My Wild 3 Years Flying With MAC

Bob Monroe, Jake 71/Bully 16


 

Guys, we need to share more of our tall tales of our early days flying now that most of the FAC stuff has been said. Mike's story is a good example of what I'm talking about. I'll share one of my true stories:

 

I graduated pilot training Dec 65 and was assigned to the 1st MAS on 10 Feb 66  to start C-133 Heavy Transition Training Unit (HTTU). I completed training on 15 May, 66 and was certified as a 2nd Pilot. I would need 1000 hours total flight time to upgrade to 1st Pilot (28 May, 1967), and 2000 hours for Aircraft Commander (AC) (26 May, 1968). My first two overseas flights to Vietnam were called $ Rides. I was not allowed in the co-pilot seat for take offs or landings, but to ride the jump seat and learn. The first trip (May 66) was 23 days - 112 hrs flying. We made three shuttles into Vietnam from Kadena AB, Okinawa. The second trip (June 66) was 13 days later and 22 days - 87 hrs flying. This was an eventful trip. At Wake Island we were scheduled for a 0430 AM takeoff but could not find the AC at alert time.  He was finally found sleeping off a drunk in the outdoor theater and not sober enough to make the takeoff. The 1st Pilot told the flight engineers to take him out to the aircraft while he and I did the flight planning. We told the command post the pilot was out at the airplane to fix something with the flight engineers.  We took off on time - 1st Pilot in the left seat, me in the right seat, and the AC downstairs strapped in the bunk. Now the right seat pilot is very busy  during takeoff. He starts the Go/No-Go time (the point during the takeoff role we either abort and have enough runway to stop or enough airspeed to get airborne in the remaining runway), left hand is overhead holding in the 4 Prop Synchronizer Buttons until airborne (if one of them pops out, it gets very noisy and airplane shakes), and finally right hand sets the throttles for the calculated power. He then monitors power, rpm, prop oil in/out temps, Go/No-Go time, and assists the pilot as directed. Part way down the runway, the flight engineer yells oil coolers, but I was too busy to know what he wanted, so he jumps out of his seat and slams the oil cooler switches next to my left hand from auto to full open. We get to Kadena and have the oil changed in three of the engines due to over-temp. The AC got away with it this time until on his next trip when the bartender at the Hickam AFB O’Club pissed him off and he pee’d on the bar. He was busted as an AC for several months.

This is a true story during my wild 3 years flying with MAC before being a FAC.

Bob Monroe, Jake 71/Bully 16