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Fryguy

Crew chief took off in a 130

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I was wondering if anyone has any info on a story about a crew chief taking off on one of the planes stationed at Mildenhall. I was stationed there 96-98 and that story surfaced. Any truth to that? Also, it was said that the plane was shot down. Thanks

Fryguy

Edited by Fryguy

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I was wondering if anyone has any info on a story about a crew chief taking off on one of the planes stationed at Mildenhall. I was stationed there 96-98 and that story surfaced. Any truth to that? Also, it was said that the plane was shot down. Thanks

Fryguy

yUP quite a story to this one.

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There is a yahoo group dedicaated to this event (can't access it from my work computer) the group name is the tail number of the aircraft. Happened in 69 while Langley was on rote to Bravo Squadron. Crew Chief was having marital problems and wanted to go home. Gist of the story is that he was able to get the aircraft refueled on a fabrication, then started and took off before the expiditer or security could stop him. After he was airborne he was patched through to his wife at Langley on the HF. Eventually the a/c crashed in the English Channel; debris washed ashore in France. As for the shoot down there are stories on both sides of the argument (shoot down vs crash). Regardless, the plane went down. If you believe in the supenatural, the hardstand that he left from is supposed to be haunted. I f you can find a copy of the late Martin Caiden's book "Ghosts of the Air" I believe there is a chapter in there about this incident.

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May 1969 Acft. 63-7789 36 ALS Langley.

C/C Name Sgt. Paul Myers Crashed in the english channel.

Other story he was shot down.

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I was with the 316th AMS 72-74 and had two ROTEs to Mildenhall. By that time the story was, for all practical purposes, part of the Langley PCS inbriefing and every rotation outbrief. Plus we heard it over and over again from the Mildenhall regulars when we got over there. It's a story that certainly had "legs".

So who thinks that when he finally realized how much trouble he was in that he just took the bird in, to end it all, rather than face the consequences?

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I was a new SSgt Loadmaster with the 4th Areial Port Squadron at Langley when this happened. I went on rotation with the 36th TAS in Nov 69 to Feb 70. Here are some of the information I got from crew chiefs at that time.

"He was recently married and his wife was running around back at Langley. He had requested to return home to resolve the problems but was denied. There were others that were allowed to return early. The Squadron Commander volunteered the squadron for an additional 30 days TDY so they would not have to return over Christmas 69.

Early that morning he called POL for a fuel truck. Then he called the tower to taxi for an engine run. (That was a routine practice at that time) After doing the engine run, he took the runway and left.

What caused the plane to go down will likely never be known. The next several rotations for the 36TAS were to Rhine Main AB (Delta Squadron).

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So who thinks that when he finally realized how much trouble he was in that he just took the bird in, to end it all, rather than face the consequences?

After looking at the documentation and having talked to folks that were stationed at Lakenheath at the time I have to buy into the "shootdown" scenario: He was headed Southeast (therefore headed over populated areas of Europe), was somewhat mentally unbalanced and had limited ability as a pilot. Probably was the safest outcome for all concerned. As for who did the deed.....

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The crash site is actually southwest from Moldyhole, as if he was headed for the Azores.

You're correct on the direction; however he was stilll precariously close to France. I've been doing some digging through all of the accounts and it still seems likely they had to bring him down for safety sake/international relations. We'll probably never know.

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Regardless or not, the true story will never be released by the govt. as it would make them look like janet reno but my feeling is they put a couple of missles into the bird as the easist solution to everything.

Dude really pisses me off, because of him FE's can no longer legally taxi the bird, (But then again in the middle of shithole Africa and you the only plane there, who cares who moves the airplane:rolleyes:)

Dan

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FE's didn''t taxi long before 7789 was stolen. I joined up in Oct 61 and crew chiefs and FE's didn't taxi airplanes during my 20 years.

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Not sure if it was because of different commands but I was taxiing JC-131Bs in 1969-70 in AFSC, and taxiing VC-118A's and VT-29B/C/D's in 1972-75 in AFLC. Granted the difference in sizes but taxiing and engine runs were the norm for the CC's and FE's.

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Was in midenhall early 1970 remember the story well I was with the37tas we were taxing in the fog early one morning when the sps showed up in front of are airplane pointing their wepones at us telling us we didnt have permision to taxie, at the time they were quite nervious untill the confusion was cleared up. now it seems amusing:)

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Being CrewChief trained and engine run qualified I have taxied a couple of times out of necessity. Once in Libya and in Mildenhall.

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I was in MATS MX and TAC and PACAF as FE and I never was anywhere that CC's or FE's taxied. As a MX troop I was runup qualified on 130's and 133's but after I became an FE I never again did a run-up. Just my experience!

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As a C/C I was engine run qualified on the C-130 at Hickam and Eglin, I was never able to taxi. But while TDY to VXE-6 as a Flight Engineer in the late 80's, I was both engine run and taxi qualified. You got love how the Navy empowers their FE's. Maybe Vic Potts or someone from the Navy will chime in their FE responsibilities.

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BBSOTO were you there with George Rogers? I went to VRC-50 at Cubi and was engine run and taxi qualified as well - in fact the rule for the Navy was if a crew taxied the plane then both pilots had to occupy the pilot and co-pilot seat, but if an engineer taxied only the pilot seat had to be occupied. I remeber landing at atsugi and downloading in the hot area and after we downloaded we had to reconfigure for some pax so the pilot had me taxi to the terminal while the pilots and RO helped the load put up seats

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Hi Jake,

Yes, I was there with George. I enjoyed working with him, missed both he and Scott Betts when they did not return for the second time in '89.

Bruce

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I was TDY to the 139th AW Missouri Air National Guard this summer and found out that the engine run certified crewchiefs are taxi qualify still to this day.

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Guest 20north

What a coincidence. I happened to be thinking about this the other day. I live in the Channel Islands and recall the event very well. One of the USAF C-130’s involved in the search landed at our local airport. I had an interesting chat with a Weapons Chief Technician eight years later. During the 1969 timeframe he was stationed at Wattisham, and confirmed that a QRA Lightning returned to base sans missile. However, beyond that, he was reluctant to discuss details. Fast forward about twenty years, and buried in a short lived magazine called ‘Jets’ there is a throw away line that a Hunter from Chivenor claimed the guns kill. The reason I believe that could be a gen rumour is the magazine was always well researched, with contributions from active military aircrew. More recently, about five years ago, I met a retired television reported from our local station, who again, with a casual throwaway remark, mentioned how he witnessed first hand the bullet holes in pieces of wreckage as they were being recovered from the sea. My take on this? It was a guns kill, and the decision had to be taken before the aircraft crossed the FIR from UK in to French airspace, which at around 20nm north of the Cherbourg peninsula is close enough.

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Fryguy,

As you already know, true story. The person in question, Paul Meyer and I were in the 37th TAS at the same time. I guess because our names were similiar have met people that thought he was me. I wasn't on that rote because I had been reassigned to SEA. I read about it in the Stars & Strips. What a shock. However, I did know him well. He was a hard worker and a good flt. line tech. His personal life was a basket case. Caused in large part by his heavy drinking. I recall on a prevous rote to Mildenhall his drinking was very problematic. One night about dinner time my wife came into the living room and in a huff told me there was a women on the telephone. This women thought I was Paul. She proceded to tell me Paul's girlfriend's (later wife) husband knew they were in Florida on vacation. That I was an innocent bystander was a very hard sell to my wife. When I finished my tour was posted right back to the 37th. Talked to many of the troops who were there and those who saw him that night. All said he very drunk. Someone told me they were surprised he was able to get the ladder out of the aircraft and remove the mooring chains. I thought this strange as don't remember ever mooring aircraft at Mildenhall. Considering drunks cannot keep a car on the road, it's remarkable Paul was able to taxi from the hardstand to the runway, line up, set flaps, attain takeoff speed, rotate and climbout. With regard to how the acft. crashed I talked to several people who were in a position to know. Without exception they all claimed ignorance. Lots of theroy's though. My thought is as drunk as I know he could get probably just flew the acft. into the water. Last time I heard the CO was selling real estate in Louisville.

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Paul Meyer was in the 36th, or on rotation with the 36th at the time of the crash. "Mother" Mulvey was 36th Commander on that rote.

We had Reed "Mother" Mulkey in the 37th then.

Bob Daley

37th TAS 1969 to 73

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Bob,

Your right. Thanks for the clarification. Memory somewhat foggy about when/which sqd. was in. Arrived the summer of 66 and assigned 316 OMS. Don't remember when, but sometime thereafter, most all Air Force acft. maintenance was reorganized and all mx. troops were assigned to the flying sqds they supported. I ended up in the 36th. Believe the commander was Ferrier. He made full colonel and became the wing king at Dyess. If memory serves he was fired after mx. burned the nose off one of thier new 74models. I considered him one of the best commanders one could have. I did one rote to Mildenhall with the 36th one with the 37th. Sometime in late 67 early 68 transfered to the 37th. I remember Meyer helping wash my aircraft at Mildenhall and was thinking we were in the 37th at the time. However, as you pointed out, not the case. Left the 37th Dec. 68 for Phu Cat. Read about Meyer's adventure in the Stars @ Stripes while at Phu Cat. Returned to the 37th Dec. 69. Reassigned to CCK Feb. 71. Remember Mulkey well as flew with him on several trips. Believe this was prior to him assuming the CC position. Recall him as a very compenent AC who thought everyone on the crew, including the cr ch should know how to fly the aircraft. And everyone got thier turn. Not a big deal for the CP but it sure was for me.

Regards,

Myers

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