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Fly Less - Enjoy More!

Fly Less - Enjoy More!

VigiHawk sez TINS!

We all get so hung up with the joys of flying it almost seems heretical to admit there were times you were glad you did not fly. In answer to the question, "Was there ever a time when you were supposed to fly, but were happy you did not?" I'll lead off with my two.

1. Intrepid kept an A-4 from each of the 3 squadrons on alert at night in the Tonkin Gulf. Because the others had Charlies with radar, they were the attackers while us VSF'ers would be the alert tanker. Section integrity from two squadrons? Hey, c'mon, it was all an exercise... never happen.

Sure 'nuff, one dark and rainy night, the word came down during the movie to launch the alert against some surface contacts. YHS manned up in driving rain. At least I got the right airplane and didn't bang my knee. I'm much more graceful than Whiz. I'd be started if the others launched.

Bang, bang. Off went the poor bastards, one each from VA-15 and VA-34. I start ye J-65 and complete pre-launch checks. I have never rooted so hard for another pilot to get aboard on the first pass as I did for those two guys. They did too.

2. As VA-125 was the biggest squadron in the Navy, CVRW-12 had the biggest airwing. He ruled all the carrier RAGs on the West Coast (less the Stoofs) an they were all numbered 12X (sigh, the old days) and consisted of F-4, A-7, A-3, F-8, three squadrons of A-4/TA-4, A-6, and EA-6's. For the change of command, each squadron was to provide a four plane division for a mass fly-by. On Friday, I was in the formation from Lemoore to Miramar. The practice was weathered out, Happy Hour was not. No big deal, sayeth hisself, practice, schmaktice, launch 'em anyway. VA-125 was to be in the dead center of the gaggle. The weather stayed lousy and with a sigh of relief, the formation pilots watched from the rear in flight suits.

page | by Dr. Radut