KC-135 used boom to tow crippled F-4

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hoghandler

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Unread post22 Nov 2011, 03:33

stik wrote:I know we have all heard about Pardo's Push but have any of y'all ever heard of an instance during Vietnam where an F-4's flight controls were damaged over North Vietnam and the pilot barrel-rolled far enough south to eject over friendly territory. I heard this story once or twice but can't find any info on it. I know if anyone has heard of this event it will be one of our own F-16.net readers.
stik


i beleive that was Randall Cuningham after his fifth kill. he was hit by a SAM over enemy territory and barrel rolled a good distance to the coast and ejected over water. from what ive read he was having trouble keeping altitude and had very limited control. the only way he could maintain altitude was to barrel roll a few times. i dunno if i got the story right but i believe that is what you are talking about.
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Buffalo

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Unread post22 Nov 2011, 04:37

That's the correct story. The reason why Duke barrel rolled to feet wet was that both sides of his hydraulic system were leaking. When you run out of the flight hydraulics, the slabs go to their aerodynamic neutral which would pitch the jet up and out of control. He'd heard that you could slam the stick forward, trap the remaining fluid and have basically an unloaded jet. You have to use the manual rudder to roll the jet inverted which allows you to gain altitude...not an exact science, so that's why you have to continue to barrel roll to maintain some sort of altitude / vector. Credited his time in the vault reading for being prepared for this particular contingency. Made me a much more diligent LT in my misspent youth.

Too bad he screwed the pooch with his greed. I think he's still a guest of the government.
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aisleshark

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Unread post27 Oct 2012, 05:09

shangri-la wrote:
FlightTestJim wrote:A little off the subject, but does anyone remember the story of the KC-135 crossing the pond, that used its boom to tow a crippled F-4 (with engine problems and very limited thrust) up to altitude repeatedly across the North Atlantic? As I recall, they "lifted" the Phantom some 8 or 9 times, released it, and then met it again at lower altitude, rejoined, and did it again, until it was able to make an emergency landing in Iceland. Seems I read about this many, many years ago, and all involved got Air Medals from the ordeal.


I was there.It was 1983 and we towed a F4E to Newfoundland.There were 2 brute force disconnects, which is why we needed to reconnect.All 3 connections were done in a dive. The first was 1500 feet off of the icy water.


My father (F-4 WW WSO) told me about this. Very inspiring. I can find a lot on here about Pardo's Push but not about this incident. If you know more details you can share I'd greatly appreciate it and will share with him. We're both trying to find out more about this.
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h-bomb

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Unread post27 Oct 2012, 19:39

Shangri-la awesome! Nice to have some one involved in a event like that actually post. Did you know the guys at Langley who did a similar rescue? In 1988 or 89 I was at Langley, now "Joint Base Langley-Eustis" (sorry that name kills me), they has an F-15 that hit a flock of birds. They lost power and an EC-135 towed then back to the base. Lined up on the runway and released the aircraft.

I was also present for the "Fish Strike" on take off. I think almost every one E-6 or O-5 and up was waiting for him when he landed. And yes the crew chief pulled fish scales out of the frame on the canopy.
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BIGDADDY

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Unread post28 Oct 2012, 03:17

Hey h-bomb could you tell us about the "Fish Strike"? I've never heard of it and it sounds like a good one.
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h-bomb

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Unread post31 Oct 2012, 23:52

BIGDADDY wrote:Hey h-bomb could you tell us about the "Fish Strike"? I've never heard of it and it sounds like a good one.


During take off a Flight of F-15's took off eastbound, about the same time Pelican took off from the bay. The Pelican wisely dropped his load to get out of the was of the flight taking off. His lunch hit right on the canopy of the lead F-15.

The lead then called in a fish strike, I think the tower has him repeat that 3 times. A call went out of the maint and emergency dispatch channels, as he declared an IFE.

When the aircraft reached the parking area, it was mugged by Sr NCO's and Officers. The pilot did not even leave the cockpit before the crew chief was on the latter.Hhe went directly to the from frame and pulled out a band of scales. After the scales were found the attitude in the area changed. Some one took photos for the base, they probably have them in an archive some where..
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Unread post01 Nov 2012, 04:13

:lmao:
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cdocreyno

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Unread post31 Mar 2013, 13:39

Shangri-la, Did you per chance lose the end of your boom in this event? In 1983 or 1984 I was flying Hercs and we were sent to pick up an F-4 mx team and take them to either Gander or St Johns (can't remember which). Pulled in and taxied over near an F-4 that had the end of a KC-135 boom still stuck in the UARRSI. Kind of a unicorn looking affair.
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checksixx

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Unread post01 Apr 2013, 05:31

h-bomb wrote:Shangri-la awesome! Nice to have some one involved in a event like that actually post. Did you know the guys at Langley who did a similar rescue? In 1988 or 89 I was at Langley, now "Joint Base Langley-Eustis" (sorry that name kills me), they has an F-15 that hit a flock of birds. They lost power and an EC-135 towed then back to the base. Lined up on the runway and released the aircraft.

I was also present for the "Fish Strike" on take off. I think almost every one E-6 or O-5 and up was waiting for him when he landed. And yes the crew chief pulled fish scales out of the frame on the canopy.


I was at Langley for 10 years...heard a lot of stories...never heard either of these. The first one sounds completely impossible.
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neurotech

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Unread post01 Apr 2013, 19:18

checksixx wrote:
h-bomb wrote:Shangri-la awesome! Nice to have some one involved in a event like that actually post. Did you know the guys at Langley who did a similar rescue? In 1988 or 89 I was at Langley, now "Joint Base Langley-Eustis" (sorry that name kills me), they has an F-15 that hit a flock of birds. They lost power and an EC-135 towed then back to the base. Lined up on the runway and released the aircraft.

I was also present for the "Fish Strike" on take off. I think almost every one E-6 or O-5 and up was waiting for him when he landed. And yes the crew chief pulled fish scales out of the frame on the canopy.


I was at Langley for 10 years...heard a lot of stories...never heard either of these. The first one sounds completely impossible.

Partial loss of power in both engines, possible. Complete loss of power, unlikely a boom could provide that kind of load. Loss of both engines would also require APU to be started for hydraulics, unless windmill hydraulics could keep a F-15 in controlled flight. Not sure the APU restart envelope for a F-15, but my guess under 20,000 ft, so that doesn't leave much room for a F-15 to glide home under control.

They'd have better luck pushing from behind with another jet. Of course, that risks major damage to the jet doing the pushing, and might be considered in combat, but not for a training emergency.

Several F/A-18s have landed with two damaged engines, even onto the carrier.
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Unread post20 Mar 2017, 04:30

Gums wrote:Yo Ho!

Many, many jocks in SEA owed their lives to the tanker troops that 'towed' them.

If the jet was light and 'clean' the few hundred pounds extra 'pull' made a lotta difference.

There was also the call, "toboggan", whereby the tanker would descend to keep the hookup nice and tight and pass a bit of gas.

The Viper is so clean and light, that I imagine it could be towed st and level the whole way.

Pardo's Push still seems the most amazing escapade, though. Talk about a 'Band of Brothers'.


Yes, a "toboggan" was occasionally needed when topping off an F-100 with four 335 gallon external tanks during a deployment. Coming out of Hawaii heading east we needed to keep the bird full of fuel so we could divert if the externals would not feed when repressurized. There are no runways between Hawaii and California, BTW. About 6 toboggan rides that day. I guess being the lowest ranking pilot in the wing has its rewards...the hanger queen dog. I'd never trade that experience however. Only two IFE out of four flights. I never needed the "bennies" the flight surgeon issued every flight.

Cheers!
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