Typhoon Lucy, July 1971

My squadron commander's daughter Christie lived in the same town as my fiance Gloria.  Christie needed an adult escort to and from Taiwan and we were able to synchronize schedules so Gloria could escort her and I could take some leave at CCK

The day before they returned to the States I got the call.  "Typhoon Lucy is heading for Taiwan and the C-130's must get off the island.  You and your crew are flying one to Thailand."  I made arrangements for a friend to see Gloria off then I took an airplane to Tan Son Nhut and on to U-Tapao

Typhoon Lucy missed Taiwan but so began my last Thailand shuttle.  Not a bad schedule in all--8 days of flying and 4 days on alert.  All the flights were scheduled (kind of), all the airfields were paved, and nobody was shooting at us. 

Circling Instrument Approach, July 22, 1971

A long day--15 hours.  We flew up to northwest Thailand and had to orbit for a half hour waiting for an instrument approach into Chiang Mai.  When we returned to U-Tapao we needed work on our radar, a brake, and fuel panel.  We also had a mysterious engine problem so we took along an engine specialist to observe for the next few legs.

Onward to Ubon, where weather was deteriorating (700' overcast), the only navaid available was primitive (ADF), and the winds were in the wrong direction for their one ADF approach.  So I did a circling instrument approach, which worked like this...
  1. Descend westbound in the clouds and cross the ADF at 4000'.
  2. Turn south and descend to 2000' in the clouds.
  3. Turn left 180 degrees and descend to 700' in the clouds as if you were going to land to the north.
  4. When you see the field, maintain 700' and fly visual downwind, base, and final legs, then land to the south.  Interesting approach.
At Bangkok one landing light burned out and we couldn't start the #3 engine.  The engine specialist diagnosed the problem and we waited 6 hours for a part to be flown in.  Long day.

Flameout, July 28, 1970

We had a pretty uneventful mission carrying cargo to Bangkok and Udorn.  On our last leg into U-Tapao I was doing a night Ground-Controlled Approach when the #4 engine tachometer started unwinding.  That got my attention--the engine just flamed out for no reason!  I feathered #4 (making sure that it was indeed the failed one), went missed approach, ran some checklists, and made a 3-engine landing.  Strange.


Vietnam and Cambodia


Taiwan (CCK)



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