This post is a recollection of a couple of stories from an IP I flew with once upon a time.
I was told he had gotten a C-47 out of UPT. It was an aircraft whose speed ideally suited his thought processes. It always seemed to me he was just a touch behind the aircraft at the blazing speeds found in a C-130.
Taxiing at NAS Cubi Point –
One day we made a wrong turn down a taxiway that had no outlet. We went about a hundred or so yards down it before tower called and asked us where we thought we were going. We had a co-pilot in the left seat on his very first AC upgrade ride and Milton (not his real name), in the right seat providing the instruction.
The taxiway was not wide enough to turn around so we would have to back up about 100 or so yards until we could turn and get onto the right taxiway. This is ordinarily not too big a deal as long as it’s not too hot and the engines don’t overheat. We would lower the ramp, and the pilots would follow the directions of the loadmaster who was scanning behind us. There was one cardinal rule “DON’T TOUCH THE BRAKES.” Speed was controlled by using the engines and the prop pitch.
We started to back up with the loadmaster doing a great job of telling us how far we had to go, and when to begin slowing down. Unfortunately, Milton was busy telling the co-pilot all the things he should be doing, like listening to the LM, that he wasn’t paying attention to the spiel about “straight back, 50-yards, begin slowing down, slow down, we need to slow down, we need to STOP.” It was that last word that finally broke through and got his attention. At that time both pilots stepped on the brakes.
I was standing behind the IP (in the right seat), and as we came to a stop the nose of the aircraft rose up until the ramp hit the ground and stopped further travel. All the sudden I was in the air and the roof of the cockpit smashed me on the head as we came crashing back down.
We limped into parking, noted there might be a small problem with the nose gear and headed off to the club for lunch. I think it took a couple of days to fix that problem of a compressed nose gear and how it attached to the rest of the airplane.
Air Intercepts over Korea –
Our electronic warfare officers had a semi-annual requirement to train against air-to-air threats. Usually, this was a simple sortie where a couple of F-4s from Kadena would come out and intercept us. Occasionally, we could get some good training at Cope Thunder or head up to Korea to play with them. There were, I recall, three levels of threat maneuvering we could do, depending on the adversary and what we had briefed. Level 1 was pretty benign, level 2 more aggressive, and level 3 allowed us to maneuver pretty aggressively (aggressively being a relative term in a C-130).
Any who, we were sent up to Korea to be a target for some unidentified fighters. It was a crappy day on the surface but beautifully clear above 10,000 feet, so that was where we went. A big black and green aircraft about 4,000 feet above a solid white cloud deck. We were cleared for level three maneuvers allowing 45-60-degree banking, a couple of thousand feet in altitude change, and use of our chaff and flares.
We droned around for a short while, when all the sudden our EWO called a threat break to the right. We rolled smoothly into 10-degrees of right bank while Milton explained to the co-pilot how important situational awareness was. The EWO called a break to the left and we rolled smoothly into a 10-degree left bank. I think this was about that time the pitch on the EWO’s break calls went up just like the RWR gear.
I was looking out the right windows for the threat when I saw an F-15 come screaming down at us. I heard “Fox 1, Fox 2, Fox 3, off target.” Then his wingman called out “Fox 1, Fox 2, Fox 3.”
The AC’s comment was along the lines of “That went well, if we hurry we can still make lunch at the Osan O-club.” I don’t think the EWO was especially happy.