel feed system. The Navy used JP-5 and I don't think put out as pointy a finger as we did. And the mod's were just to costly to convert our birds but you really need to talk to an engineer on this one.

Bottom line was a combination of poor intake design and cannular combuster design. This resulted in the F-4's "Smoky Joe" trail at high dry power settings. Your comment on JP5 is interesting as the smoke index with JP4 is usually higher, could be due to the burning temperature of the fuel.

The USN/USMC aircraft were fitted first with the smokeless J79-GE-10B or later -17E engines, solving the the prominent trail of sooty black smoke.

In modern engine design this is known as the smoke number index and is usually plotted against thrust.

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2006, 14:39
by rhinophan99
Gums & Snake ..

Do you remember while flying the A-7, any specific times where you were controlled by Wolf or Laredo in there respectiv AOR's ? in the 72/73 time frame ..


Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2006, 14:50
by Snake-1

My memory fails me -- wheren't Wolf and Laredo Fast FACs out of the Wolfpack and Udorn? When in A-37s I flew with O-1s, 0-2s, and in the later part of the tour one or two OV-10s. While I was in F-4s did some work on the trails with all the fast FAcs including the Tigers from Korat.


Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2006, 16:28
by rhinophan99
Snake ... Indeed Wolf ( Ubon ) and Laredo ( Udorn ) were Fast Fac shop's .. ( Owl ) Night at Ubon and as you mentioned ( Tiger ) from Korat and Stormy ( Da Nang & Taklhi for a short time ).. My interest in those above mentioned programs definately has run pretty deep through the years ...:) Back in the day's of real flying !

May I ask when were you in the Phantom ? and where ?


Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2006, 21:07
by Snake-1

So the memory doesn't fail me!!!!
F-4s!!!!!!!! C's, D's, E's, G's from 67 to 79 a couple in SEA, DM, George, Luke, Nellis, and a quick trip to Spang in the G's.


Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2006, 21:35
by rhinophan99
Snake ...

What Sqdns in SEA ? ...:)

Here is some pic's of my bar with HEAVY emphasis on Mcd's big 2 .. Phantom's and Eagles ... is a work in process ...