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About Heyjoe

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    Fight's on!

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    Solomons/Pax River MD generally
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    Aviation History, Writing, Editing & Photography

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  1. I was in jet already turning when they decided to respot 111 before the launch. We had been experiencing problems making the 90 degree turn out of that spot behind the island due to extremely slick deck and worn away nonskid. The nose would turn but get no traction. Deck was like a greasy frying pan in that area and we didn't like to even jog near there because it was so slippery. The pilot had preflighted and and climbed into cockpit when yellowshirt approached and gave hand signal to break her down (remove chains) as a towtractor was hooked up. So the pilot was involuntarily put into role of brake rider. He tried to get attention of yellowshirt flight director to hold so he could pump up brakes but yellowshirt did not see his frantic hand signAls and with jests already turning, shouting did not help. So the move proceeded with pilot frantically pumping brakes by hand (the wobble pump takes 28 strokes to fully charge cylinder). As the aircraft begin to move, the ship went into a turn to align to prevailing wind for upcoming launch. As the bow begin to turn broadside through the swells in Indian Ocean, a larger swell caused a large list to port and weight of jet on slippery deck caused it to slide forward. The driver noticed and tried braking with no result. Then the list reversed to starboard as the backside of the swell caused a reverse in the slide. I saw white smoke from wheels of tractor as driver mashed accelerator to floor. The jet slide backwards all the way to the deck edge and stopped as main mounts hit the scupper. Then another swell caught the ship and ship and the jet slid forward yet again before passing of swell caused it to reverse. This time the reverse slide caused msinmounts to continue over the side and jet thudded onto its belly. The nose started to rise and pull the tractor skyward. The pilot hastily tried to exit the cockpit and climb down the ladder but fell as it started to tilt. As the nose continued skyward, the tractor was suspended vertically leaving the deck. The pilot crashed to the deck and was knocked out. Shortly thereafter, the tow bar broke and tractor came crashing down next to pilot's head. Once the tow bar broke, AB 111, arced backwards like a beautiful back flip into the Indian Ocean. By the time we shut down and exited aircraft, it had disappeared and only thing on surface of ocean was the radomes and RIO's helmet.
  2. Heyjoe


    Here is best overview of purpose of CD II and it was written by senior WSO involved in both IF and CD II. The deployment was an Extended User Evaluation (EUE) of a survivable platform with far more survivability and capability than a Caravan or PC-12 with ability to operate in austere locations with minimal support footprint. The aircraft are currently in "sleeping beauty" mode back with NASA. Note: CD II was initiated by GEN Mattis while at CENTCOM and USAF is picking up the baton now to look at continuing to evaluate options for Light Attack. https://m.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2016-06/bronco-12-cleared-hot
  3. Heyjoe


    The wing stations were removed in late 2014 and fairings installed. The ASE was upgraded to new AAR-47(v)B sensors and wingtips and tails modded for them. Some pictures res on the web show the the INMARSAT radome on top of wing/fuselage well (between the 2 Batwing SATCOM antennas. The rear cockpit got a massive 22" HD display during the late 2014 mods and a LED external selectable covert lighting configuration replaced the taxi light, anti smash and formation lights (they appear milky white to unaided eye). The 4 olive drab control heads for the PRC-117G radios reside on top of WSO instrument panel. Although 5" Zuni rockets were tested in 2013, the weapon of choice for deployment was the 2.75" laser guided APKWS (only 6 cleared for the 7 shot pod by NAVAIR). The Herstal .50 gun pod was also tested and cleared in early 2015 along with the modified Mongoose pod (reconfigured for 4 ALE-47 chaff/flare dispensers in forward firing configuration). Another note to serious modelers: the American flag on tail should be black for the deployment (original color variant is accurate up through late 2014) and the lower VHF antennas located on tail booms were upgraded in mid 2014 with higher performance configuration late has a long dipole trailing from the shark fin (look hard at images on web and you'll see what I mean). PS Hellfire not tested or carried
  4. Heyjoe


    Although he was prone to making public statements, it was behind the scene machinations from the Kansas delegation at Senate and House level that stopped the proposed funding of Phase II of Imminent Fury (Detachment of 4 aircraft for overseas deployment) in 2010.
  5. T-2C TA-4J T-28C T-33 TC-4C T-39D F-4J F-14A/B F-16N E-2C C-2A MH-53E MH-60 C-118 C-121 C-130 C-141 C-5 CH-46 CH-53D C-12 MZ-3A Caravan O-2C UH-1H US-3A Super Frelon (French Navy) MU-2 PAC P-750 XSTOL P-3C Stearman Plus a few other cats and dogs I might remember later
  6. Interestingly, the RF-4 aircrew was totally dejected when drying out in sickbay when Captain of Sara (legendary Dave Frost) showed up with souvenirs (ballcaps, etc) and in attempt to cheer them up, asked if they wanted to meet the pilot who shot them down...turns out they had no clue why their aircraft departed controlled flight and they had no choice but eject when it dodn't respond to conrol inputs. In the Air Force at the time, if you lost an aircraft and (plausible) reason was unknown, you were done. So, I totally agree to above statement in that regard. Other things that haven't surfaced in this thread: - Dorsey was removed from flight status after FNAEB deliberations, but allowed to wear his wings. His career in active Navy was pretty muh over so he was stashed at Wing and ran the enlisted manning coordination for East Coast Tomcat squadrons until the deliberations were concluded and he resigned from active service. He DID go into the reserves and that is where he was promoted (many "sins" or foibles that would stop an active career can sometimes be overlooked in the reserves. He then went to law school and became a lawyer..... - Dorsey defended his actions by saying the "Red and Free" call by controller was authoriztion to fire. He DID seek clarification from his RIO whose classic response was "Yeah, shoot!" That was pretty much last chance to avoid the tragic misunderstanding. RIO had no clue that pilot meant to fire and what he meant was to achieve a firing solution and simulate a shot. RIO does have an indication that Master Arm has been engaged, but likely wasn't expecting his pilot to shoot and wasn't looking down on TID to see that cue. Certainly a case study for lack of crew coordination!!! - Perhaps ONLY reason that Dorsey wasn't court martialed (his dad being a flag gave him no top cover after that although some say he struggled through some phases of training and even he admitted to being a slow learner) was fact that the critical "Red and Free", which was universally in use in Exercises could be misinterpreted so one of outcomes was to precede such a call with "Exercise, Exercise, Exercise". Tragically, a repetition of "Exercise vs Real World" situation occured aboard USS Saratoga a few years later during a NATO Exercise in the Med when Battle Stations were called away in dead of night to simulate a surface attack. The Flag Staff was driving scenario, but sailors manning the Seasparrow were awakened out of sleep and told to "Arm and Tune". In another classic misunderstanding, 2 Seasparrows were fired at the Turkish TCG Muavenet (DM 357) with sailors believing they were commanded to do so and Staff thinking they wwre in an Exercise using real-world comms to initiate a simulated launch resulting in 5 deaths and 22 injuries. Note: when Air Force generated FAX denigrating VF-74 and Navy (this was way before InterNet was a twinkle in Al Gore's eye) began making the rounds, a counter FAX popped up reminding them that a USAF Exchange pilot flying with VF-74 (just before they transitioned to Tomcats) downed his flight lead with a Sidewinder during training. In that incident, USAF pilot forgot that Navy routinely carried live missiles when flying off the ship and pulled trigger as he had when training in USAF Phantom Squadron. He realized his mstake immediately and called out a warning. Both aircrew ejected successfully.
  7. To add and amplify on what Collin stated, I first reached gently and carefully to lower ejection seat handle and hooked my thumb under it and put other hand on the handle above the DDD and by glareshield. The first pulse felt by cat shot pushed you forward before slamming you back so you DO have to come forward out of ejection posture or your head will get slammed back into seat ringing your clock. Look at any Fighter Fling videos and you'll see pilots and RIOs leaning forward considerably just before CAT officer receives slaute from pilot and giant slingshot fires....after that RIO watches airspeed (we did not have VSI indicator or RADALT) and altimeter. My SOP was to watch for at least 100 knots before end of steel (beginning of water). Daytime was easier than night time because of visual cues. Gauges can lag a bit so being hurtled into darkness could cause a bit of heart pounding until altimeter and airspeed were both positively in safe parameters....then I'd gingerly remove my hand from ejection handle....always a rush and no time for complacency!
  8. Thanks. We've got a lot of gear salvaged from Super T after we deconfigured it and it's looking for a home. Just might see something else at Pax before long.
  9. A few more found on spare laptop
  10. That would be for a traditional Acquisition Program. IF is/was a Proof of Concept so Milestones do not apply. It was not tied to a particular aircraft either. We initially sought an AT-6B in 2007, but discovered after meeting with company reps that it was a proposal and fancy photoshop image we saw on cover of C4ISR Journal. We therefore utilized an available Super Tucano to install the IF Mission Kit that is truly platform agnostic and can be readily installed on anything from a Caravan to a Super T. Although we have letters from 4 star level COCOMs requesting current configuration, the Kansas CODEL is pulling out all the stops to slow down any progress until their AT-6B is in production.
  11. More detail for the model that will surely come!
  12. Still mining several laptops for relatively oldie, but goodies... Back from first det to Fallon in summer of 2008 First airborne image First live drop First man-camp
  13. There were 60,000+ of them over at nearby Hawthorne that USAF declared excess so we had all we could drop...for free. Otherwise, target set in theatre doesn't need much for a kinetic finish and aircrews did the loading by hand of .50 cal, rockets and iron in remote FOB (would you rather load a 250 or 500 pound bomb when there are any jam loaders in sight?) Returning to simulated barebones remote FOB at Fallon (when USAF cadre arrived, we had them earn their load qual upfront..supervising gunners were highly amused to watch O-5s hefting iron...we also kpet them going long past 12 hours and quartered them in oldest Q rooms so they were really roughing it...none complained..well, actually one didn't like his room) First live iron on target (unguided). Needless to say: high order direct hit on tank hulk (aka "Shack"). Quotable quote from SEAL JTAC controlling mission: "Crap, now he'll really think he's good" Of course, a precision kit is nice as well
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