Anyhow, during the course of Sarge's discourse, he alludes to a substance known as FOD and how pilots tended to react negatively to its presence in the cockpit. FOD stands for Foreign Object Damage implying that something has already happened, but I never heard anybody refer to a loose object in the cockpit as FO (Foo? Foe? it just doesn't work) only as FOD.
Specifically Sarge states "All that crap on the cockpit floor would have to be cleaned up. Pilots get really annoyed when they roll their aircraft and crap flies up into their faces."
A One G Roll
A Zero G pushover
Granted most aircraft are not regularly flown in zero or negative G conditions (the passengers in the back tend to react badly when their cocktails leave the containers). Fighters, however, regularly perform those maneuvers (they're called unloading as in unloading the G). Since most folks flying a fighter also work up a sweat when flying, having a cloud of dust appear when you unload, tends to obscure your vision both by blocking your vision and getting in your eyes. It also tends to stick to your sweat soaked face.
But it's not the crap in the face that is the cause of annoyance for pilots, it's what else the crap can get into and what it does when it gets into that place.
Now would be the time for the Standard Juvat Caveat, as Sarge calls it. Heck he even gave it an Acronym and other Bloggers of much bigger blogging prowess than I have even been known to use it. But I digress, and at least in the case of my first vignette it would not fit. So....
So, there Dad was..... A T-38 instructor pilot at Webb AFB TX in the late 60s, He'd been a F-86 pilot in the 50s, then got caught in the "SAC will protect the world" fighter pilot drawdown. He'd had several tours at Radar Stations in such garden spots as Thule Greenland, Miles City MT and Bismarck ND. Finally managed to get back to an actual flying job and was now a Flight Commander.
He's riding in the back seat with a new 2Lt in the front on an acro ride. They've done some of the basic maneuvers and Dad is going to demo a Immelman. Goes over the top, unloads and rolls the aircraft upright. Shakes the stick to give control back to the front seater, but something doesn't feel right with the controls. Tells the student, I've got it. Wiggles the stick and the aircraft rolls ok, Pushes forward and the aircraft dives, pulls back on the stick and he's got very little motion backward.
He declares an emergency and gets set up for a straight in, but he doesn't have enough stick movement to flare the aircraft for landing, which will make for a long, hot landing.
Manages to get the aircraft onto the ground using power and the trim button which is able to get the nose up enough to land at a reasonable speed.
Cause of the incident, a bolt lost in the front cockpit had gotten into the area at the base of the stick where the stick connected to the controls and jammed.
So, There I was.....* On my second operational tour, flying F-4Es out of Moody AFB GA. I'm now married and a flight lead and will soon be leaving F-4s for an assignment as an Instructor at Lead-In Fighter Training at Holloman AFB NM.
In today's sortie, I'll be leading a two ship in a 1 V 1
I've successfully defended myself in the first engagement when we (me and my WSO) were on defense. I've managed to trap his nose in lag and extend out of the fight, so I'm feeling pretty good.
Set it up again, this time on Offense. I make the "Fight's On!" call and pull into a Hi Yo Yo, preserving my turning room. He breaks hard, but in a level turn, I come back down to saddle up for a gun shot.
He starts doing the funky chicken, AKA jinking.
He's doing a pretty good job, but he's not getting rid of me. I saddle up again and as I settle in, he does a Negative G jink and disappears below my nose. I reposition again to maintain my 3/9 line advantage and as I do, I hear him call "Knock it off". I acknowledge the knock it off and as we roll out and get back into formation, I ask him what the problem was, expecting him to mention an Over G. It was a heck of an effective jink. (Just as an FYI, exceeding the G limits of the Aircraft even the negative limits is still called an Over G. Under G sounds wimpy)
Anyhow, I ask him what the problem was and he tells me his WSO had lost something in the cockpit.
I ask him what, and he responds some money. I'm confused, Flight Suits are festooned with pockets, all of which are outfitted with zippers. Which are supposed to be closed.
Anyhow, I tell him why not roll inverted and push and have the WSO grab the money from the canopy.
He tells me the WSO (a coin collector) had about 200 pennies in his chest pocket and he didn't know how many had fallen out during the jink.
|Lots of things to find hiding places|
We plan to do a controllability check (it's better to find out you've got control problems at 10K' than at 1K'), then set up for a straight in, and full stop.. While # 2 was doing the controllability check, I called back home on the squadron common, and dictated the doofer book entry to the duty officer. The WSO was greated with a standing ovation on arrival back into the squadron.
The Squadron Commander extended an invitation to him to assist the crew chief in the removal of any foreign objects from the jet.
I asked the WSO why he had so many pennies in his open pocket. He said he'd been going through them just prior to the brief and lost track of time. When he realized the brief was within minutes, he just scooped them up and tossed them in his pocket.