China Lake Air Show

It was a small show. I was impressed by the way it was run though. The Blue Angels were there for their first show on the road. I have seen them so many times that I spend my time wandering through the static displays.

The Brits and Dutch had their Test F-35s under the canopies on the line.

BTW, I have disabled person plates on my vehicles and I parked about six spaces from the entry control point for ADA and VIP folks.

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Memories of a Time When I was a young man.

This past Saturday, the ship that was my first duty station began it’s final journey. The Good Ship Independence was towed from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard enroute to the breaker’s yard in Brownsville, Texas.

I reported aboard her in January of 1974 as a fresh faced 19 year old kid from the Montana Prairies. So began my adventure in the United States Navy.

I participated in the ammunition offload along with several other guys that I went through boot camp with. Then I was assigned to V-1 Division in the Air Department.

After a short period in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, we began working up for the upcoming deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.

I freely admit that I was absolutely terrified the first time I was on the flight deck for operations.

In the latter part of July 1974 we embarked the Air Wing and departed.

We covered the evacuation of US diplomatic personnel and their families from Nicosia, Cyprus. All available aircraft were armed. We then coordinated the Search and Recovery of TWA flight 847 which had crashed near the Greek coast. It was an eye opening experience to say the least and certain images remain in my mind to this day.

Finally, we were able to get some Liberty in Naples, Italy. Cold beer and playing tourist. Other ports of call included Cannes, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona and a few more visits to Naples.

In early January we were relieved by USS America and headed for home. The North Atlantic in January is a rough place, I should add.

20 January saw us go pier side at Naval Station Norfolk. It was a bitter cold day and along with families, friends and a band was a troop of baton twirlers who in those costumes must have been freezing.

It has been a bit over 40 years since I departed The Good Ship Independence as a Petty Officer Second Class now. I know that things change over time and a lot of places that I was stationed have gone into the “dustbin” of history.

The media outlets in the Pacific Northwest gave coverage of Indy’s departure from Bremerton this past weekend.

The following photo is from a Facebook group I belong to………

To those who have been there, you understand.

 

Eyes of a Stranger

Queensryche………………………

Eyes of a Stranger………………sometimes when I look in the mirror, I don’t know the man looking back at me……………………

All alone now
Except for the memories
Of what we had and what we knew
Every time I try to leave it behind me
I see something that reminds me of you
Every night the dreams return to haunt me
Your rosary wrapped around your throat
I lie awake and sweat, afraid to fall asleep
I see your face looking back at me, looking back at me
And I raise my head and stare
Into the eyes of a stranger
I’ve always known that the mirror never lies
People always turn away
From the eyes of a stranger
Afraid to know what
Lies behind the stare
Is this all that’s left
Of my life before me
Straight jacket memories, sedative highs
No happy ending like they’ve always promised
There’s got to be something left for me
And I raise my head and stare
Into the eyes of a stranger
I’ve always known that the mirror never lies
People always turn away
From the eyes of a stranger
Afraid to know what
Lies behind the stare (Lies behind my stare)
How many times must I live this tragedy
How many more lies will they tell me
All I want is the same as everyone
Why am I here, and for how long
And I raise my head and stare
Into the eyes of a stranger
I’ve always known that the mirror never lies
People always turn away
From the eyes of a stranger
Afraid to know what
Lies behind the stare

14 February 1979 – This Day in Aviation

This is a rather unique story from my point of view. I have been thinking about getting a glider pilot ticket as there are fields in the area that have glider operations, including California City Municipal Airport.

I had never heard of this lady at all. She was an accomplished individual for sure. I thought it was worth a post here. I hope all enjoy it.

The full story is at the link.

 

Grob G102 Astir CS N75SW at Black Forest Gliderport, near Colorado Springs, Colorado. The mountain at the upper right of the image Pikes Peak. (Jim Freeman via “Abandoned & Little Known Airfields”)

14 February 1979: Flying her Grob G102 Astir CS glider from the Black Forest Gliderport, north of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sabrina Patricia Jackintell soared to an altitude of 12,637 meters (41,460 feet) over Pikes Peak, setting a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record and Soaring Society of America National Record for Absolute Altitude.¹ This record still … Continue reading 14 February 1979 →

Source: 14 February 1979 – This Day in Aviation

A Debt That Cannot Be Repaid

This one gets the point across.

The Lexicans

I read this yesterday, and a number of us thought it should be re-posted here.

adebtthatcannotberepaidIn a country that most would struggle to find on a map, in a compound that few possess the courage to enter, men from my previous life took the fight to our enemy.

In that compound, they found men that pray five times a day for your destruction.  Those men don’t know me, they don’t know you, and they don’t know America.  They don’t understand our compassion, our freedoms, and our tolerance.  I know it may seem as if those things are currently missing, but they remain, and I know they will return.  Our capacity for them is boundless, and is only dwarfed by their hatred for you.  They don’t care about your religious beliefs; they don’t care about your political opinions.  They don’t care if you sit on the left or the right, liberal or…

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In Memoriam of Apollo 1

I believe it was yesterday that marked the 50th anniversary of the tragedy of Apollo 1 that took the lives of Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. It is still vivid in my mind.

An old shipmate of mine from days in the Argonauts of Attack Squadron 147 now works at NASA at Cape Canaveral. He was kind enough to send me some pictures of the launch pad from that day that is now abandoned in place.

Without further ado, here they are.

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24 December 1968 16:40:07 UTC, T plus 75:49:07 – This Day in Aviation

Does anyone remember this? I know I do. I saw it on CBC when we lived in Alberta, Canada out on the lonesome prairies.

William Anders: “For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you.” In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved … Continue reading 24 December 1968 16:40:07 UTC, T plus 75:49:07 →

Source: 24 December 1968 16:40:07 UTC, T plus 75:49:07 – This Day in Aviation

Aerosucre Colombia Boeing 727 Overran Runway on Takeoff at Puerto Carreno

This one was ugly. Only one survivor out of six individuals on board.

The World of Aviation

A 41 year old Aerosucre Colombia Boeing 727-2J0F (Adv) HK-4544 (c/n 21105) was destroyed when it crashed shortly after takeoff from Puerto Carreño Airport in Colombia. One of the six crew members survived the accident.

The aircraft, powered by 3x Pratt & Whitney JT8D-15 (HK3) Engines, took off from Runway 24, a 1780m long runway about 17:20 local time (23:20Z). Videos are circulating online, showing the accident aircraft on takeoff.

The fiery remains of HK-4544:

Impressions from the crash site (Photo: Aviación Comercial en Colombia) ©Aviación Comercial en Colombia

The airplane failed to lift off the runway and crossed the airport perimeter fence (96m from the runway) and road in a nose up attitude. At this point, afterburner flames can be seen leaving the exhaust for Engine No.2, indicating a compressor stall in the engine.

The right wing of the 727 then impacted trees (visible in the video above) before becoming airborne 3 minutes later, the aircraft began to lose height…

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