Page #9 Tales of an Old Aviator...The Big Chill

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Page #9 Tales of an Old Aviator...The Big Chill

#1 Post by avcanada » Fri Feb 20, 2004 3:12 pm

Author Tales of an Old Aviator...The Big Chill
co-joe


Joined: Jun 12, 2003
Posts: 893
From: a town by the lake
Posted: 2003-11-04 17:50
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Oh man, what a read! Thanks Mr Elegant.

http://www.avcanada.ca/forums/viewtopic ... 00&forum=1

Updated.
There's the link to the Bronson Creek Pics before they get lost in the backlog.

[ This Message was edited by: co-joe on 2004-01-16 01:46 ]

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-04 23:21
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The management's decision to bring in outside help was a sound one considering that there were over two thousand concentrate bags placed on pallets at the top end of the airstrip. In other words , there was plenty of flying for all.

I had a broken down plane and a useless bag of primordal cells for an engineer who was holding a gun at my head.

My mind raced back a month or two when I remember something Suzy Secretary said to me .. She was a loyal secretary to our company ... and me.
She would often give me shelter from the storm...
"These contract employees have to pay their own Workers Compensation payments" she purred, as I feigned interest in the topic whilst marvelling at her form.

In place of the left jab I postulated to the slacker , "I phoned Suzie when I was in Wrangell and it seems we have a problem with your WCB payments which opened up a can of worms with the tax department and all this crap with your ex wife ... blah .. blah .. blah .. blah".

He went slackjawed as his receding chin dropped into his sunken chest. He folded his hand to the master. I knew nothing of which I had spoken.

"You will sign out all work till I find a replacement" I bargained from a newfound position of strength. Everybodys attention was diverted by the arrival of the DC4 from Alaska. Piggy's trotters were a blur as he ran off squeeling to his next employer.

The crew were a mixed bunch with a young blond hero type of guy as the captain and a copilot somewhat older and a swamper called Cowboy Jim.

The Bristol crew took them off in the direction of the bar followed by my porcine engineer darting excitedly behind them.

Rob and I were alone ... a busted winch , burned out brake , no left generator , no heater../.. we looked at each other .... lots of heart .... lots of guts.

The deal was , we do the work , Piggy signs it out. There was the wheel. We saw why he abandoned the project. The multiple discs were warped and the brake blocks were hanging up , just like the brakes on the airplane now. Rob came up with a solution and we struggled long into the night .. in the cold clear night , soon to be cloaked in a dense fog.
Rob ground the castellations on the discs with a small grinder so that the blocks were not held up , a tempory fix but skillfully done.

The merriment from the chalet was of no comfort to us.





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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-04 23:44
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It's hard to explain what drives you. Late at night , at least we were in a heated shack , tired after a hard days flying , and determined . Determined not to fail.
Not ever a cross word between us and yet we would often vent at the injustices that beseiged us.... we had a common enemy.
We learned how to lockwire the finished wheel by running out into the brutal night with a flashlight and returning with a mental picture that Rob skillfully put into practice.

We now had to wrestle this giant wheel out to the airplane through the snow.... grunting ... it flops over ...AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!

GGGGRRRRRRR!!!!!!F*ck this! F*uck that!!!!

Our problems had just begun.

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-05 11:17
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The aircraft was perched very precariously on jacks. This would not have been possible had the wind been blowing a mere three knots or so. We were lucky. No wind.
A fog had enveloped us and the cold snow now chirped and squeeked when walked upon.
The lights under which we laboured barely escaped a few yards or more. An erie glow surrounded us.
It took two of us to stand the wheel up to the axle but the jack leaked allowing the airplane to sag and settle slowly but we failed to time the shove ... time after time we struggled .. it took such effort to control the frustrated outbursts ... making sure we did not aim our vehemence at each other.
Comradeship was sacred at this point. And loyalty to each other was one thing we could count on.
The chalet should be closing anytime now. It's late .. after midnight. Cold .. bloody cold.
Sometimes , bouts of inappropriate laughter had us collapsing in heaps on the snow as we referred to "the romance of aviation" or the fact we had reached the pinicle of our careers.

"If only we had someone to work the jack." Rob said wishfully. We were alone. There were some who wanted us to fail.
We gather the last of our strength for one last effort.

The camp hummed in the background , somewhere over there in the thick fog.

A squeek ... was that a footstep? ... and another. Somebody was carefully feeling their way towards us ..a shape ... devoid of form .. cloaked.

We stared silently waiting for this creature to reveal its identity.

It was Cowboy Jim.

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-05 15:04
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"Ah am here to help you boys" drawled Cowboy Jim. "Why! Ah just can't beleive what the fat fella was saying up in the bar." he continued.

"Which fat fellow?" I asked. I already knew the answer.
"The one whose eyes seem too close together , he always has three rum and cokes in front of him , he's pig eyed by now" explains Jim slowly.
We have a match , thinks I.
Jim told us how the engineer laughed at our efforts and laughed at the faulty jack and told everybody what a piece of crap these planes were. And how he was to pocket lots of dough with two paychecks coming in.
"They'll NEVER get those brakes done let alone get the wheel on." the fat one had grunted and he guffawed at our expense.
"I'm here to help." said the Cowboy and help he did. We easilly slid the wheel onto the axle and everything was lockwired accordingly and the airplane was lowered safely to the ground. Whew! Now all we had to do was replace the winch and look at the heater.

At 4am we decided to get some sleep so we could arise before dawn to get the airplane ready for a trip tomorrow ... when the fog lifts. So we crashed into our bunks and only seconds later the alarm rang at six.

[ This Message was edited by: Duke Elegant on 2003-11-05 15:08 ]

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-05 16:01
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I had a pilot's breakfast ... A coffee and a piss followed by a donut and a dump.

The fog hung even heavier as we made our way to the strip and we finished our work.

It was hard to tell when dawn arrived. A lighter glow maybe. All three crews left the wing covers on until it was certain we were going to do a trip.

My plan was to taxi up and down the runway to seat the brake in by using power against brake.
Air and ground crew scurried about preparing their aircraft , and waiting , coffees in hand. Loadermen sat in their warm mounts as did the graderman after he had groomed the strip.
We removed all the heaters and with the help of the Herman Nelson got both engines running and sat while warmth seeped into their innards and oil. We left the wing covers on.
Lots of people were watching as we proudly taxied out to test our rebuilt brake system prior to it being signed out by the porcine poofter.
We dissapeared into the fog as we taxied downhill , stabbing at the brakes. We couldn't go too fast as the end of the runway was not easilly discernable and we did not want to end up in the Iskut.
Uphill was a different matter. I needed more power so I moved the throttles forward .. and then some more. We were not paying attention.
Witnesses said later that the huge beast loomed out of the fog in a huge batlike fashion , engines roaring , as the wing covers filled with air puffing them up atop the wing like huge biceps .. bungies snapping ... more air under the cover as they bulged , taut and full of wind with a madman at the controls stabbing at the brakes making it lurch this way and that.
I came to a lurching stop and surveyed what looked like wounded people who I determined later were rolling in the snow laughing at this madness.
I was not amused.
But I was an idiot.

I came out of hiding and went looking for the engineer. He was to sign out the work on the wheel ... or a call was to be made to WCB or the tax department. The bluff worked. He must have had a guilty concience. I didn't have any dirt on him at all. He inspected the work including the perfect lock wire job and signed it off.
I called our hangar in Victoria and advised them of the urgency to find an M3 engineer and they were hard to find , especially one willing to work in a camp for weeks at a time. And this was radial engine territory , a fast dying breed of tough engineers.

The fog persisted.
And when the fog lifted , the weather in Wrangell turned on us.... cheating us out of our livelihood and cheating the mine out of diesel and groceries.
A week this went on. We avoided some people , mixed with others. Stories had worn thin. Groups formed .. people talked in low tones ... politics crept in like a tumour... rumours.
I heard that the mine wanted to extend the tempory Operating certificate for the American DC4. I had another C117 coming out of maintainence in Victoria .. so why would I allow this? I could bring it up to work.
We had tried to get work in Alaska and were laughed off the claim by the Americans.
More rumours.... The mine would have to bring in the Southern Air Transport Hercules as the inventory of bags reached twenty five hundred. Fuel was running short. Days were shorter. They had run out of explosives.
I got a visit from the dispatcher.
I was informed that as soon as the weather cleared , the DC4 and the Bristol would do Wrangell trips as their diesel tanks were installed and ours were removed so we got the shitty job hauling groceries.
But there were two semi trailer loads of explosives at B ob Quinn Lake and it was our job to fly it all to camp. All of it.
It was only thirty miles away but the weather to the East was somewhat better.

What an adventure that turned out to be.

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-07 12:04
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I just read a few of my previous stories.. sure was tough slogging back then.

Flying , I guess , is like sex.

When it's good .... it's REAL good.

When it's bad .... it's STILL good

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onceacop


Joined: Oct 03, 2003
Posts: 64 Posted: 2003-11-07 14:09
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For you Duke



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onceacop


Joined: Oct 03, 2003
Posts: 64 Posted: 2003-11-07 14:11
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onceacop


Joined: Oct 03, 2003
Posts: 64 Posted: 2003-11-07 14:14
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What a ride!!



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North Shore


Joined: Mar 05, 2002
Posts: 191
From: Paradise on the Left Coast - CYYJ
Posted: 2003-11-07 15:40
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Following to the pictures, does anybody know how the C46 outfit in Gimli is making out?

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bigred


Joined: Nov 01, 2003
Posts: 39 Posted: 2003-11-07 15:56
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the C-46 in Gimili is flying again after a complete engine change. Both engines were changed over the summer break. The company name is First Nations Transport ltd.

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North Shore


Joined: Mar 05, 2002
Posts: 191
From: Paradise on the Left Coast - CYYJ
Posted: 2003-11-07 16:01
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bigred, thanks, knew all that as I was in GM when it first started flying again. I was more interested in whether they were busy/coping with the advent of winter/had lots of customers etc...

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bigred


Joined: Nov 01, 2003
Posts: 39 Posted: 2003-11-07 19:09
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North Shore sorry about the mix up. I applyed for a crewman job with them as they said they were starting to get busy again. I talked to people I know in gimili and they say that the plane is usually gone on trips.

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-08 12:15
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I lay on the bunk propped up against a pillow , feet crossed , boots on.

The small two bunk contractor's cabin was not trembling now as it had through the night as swirling blasts of cold air came up the strip from the Iskut and swished amongst the huge trees near the frozen creek.

This rare demon wind had done one thing for sure in cleaning the air of low snow clouds and ragged wisps with only a milky sky above. Clearing rapidly to the East ... towards B ob Quinn Lake airstrip , two thousand feet higher , and thirty miles upriver... up the frozen Iskut flanked by several seven thousand foot peaks.

As Rob , my co-pilot , dressed I explained my position about crew duties. I wanted to give him more take off and landings but felt I was still feeling my own way , and we always seemed to be on the edge

It made me feel better when he laughed it off ... "Hell man , I'm still learning my right seat job."

It was to be his lucky day as we were to fly to B ob Quinn empty , a very rare event and a perfect opportinity for a full hands on leg for Rob to fly . I had never been there before so I had the chance to survey the scene and come up with escape routes in the event of rapidly closing weather , a far too frequent event in this area. My gloved finger traced the river on the chart. Past McClymont Creek , and Forrest Kerr.
I mentioned to Rob that I had left instructions with the First Aid bloke in Bronson ... he was puzzled. I stayed silent on the matter.

The milky sky and the snow covered flats made the strip difficult to locate at first but appeared by the highway that went hundreds of miles south to Smi thers.
The trucks sat waiting after a long trip from the South.

As we taxiied toward the dozed out parking area we tried to determine which way was downhill for take off. Rather , it seemed , that it was uphill , both ways.

[ This Message was edited by: Duke Elegant on 2003-11-08 12:19 ]

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-08 13:24
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We winched the shrink wrapped palets uphill and herc strapped them down and filled in the gaps with individual boxes of explosives that are humped up by hand.

During this process we talk as we labour.

"We have five tons of dynamite on board. I don't know what it takes to set this sh*t off but here we are strapping it close to the temperamental heaters under the floor that are fired with high octane aviation fuel. MMMM fired by igniters. Don't think so mate! .. its gonna be a cold flight back." says I.
We had lots of fuel on board as we could only refuel in Wrangell.
The first three flights were uneventful , if not , very satisfying as we ran the engines at reduced power on the descent down to Bronson Creek. We can only do one more flight as the weather in Wrangell is down.

Upon return to B ob Quinn we load a few palets and I notice the size of the boxes changes. They are now smaller and lighter.
I question the driver who casually informs me that those fifty boxes are caps.Blasting caps.
Sh*t!! The very devices with which to anger the dynamite god and KA-F*CKIN-BOOM and I'm the first Aussie on the moon.
Darkness stalked us.
"I don't want to take caps and explosives on the same flight" I implore him.
"You"ll need this bulkhead" he says as he hands us up a four by four sheet of three quarter inch plywood.
"Use it to seperate the two , everybody else does." he matter of factly exclaims.
"Besides ," he informs me , " We can't sleep in our truck , we would have to go all the way to S mithers and return here tomorrow , maybe , IF you can get in. We have already made one fruitless trip and you guys never made it yesterday. We are nearly broke now , over this contract."


I started bleating like a sheep but quickly re-gained composure.

The cargo door thumped shut as I slid behind the frozen yoke. The sky was darkening. A 31,000lb grenade to be flown to the mine and its savage appetite for GOLD.
They blasted their way into Johnny Mountain. There was gold alright. Flown out in its purest form by a Beech 1900. Ingots.
In its dirtlike form , we flew the bulky bags in exchange for GOLD. Were we bargaining away our safety for GOLD?

"I wanted the gold and I got it
And somehow the gold isn't all"

Rob settled into his frozen position. We tried not to aim a breath near the frozen windshield.... there would be no heater.

The pressure of the mission was building.

"By the way," quizzes Rob , "what instructions did you give the First Aid guy this morning?"

I turned to look at him, slowly, so the gravity of what I had to say seeped into him

I paused.

"I told them that in the event of a crash , I want them to look through the wreckage and retrieve the nine inch d*ck and put it in my box so I could be identified."

We exploded into a laughing fit .....
..and took off.




[ This Message was edited by: Duke Elegant on 2003-11-08 13:30 ]

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North Shore


Joined: Mar 05, 2002
Posts: 191
From: Paradise on the Left Coast - CYYJ
Posted: 2003-11-08 18:47
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Duke: Sorry for interrupting earlier, please continue! And if you have any other good punchlines like the one previous, don't be shy - that was hilarious!

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-08 22:34
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Hey North Shore ... no worries.

As long as you enjoy my stuff , I'm happy.

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Jetman28


Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 41
From: Ontario
Posted: 2003-11-13 17:01
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Bring Forward

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-17 14:20
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I just looked at the date of my first post ... it was November 28 , one year ago.
The Big Chill.

On the aniversary of that date I will be in Australia with my old fossil relatives out at my cousin's cattle station that stretches across 220 square miles of the outback. You can see your dog running away for three days.

So please allow me to update my condition.

One year later ...

The Big Chill is gone. My friends saw to that. It was at a party on Saturday night , thinly disguised as an after chemo celebration and a going away party .. to Australia that is. But it was more than that ... there was more there than the sum of all parts.
Friends had flown in from Red Deer .... management types and their wonderful wives. We celebrated two couples that had made it thirty years. And fire bomber pilots .. veterans of the summer infernos. We drank lots. We laughed and drank and howled. Good tunes.
I was bathed in commaradarie. Tales of Daring Doo. The collective beauty of the ladies present also added up to more than the sum of the parts.
Louder and louder we got .. especially me.

I talked to a lady... on the level of the soul. Her husband Steve was in the bedroom in the comfort of Val. He was and is a VERY talented engineer.
He cried lots. He had lost his teenage son in a car accident. And Carol. Bearing the pain. If only I could take some of it upon myself. I think we all did.
Steve came out and we got on the piss , laughing , howling. They made me do stupid things and I obliged. Steve and Carol had fun that night.
A cake was brought out .. a friendship cake they said. It looked like potting soil with four curious shapes and I was to pour water thereupon. Timidly I did so and rising from the soil were four very proud air filled condoms. ( They were attatched to film containers filled with some chemical.)
Lots more pictures , lots more grog.
I was more or less pushed outside ... by a rough and tough aviator/ manager/ engineer.
He failed to fight back the tears as he asked a favour of me : To walk in that beautiful place, with his beloved wife , who was taken from him a few years ago. (I knew her well , she was a flight instructor and mother.) He saw some comfort in that. A fantasy , you say? .... It works for me ... and Perry.
Back inside we got on the piss till 4am.
Mike and Val ... thank you.

We are all terminal. Some of us get a "heads up" and have the luxury of getting the opportunity to evaluate our past and apply those lessons to the present. I am very healthy and attract superlatives regarding my appearance.

One year ago I was told I had "a couple of years." The chemo doctor now awaits me to come and have blood tests to see when my tumour markers start to ascend , an inevitable event he tells me.
Like watching the cylinder head temperature guage climb into the red range. Or the oil pressure guage plummeting as the big radial engine eats itself up. I have seen it all.
I have decided that I do not want to know ANYTHING for six months. Like Muhammed Ali resting between fights.
The Big Chill has been replaced by the warmth of inspiration. I have been given one more short chance.

If only you people who show up annonymously in the "views" column knew how you too contribute to my well being.

OK, I got my blubbering out of the way so it is story time.

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Griffon's Friend


Joined: Oct 03, 2003
Posts: 55
From: Another place
Posted: 2003-11-17 15:00
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Duke,
If you're on a high speed connection, check this out:

h**p://jje.uchicago.edu/~music/Sarah%20McLachlan/Mirrorball/Angel.MP3

(it takes a bit of time to load)

Forgive me if it seems shallow, or pointless, or wrong somehow... My daughter was just playing that upstairs when I read your last post, and I thought it might be worth sharing the sentiment.


//edit by Sulako. Sorry man, I can't let direct links to copyrighted music on the board. Too much potential for hassle. Just make h**p into http, cut 'n paste the link and the end result is the same. A tiny difference, but important in the eyes of lawyers.



[ This Message was edited by: Sulako on 2003-11-17 15:27 ]

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Yak Driver


Joined: Apr 08, 2003
Posts: 19
From: Vancouver
Posted: 2003-11-17 15:48
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Hey Duke,

Sounds like things on the coast are all right. I wish I was there.... Instead, sitting in Gillam the shangri-la of Manitoba.

Tomorow will be 2 weeks since we arrived on this tour. How many production flights you ask? Um, let me count, oh wait, we haven't done any... funny thing is the weather has been beatiful, but not the diurnal. We've got a good crew though, having a great time. Princess is here, Jerzy and Chris they all say hi.

Have a good trip down under, we will think of you while fuelling from drums, and wrestling with the hermy. I'll be home mid december, we can go flying then.

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-17 15:50
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ANGEL
Very powerful, inspiring music ... and performed live too.
You go tell your daughter that she played a role in inspiration to an old Aviator.



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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-19 20:07
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I lay in my bunk at the mine. The shack trembled in the wind and the wind swished about the trees and the snow piled high. A week had passed. No flying at all. Stories and tales grew thin. Lots of shuffling about with coffee in hand. I lay there and thought of warmer times.

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-19 20:33
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It was around 1978/1980.

One of the A26 fire bombers was piloted by Spike Burnett , an old Aviator , who was a veteren of the Artic ... Twin Otters I believe.
He was the Group Manager of the four bombers and the Cessna 310 bird dog. Although beloved by all , he was a chronic smoker and visits to his room had us crouching low so as to keep our heads out of the blue haze occupying the top third of the airspace in his room. He soon died.
I assumed the lofty position as Group Manager and we mobilized the group to High Level to coincide with a blitz of lightning strikes that had fires burning in all quadrants.
We were now a group of five A26 fire bombers as forestry ramped up resources for a busy year. We were all experienced bomber pilots but a new bird-dog pilot was sent to me for training.
We relied heavilly on the Bird Dog pilot as he not only carried the airborne Forestry fire boss but he checked our bombing runs for obstacles and other dangers.
The owner of the company did the hiring and firing of employees. There was no union. There was no seniority. Three people vied for power in the company but to no avail ... it remained a one man band.
Our previous Bird Dog pilot had been hauled off to jail in the RCMP Twin Otter so the new guy shows up on the 737.

Well I'd better freshen up my drink as I am starting to sweat thinking of what happened next.

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-19 23:08
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They marched through from West to East along lightning alley just North of High Level , huge vertical clouds with lacy bottoms of virga .. with no rain reaching the parched forest below.
Dry lightning zapped the tinder dry forest from the thin clouds sparking numerous small fires.
There wasn't much time to train a bird dog pilot so after a few quick briefings he was let loose but I quickly deduced that he seldom did things simply if an absurdly demanding alternative was availlable. He needed more briefings after a hard days flying so I invited him to my room at about 11PM. We were still bombing at 10.30PM and I remember I was still in my flight suit when he entered my room ... with a bottle of vodka and a gun.... a colt 45.
I still believe to this day it was supposed to be my show. He slurped vodka and babbled about his newfound skills and his self appointment to the fire bombing profession.
He was oblivious to any suggestions and waved the gun that seemed to be his badge of manhood.
His thick glasses looked like they were fake with staring eyeballs painted on them .. eyeballs that stared at you even when he looked elsewhere. His stupid tight curly hair pissed me off .. as did every mannerism he exhibited. I didn't like him... or trust him.
I tried to put forward my case that he needed improvement in positioning the bird dog aircraft after a drop so that the forestry officer could witness the drop and assess it , so that we bomber pilots could improve our techniques , but to no avail, as the vodka level plummeted to zero.
I stayed sober all the while pretending I was pissed , eying the gun.... knowing I could be on it in a nanosecond. After all , I could turn out a light switch and be in bed before it got dark. After a round of blubbering adoration for me he left.
Next day.

I was flying Tanker Nine. I was on final for the fire .. my bomb doors armed .. finger on the button.
The bird dog ahead of me crossed the target too high .. pissed me off ... he is supposed to be looking for obstructions .. hills, snags, wind drift. He pulls up slowly and banks right ..
"Bulls Eye boss" he exclaims exuberently knowing that a perfect shot was the ultimate ego builder.
Only one problem ... I hadn't pushed the bomb button yet. He was lying.

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-19 23:39
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We got even more busy ... fires everywhere. We were required to fly as soon as the smoke lifted in the morning ... and flew till 11PM. The stress was exacerbated by the fact we did not trust our bird dog pilot but experienced pilots were scarce so we looked out for ourselves.
The High Level airport got smoked in. We were grounded but the bird dog airplane was out at the fire so we had him diverted to Fort Vermillion whereupon he alighted without the benefit of his landing gear.

He claimed that the landing gear had collapsed upon landing. There it sat props curled back , at the leading edge of a screeching skidmark , gear doors still neatly tucked away .. and the landing circuit breaker popped.
The gear handle was in the "down" position.
I suppose he thought that after his f*ckup he could put the gear handle down and the electric motor would lift the airplane onto its feet ... but it popped the breaker.

I don't know if you have ever been on the recieving end of a suck- holing pilot but it is not pretty to watch. It was time for him to go. Especially since we had wondered as to the gap in his employment history ... a few years spent in jail .. for the murder of his wife whose body had been found in a dumpster at the Vancouver Airport.. a crime of passion apparently.
We had only learned this a few days earlier.
I phoned Hamilton , the boss, to advise him that finally the pilot should be fired as I had asked weeks earlier.
"OK , go ahead and fire him." says Hamilton , crouching in his office in Edmonton.
"F*uck you ," says I , "the guy is packing a gun... and he is a drunken lunatic ... you hired him , you fire him. You never checked his history ./... up to you...."

You gotta give Hamilton credit , he phones Peel in the Yukon and has him fire the pilot from there , that way nobody gets shot.

It was wild back then .....

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Duke Elegant


Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 264 Posted: 2003-11-19 23:42
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The wind shrieked through camp .. we visited the windsock down on the Iskut .. it was cock stiff.... snow piling up on the airplanes.
We waited.

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Schooner69


Joined: Oct 18, 2001
Posts: 200
From: Atlantic Canada
Posted: 2003-11-20 06:10
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"The wind shrieked through camp .. we visited the windsock down on the Iskut .. it was cock stiff.... snow piling up on the airplanes.
We waited."


Duke: Ya can't be doin' this to me....start the story and finish it later. It's killin' me. It's worse than coitus interuptus. (Don't ask me how I know..)

Keep them coming, my son. You're letting a lot of people vicariously experience some very interesting times. Many of us have led relatively sheltered aviation lives; thanks for sharing.

PS For those who are not familiar with Latin, Coitus Interuptus translates as: "Somebody named Coitus broke into our conversation..".


_________________
FixedWing, GoldWing, FlingWing..Life is good!

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Cat Driver


Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 1194 Posted: 2003-11-20 08:05
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Hey Duke :

How about telling everyone about the ham and cheese sandwiches and cool aid they used to give us between flights, while the ground crew sat in the cook house eating steak and potatoes....Good old Footner Lake / High Level tanker base...

Cat Driver:
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#2 Post by avcanada » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:35 am

"It was around 1978/1980.

One of the A26 fire bombers was piloted by Spike
Burnett , an old Aviator ,
who was a veteren of the Artic ... Twin Otters I
believe.
He was the Group Manager of the four bombers and the
Cessna 310 bird dog.
Although beloved by all , he was a chronic smoker
and visits to his room had
us crouching low so as to keep our heads out of the
blue haze occupying the
top third of the airspace in his room. He soon
died."


Spike Burnett was my father and contrary to what is reported here (the way this piece has been written it sounds like he died flying water bombers and Mr. Elegant took over from him), he actually died in 1984 of a heart attack shortly after returning from a vacation in Hawaii.

My father was well respected and beloved within the industry, had a safety record that was the envy of many and flying was the love of his life
from the moment he sat down in the cockpit of a Tiger Moth on June 28, 1943 at No.6 E.F.T.S. in Prince Albert, Sask.. Ask anyone who knew him and they will tell you he was one of the nicest guys to work for and ranked as one of the most safety conscious pilots within the industry that you could ever hope to meet.

Sincerely,



Dr. Sharon (Burnett) House
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