Functional Check Flight, April 28, 1971
My crew pulled alert duty on our first day in-country and we were
directed to bring back
an airplane that broke down at Bien Hoa. So we deadheaded
there via Binh Thuy with a crew from the 346th squadron.
commander of the 346th TAS was flying with one of his crews on that
mission and giving them what amounted to a check ride. What was
bad was that in some of his criticism the crew members were right and
he was wrong! He really seems to go out of his way to give his
troops a screw job. I guess he does things like this to keep the
morale from getting too high.
cranked that beast up at Bien Hoa, did a couple of max power runups
and a high-speed taxi check then loosed the surly bonds of earth.
We flew a functional check flight (FCF to all you future Air Force
dependents)--climbed on up to 11,000' and pulled a propeller blade
angle check, then returned the bird to TSN. It worked like a
champ, so we don't know why it broke in the first place. By the
way, due to my (ahem) exceptional in-depth knowledge of aircraft
systems, consistently flawless judgment, and nerves of steel I've been
designated an FCF AC.
Flying With My Squadron Commander, April 29, 1971
I was in the 776th Tactical Airlift Squadron and Col. Cooper was my
This day he flew with my crew and I had a chance to sit in the copilot
seat. He didn't fly often, so he tried to get some instrument
approach practice, but it was not meant to be.
to Danang and another animal act over refueling. I also learned
that there was no onload for Quinhon (our next stop) so I asked Hilda
(Saigon airlift control) whether we really needed to go there and they
said yes. This was Col. Cooper's leg and I flew the right
seat. About 10 minutes out of Quinhon, the nav called in and we
were directed to fly on to Tan Son Nhut.
It was kinda fun for me
flying the right seat. I don't get to do it very often and with
Col. Cooper I felt like an instructor. He does OK for a guy who
doesn't fly as his primary job, but he was a little slow at times and
didn't catch some things as they happened.
He planned on radar vectors
to an ILS at TSN, but their radar was out. So he decided to make
ADF/ILS, but the thunderstorms on all sides made the ADF's pure static
and we ended up plunging through the clouds without a clearance.
He finally decided to give up the idea of making an instrument approach
when approach control told us to hold for 20 minutes at some radio
beacon. So we broke that off and went VFR (which we should have
done BEFORE we started mucking around in the clouds).
It was pretty
interesting--it's a different sort of challenge
to instruct so your student won't think he's being instructed. I
took care of the old boy.