I am really enjoying your narratives, thank you. At the risk of compromising the creative process, are they inspired by real-world events, simulated flights or conjured from your imagination? Regardless what the source of inspiration might be I look forward to future installments.
Bet if you could talk to enough airline pilots from the 40's, 50's & 60's you would find every bit of those stories happened, just not all to one pilot or at the same time, to one or more of them at some points...except the..."The CAB cleared me and even gave me a public "Atta' boy!"...that's pure fiction.
Love the stories...now I have to go back and find a way to watch "Fate is the Hunter"...haven't seen that in forever.
Post by milspecsim on Apr 12, 2018 16:30:05 GMT -5
So I took some time off, about 3 years. Did dome instructing and the Nashville film actually got produced! Heston is great actor, but WAY to tall. Anyways after living the good life in sunny SoCal, the itch just had to be scratched. AN old bud form my CBI days hooked me up with a interview at Douglas. They have this new short haul airliner they call the DC-9. Since I can obviously handle emergencies, I got a gig in fight test. I was amazed the systems on the Diesel 9 was dead simple compared to the four-holer. Had few interesting things happen during this time, engine stalls during run-ups than caused a lot of folks to buy fresh underwear, trim screw that went nuts and jammed the t-tail in full nose up, things like that. But this was the first long flight.
We setup a plan to PHX then on to DAL. Seems the legs are getting longer and a lot of the smaller airports are getting cut from the schedules. Full fuel load and about half simulated pax load. Startup and taxi was routine, climb out was slightly below expected number and fuel burn was a bit higher, but sitting at FL330 tings were as or better than expected. While enjoying a cupajoe, a loud buzzing suddenly sounded. Test crew starts looking around and one of the guys in back noticed the left slat was vibrating like mad. We were over Blythe/Quartzite, so I elected to begin a decent that would end a Luke AFB. THe buzzing got worse as we got lower, and the hydraulic system was losing pressure.
Yuma is behind us and Luke is the first ahead. I elect to dump fuel. At 14 thousand the right engine stalled. Everyone hit the roof, and the plane dropped about 800ft. Hydraulic system is down to half, and all of a sudden the electrical power tripped. Dead. Nuthin. The left engine is still running, and the right is popping and banging like mad. I'm starting to wonder how much stress the pylKA_BLAM! The right engine departs the fuse taking a huge chunk of the tail with it! We were under 9000 by this point so no one got blown out. Luke is in sight, but the plane is really sluggish. FO gets some electrical power back, got the APU starts and turns on the emergency hydraulics. While the plane is responding better its still horrible. Luke gives us clearance and we are just lined up with 2. We drop the gear but guess what? Yup no response... Hydraulics had just about bottomed out and there was no time to manually crank em down. I call for Brace, chop the throttles, shut off the left and this is when the left slat broke off the wing. We hit left wing low, slammed down on the runway and skidded about 200 feet before the left wing caught a runway light and spun the aircraft 180 degrees. the aircraft departs the runway, slamming into an embankment splitting in two. THe tail buried in the bank and stayed right there, while the nose and wings spun another 180 and came to a stop about 500 feet away. Quick shutdown, and we bailed out.
Looking back with the rest of the UNINJURED crew we watched as the tail burned. We all went to a local bar and got hammered. I'm really starting to think I need to stay out of the cockpit...
Post by Pixel Pilot on Apr 13, 2018 9:51:31 GMT -5
Glad you're back. Sorry about all the trouble on your test flight. Glad you and the rest of the crew made it. Someday when you want to be bored to death I'll tell about my first flight as a passenger on the "diesel 9".
Hmmmm I think somehow I managed to miss the very Convair story I voted for. Have read it now, another great one, thanks! And of course your latest jet mash-up is very interesting too. In my mind I see a compilation of all your chronicled 'arrivals'. Had they happened after the turn of the century it would have probably resulted in a YouTube video with a million views.
Post by milspecsim on Apr 15, 2018 18:30:21 GMT -5
This has actually turned into a side project. Still have to check off the the 880/990 and a DC-8 story, got an idea for both. Then I'll get to GA and some other stuff. Working on an ATC story that is based on something that happened to me in 93. Really "fun", kinda like when you smash a sensitive part of your anatomy in a door. I'm also trying to figure out how I can do a short film or two out of this stuff. As life and $$$ permit that is.
Well I decided to flesh the character out. So gimme your opinion here...
I was telling a few tall tales of my 80 years in aviation at the hanger the other day. There were a few newbies hanging out, they had about 6 hours between the 3 of them. All three were professionals in other careers, and they had never met a pilot with my experience before. They sat starry-eye and entrapped in my stories. The weather was stormy and no VFR flights were gonna happen. Now most of the students through the “school” here (I hate 141 pilot mills) don't even give me a second glance. “That just the ol' airport hermit, pay him no mind he's crazy.” Sarcastic and opinionated yeah, but not crazy. They got caught in the hanger I was in around 9AM and by 4 PM when the rain slacked off they were seriously telling me to write a book on these stories. My old hand cant write very long, hell I can't do a lot of things I used to do, being 93 years old. Listening to them I realized that I along with Chuck were probably the last of the guys that flew from Big Mistake Number Two through the present. One of them showed me a word processor and knowing how to type pretty well I decided to do it. This is the result of that chance meeting that Stormy July day.
I guess I should start at the beginning. I was born in Barstow, California May 11th 1926. Mom was an engineer, Dad was a test pilot. Both had Master's degrees from Cal Tech, and were airplane crazy. SO I was born for this. Dad always claimed he and Maw were the founders of the “Mile High Club” and I was the result. Anytime he got to drinking at parties and told that story mom would slug him! Where she hit him depended on the company and her level of alcohol intake. I remember her kickin his nuts so hard I swear that popped out his nose! But the 4 brothers and 3 sisters born after me showed no permanent damage had been done. I was the weirdo kid, odd for a first child at the time. Plus I had red hair and dad was blonde. I think the milkman might have gotten a toehold in there. The next oldest was Tony, he looked just like Dad he was born in '27, Jenny and Sandy were the next oldest hatched in '29. Roger and Mikey were the second set in '31, Sheila in '32 and Jimmy was the baby born in '36. I'm Chris Keel and I am an old pilot. In fact all the kids and grandkids (all 23 of em!) are pilots and engineers. I was the only one not to get a degree at the time, however I finished high school at age 12. I was the first one of the kids to get a job flying for a living. All of us ended up with one of the big three, Boeing Douglas or Lockheed. All but Tony. He had lied about his age and gotten into the AAF in '44 and was shot down over “The Hump” in early '45. His remains were discovered, still strapped in his P-38 10 years later.
I was 13 when I got my pilot license. Pancho Barnes signed my ticket June 6th 1939. I am pretty sure I am the youngest rated pilot ever, but someone else will have to verify that. Back in those days CAA, the predecessor to the FAA was just getting it's nuts together. Basically it was the Wild West days of aviation, and if you could prove you could fly you got a license. So there I was 13 and now I could fly anything. I actually got a job with Lockheed at Burbank Airport after the family had moved to Van Nuys in '38. Lockheed thought I would be a great ad gimmick to have me work for them, this is how easy their planes were to fly. Hell even a teenager could fly them! Well, Kelly Johnson shut that down in a hurry after I saved a Model 14 “Hudson” prototype from diggin a hole down in Hollywood. I guess I'll start there.
The story of the Hudson still needs tweaking, but feel free to slap me around here!
Last Edit: Apr 3, 2019 18:29:48 GMT -5 by milspecsim