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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tall Tales  |  Topic: Charleston Sq saves the day for flight of T-38's
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Author Topic: Charleston Sq saves the day for flight of T-38's  (Read 3119 times)
CLB
Member

Posts: 66

« on: September 12, 2006, 03:59:28 AM »

Well....almost.  Figured everyone would get a slight chuckle out of what happened tonight. 

I work the line at the local FBO, where we get everything from Cessna 152's to Antonov 124's.  Tonight a flight of 3 T-38's came in for a top off Jet A and dinner, as most AF and Navy trainer flights usually do.  Monday happens to be our SQ meeting night so I was already on the airport campus just down the road.  Along comes a call around 1900 with a quesiton about air starting; T-38's require an air cart or "huffer" (a mini jet engine on a trailer that pumps air into the engine through a hose to start it) and a 1/2 wrench to change the airflow to the engines.  Once the pilot gives the signal to change the flow, you have to shimmy up under the left rear side of the aircraft, literally inches from the running engine and turn a nut connected to a spring valve.  Sort of a tedious process hooking up and all, but the end result is spectacular....especially at night with the afterburners lit up. 

30 minutes after I explained the process to my collegue- another call informing me that the cart would not activate the air load.  I told the customer svc rep that I was 1/4 mile away, I could be there in 2 minutes and PLEEEEASE do NOT turn the cart off until I get there...doing so to one without running it for 15 minutes can cause battery damage and disable the cart.  Another SQ member who also happens to work there tagged along, he in a flight suit, myself in BDU's.   

I can't begin to explain the look on that Captain's face when he saw us....a look of relief that they were going to be able to fly tonight, and "holy *#*@!  YOU know how to work this thing!???"  Both the other member and I being 1st LT's...we were sure to use proper protocol and our "sirs/ ma'am's".  We talked for a minute until I said "Well sir, ready to fire up?" to which he replied "Burn 'em L-T".  It turns out that they HAD turned the cart off, luckilly it had J U S T enough power to crank up again.  Lucky for us.   

Turns out that they had initally turned on the air inhibit switch, which is a maintenance over-ride so the MX tech doesn't accidentally fire off the air and have the ***HEAVY**  hose end flying all over the shop.  These things have some power, and could really cause some damage if that were the case (or so I've been told).   

The other SQ member marshalled them out once we got all three started, with a HUGE thank you, handshake and salute for what we do.

We all had a good laugh about it, but that will prolly rank up there among the most humorus moments of my CAP carreer.       
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Capt Christopher Bishop
Coastal Charleston Composite Squadron
SDF_Specialist
Banned

Posts: 804

« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2007, 01:51:53 PM »

Ha. That did give me a chuckle. Sometimes it's amazing what us little CAP people know compared to the Line Service folk. Well not all of them of course.
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SDF_Specialist
CLB
Member

Posts: 66

« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2007, 02:51:31 AM »

Tell me about it.  I was a supervisor on a flightline for 2 years.

Watching $400,000,000 worth of aircraft and making sure none of your lessers break something is more hassle than it's worth. 
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Capt Christopher Bishop
Coastal Charleston Composite Squadron
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tall Tales  |  Topic: Charleston Sq saves the day for flight of T-38's
 


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