Thursday, July 12, 2018


It's 1969.   A 23 year old hungover, homesick, US Sergeant mechanic, stole a C130 Hercules aircraft from its base at RAF Mildenhall in East Anglia in an attempt to get back home to his newly wed wife in Virginia.    He was not a pilot and while he talked about getting a private pilots license there are no records of him ever having done so.

It appears he may have been shot down over the English Channel.

Gueez, I have a CPL, multi-engine and instrument ratings and approaching 1,000 hours in my logbook but I would balk at getting into a C130 and going solo even if they paid me heaps.   While there is an element of truth in the old saying that 'if you can ride a bike you can probably fly a plane' and, while takeoffs can present challenges, it's the getting down that really matters remembering that every landing is a controlled crash.

 I note from the RAF radar tapes he was identified at FLs 80 and 90 and skirting cloud which would indicate he was flying VFR.   Hate to think what would have happened if he had flown into cloud and forced to go IFR.   He would have started to feel VERY lonely up there.  

You can read the whole story here   Clearly the incident was subject to a massive cover-up.

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