- Nov 5, 2004
- Total Time
BluDevAv8r said:I don't necessarily disagree. But aside from your 110 hours in the 38, how much time down in the weeds at 500 kts were you doing in your 141? Of course, you could have been an IP in the 38...
1600+ hours in the T-38 as an IP. As far as what was "so exciting" about flying the 141? ... Can't say I was very "excited" in general, though it had its moments ... chose it to simply get the hours for the airlines and see the world.
I thought air -refueling a 141 was an exciting/challenging maneuver, however. A 4-ship of 141's on a multi-ship tanker package ... a lot of funky aerodynamics at play under the tanker (holding left yoke to "slide" to the right due to tanker wingtip vortices, approach the tanker too fast and your bow wave will lift the tanker's tail ... he compensates, you compensate, potentially dangerous PIO's between aircraft, etc...). AR was often done at night, in the weather (turbulence, leans, visual illusions to fight) with contact times (personally) as long as 40 minutes (100,000+ lb offloads).
"Tactical" approaches (gear down/partial flap) at 20,000' into Mogadishu. The thought of some idiot shooting at you from the ground was motivating for me. That airplane is operated to numerous extremely "austere" locations around the planet ... to fields that don't "officially" exist (in foreign countries) to support agencies that will deny sending you should you become embroiled in "local" trouble. No radar vectors to an ILS final was more the norm than the exception ... "if" an approach existed ... it was a "temporary" NDB signal to get you below the weather till you picked up the "smudgepots" which outlined the "runway" that didn't exist. The 141 was routinely operated into McMurdo (Antarctica) ... the "special ops" guys flew the snot out of the thing in support of their mission (very low altitude, night-vision goggle, cargo drops).
So ... on the surface, 141 flying sounds boring. Like I said before though, it had its moments and it was a tough workhorse ... not particularly pretty or fast ... but dependable and built like a DC-8.
I am still having trouble with the whole "love" of flying thing though ... I could see it perhaps in a small aircraft in a beautiful wide open environment (Montana for instance) ... but 121 conjures up nothing of the sort in my mind. Instead, I think of ungrateful and irritating passengers, endless security hassles, a litany of rules and regulations, an industry in decline, long hours droning along in an aluminum tube being exposed to radiation. It beats digging ditches, for sure ... but "love" or "passion" for 121 flying? I'll keep looking ... but after doing it for years ... fighting with UPS over a new contract for going on 32 months now ... witnessing friend's take pay cuts and watch their pension promises evaporate ... reading the almost "affectionate" posts toward SCABS some write here ... I'd say I've become jaded a bit and see this merely as a paycheck.
As always ... YMMV,