When the shit hit the fan, it was all I could stand...

Dateline: 26 April 2000

So complete with broken knee the apartment decides it's time to try and kill me again. It's had quite a few attempts, using the bathroom as its weapon of choice, last used in December 1998.

This reminds me of an incident in John Keene's Pettibone's Law where Major Poultron, that ham-fisted plumber of an aviator, managed to take off with the wings of his F4-B folded, with his RIO, C. Ross Culpepper, in the back seat. Once he got it airborne, one might say he had control problems.

Procedures had been forgotten and the L WING PIN UNLOCKED as well as the R WING PIN UNLOCKED warning lights had been ignored. Poultron was in the grips of botulism poisoning thanks to the incomptent handling of the day's Red Death by PFC DeVille Hoggins. DeVille Hoggins had managed to what the Cong, the ARVN (hunkered down in a Buddist temple just off the base [Da Nang]) and the Daily Harrassment Detail had so far not been able to achieve; single handedly he'd rendered MAG-22 non-operational

The take off roll was long, which nearly screwed up Moon Dog's all time TPQ record. But, eventually Poltroun got airborne, but wanted to get back on the ground most ricky-tick. At this point the squadron's CO, Al ``Shakey'' Morgankrank, began to take an interest in this situation because nothing was worth the loss of an airplane in this good deal war.

In his haste to get back on the ground, procedures were forgotton, and Poltroun landed gear up; 50000 pounds of airplane, fuel and bombs, sliding down the runway, just waiting to blow up.

Morgankrank was livid and in his haste to land, and pull Poltroun's wings, he too forgot to lower his gear. Two belly landings, resulting in the runway landing lights being put out of commission, effectively closing the base.

To quote John Keene:

By morning the troops had the two airplanes up in seemingly strategic positions in front of the hanger. The squadron's call letter were ``sierra hotel'', painted boldly on the verticle stabiliser of each aircraft. On one bird this was left intact, but on the other, before light, someone had sprayed out the ``sierra hotel'' and painted in ```india tango''. From the aspect of the flight line, they were aligned perfectly and the silent message was displayed to their little world: SHIT.

If you think these shots are bad, you should see it up close.

RIO: Radar Intercept Officer
Red Death: Some god awful concoction of corned beef and ketchup.
ARVN: Army of the Republic of Vietnam
MAG-22: Marine Air Group 22
TPQ: A night radar guided bombing mission. Unlike the A-6 the F-4 was not an all weather attack aircraft.

© 2000, Boyd Roberts: boyd@planete.net