Friday, May 8, 2009

My Wild Life and Normal life before meeting my future Wife

My 3 1/2 years before I met my wife the years in the Navy were part of my wild side.
Like I said before I didn't let grass grow under my feet as my Grandmother Campbell used to say. I stayed busy at being a sailor boy.
The first few months were spent on the base mainly,we were working 17 hour days on the flight line and I was a plane captain.I was responsible for preparing the bird ( Jet) F11A for take off.We fueled the aircraft,we disconnected tie downs,we took the intake covers off,topped off the hydraulic reservoirs,prepared the pilots seat for plane entry (harnesses and lap belts properly positioned). We visually inspected the aircraft for any static leaks ( Leaks happening without PSI pressure applied).We checked the brake pads and the tires and the aircraft skin for popped rivets or broken metal or cracks.We cleaned the canopy inside and out.
When the pilot arrived at the tarmac we would tell him about any annomolies we had noticed. We assisted the pilot into the aircraft and helped him get situated.
If there were any static leaks we would observe them when the aircraft was turned up and report via hand signals to the pilot that the plane was up or down --down meaning could not fly this day.The pilots themselves could down an aircraft anytime before or after take off.
When our pilot was ready he would twirl his hands in a circular motion meaning turn this bird up( which means start the Jet engine which was a J65. The plane captain would obtain a huffer unit we called them--a big wind blowing machine which when hooked to a female receptacle under the side of the belly via a 4/6 inch hose. This action would turn the turbine blades and start the jet aircraft.
When the aircraft was running we would do an inspection at the pilots direction checking air foil and moveable rudder and slats and speed brakes and wheel wells and nose wheel well for hydraulic leaks and each inspection would be a thumbs up and if there were a thumbs down the bird would be shut down-visually inspected and generally written up as to the problem or potential problem for the shop to look at.
We also hooked up electric to the aircraft to help start them so the pilot could read his instruments as well while going through pre flight checks.
Hydraulic leaks can happen anywhere and actually bleed out of the aircraft skin.
When the aircraft had passed its inspection while running the last thing to do was pull the chocks from under the wheels and then direct the aircraft out of its parking place by hand signals to the pilot. The nose wheel on the F11A's were hydraulic and moveab le with a positioning switch in the cockpit.WE would give a sweeping motion with ourarms sending the bird down the taxi way and the last thing is the plane captain and the pilot would salute one another.-----------more later Rich the Codger

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