In my previous post, I mentioned my flight from
My flight to
Of course, we all cheered that announcement. It was the sight of the co-pilot walking down the isle and opening a little door in the floor. Now they had our attention. The co-pilot opened the door and went down into the belly of the plane. This caused us to wonder what the problem was and how severe.
There were a couple of military pilots among the passengers and they were the only ones that really knew how bad the problem was. They knew that because of the method the pilot was using to turn the plane around. He was adjusting the engine speed on each side causing a slow turn. The reason the co-pilot went into the belly of the plane was to hand crank the wheels into a down position. The Flight Attendants (we called them Stewardesses back then) had everyone get into the emergency landing position with our heads on a pillow on our knees. I still peeked out the window on landing and saw all these emergency vehicles lined up along the runway. When the pilot reversed the engines, the wings caught on fire because he had dumped fuel over the ocean earlier. It turns out that the plane had lost hydraulics. This is not a good thing. At least we had to stay in
Another problem I encountered while flying was out of
The worst problem was while in
I was used to taking off in C-130’s from Dong Ha, accelerating, and climbing very quickly. We were in a slow assent from the end of the runway when we were hit by 50-caliber fire. The left engine shut down instantly which throw us into a left turn because the right engine was still on full power. In a matter of seconds, we had changed direction and just missed the top of the hills as we were coming down. The pilot got control of the plane and we came in wheels up onto the runway that we just left. Remember that back door I mentioned earlier on the Caribou? It was still down in the open position and as soon as the plane slowed down enough, we were out that door and off the runway.
Now do you know why I hate flying?