Go Back > > >

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-31-2010, 12:45 PM
Ashrunner's Avatar
Ashrunner Ashrunner is offline
PASA Administrator
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Curently live in High Desert country, Redmond, Oregon to be specific.
Posts: 1,186
Total Downloaded: 0
Send a message via AIM to Ashrunner

The arrival of the F-4Es in Alaska was my first sighting of Double Ugly. Several months later, everyone at Elmendorf AFB, we anxiously awaiting the weekend, when the annual Air Show was being held. The highlight of the show was the Thunderbirds, flying Phantom IIs.

Several days before the weekend, I was at the fuels farm, standing on top of an R-2 refueling truck. I was there as a safety spotter in case the auto shut-off failed. As I stood there, the Thunderbirds arrived in their typical fashion...low, fast directly over the main part of the base, including the area I was filling the R-2. I had no warning of their arrival...only the roar of the entire team in diamond formation, less than 100 feet above me (I was 12 feet off the ground already).

Without thinking, I dove for the walk plate I was standing on and covered my head. In the process, I split open my chin on the steel (it was that diamond patterned, open plating...sort of like a chain-link fence) plating and lost my grip on the safety rope holding open the fuel spout, which because I was no longer holding, went flying upward, spraying the JP-4 in the left in the spout over me and the person working the farm pumps. Be the way, he also was on the ground covering his head.

After the aircraft passed, I glanced up and saw the formation sweeping upwards and to the right towards the mountains and realized what was going on. While the team performed their arrival show, I finished the truck fill, and returned to the office, where my supervisor bandaged up my wound and handed me a clipboard. "You're number two on the Thunderbird's refuel train. They're parking in front of the tower."

When I arrived at the first T-bird to refuel, the crew chief asked me what happened, as he could see blood on my fatigue uniform and t-shirt. I told him the team's arrival scared the s**t of me and then relayed what happened. He cracked a smile and a slight laugh and walked off. Moments later, the lead pilot walked over and apologized.

Three days later when the air show was held, I was busy refueling the show participants and missed most of their performance. But their passes during the show were nothing compared to their arrival I will never forget.
"If you don't know what a lahar is, don't get in its way!"
My Designs -- My Photography
Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2010, 06:03 AM
-Jim G's Avatar
-Jim G -Jim G is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Posts: 367
Total Downloaded: 0
Great story Ashrunner!
Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2010, 06:35 AM
ghshinn's Avatar
ghshinn ghshinn is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Santee, CA
Posts: 922
Total Downloaded: 697.0 KB
Great story, Ashrunner. I think the Phantom II was the only craft that both flight demo teams flew (I read that somewhere). If I recall, the Angels were flying the F-4J.

Reply With Quote

build, confused, free, pdf, plane

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:34 PM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 14.29%
Parts of this site powered by vBulletin Mods & Addons from DragonByte Technologies Ltd. (Details)
Copyright © 2007-17, Paper