"The Royal Order" is a society of
like-minded aviators who have flown in various places and engaged in various
activities around the world. One of the qualifications of this unique
organization is that an individual must be able to relate with a particular
keenness a precise aircraft orientation, attitude or maneuver previously
attained while employing use of the phrase "and there I was..." Admission to the
society is solely by discretion of the founders, and inductees must demonstrate an
appreciation in the application of
For those unfamiliar, a summary of Royal Order Terminology is provided
-- any decision made by any member of the Royal Order at any time.
EXECUTIVE COMMAND DECISION -- a unilateral command decision often made by Wilga
pilots, pilots who have been shot down while flying fighter jets, pilots who
have flown upside down in an N3N, and some FAA employees.
ROAD ACROSS THE RUNWAY -- an observed occurrence conflicting with logic, but
BEHIND ENEMY LINES -- a place where normal people usually don't go, but where
members are usually found.
-- a warning to cease and desist (or
dire consequences) delivered to Royal Order members. Due to questionable
backgrounds, experiences, activities and lifestyles of Royal Order members, any
member at any time may receive a threat letter.
POSITION REPORT -- employed when operating behind enemy lines to provide
position information to other members.
STEALTH MODE -- mode utilized to move covertly without position
reports to other members.
SPY IN A CAN -- a drink.
AK-47 VODKA -- another drink.
NUT HOUSE -- meeting point for members.
INDUCTION -- process by which recruits are inducted into the esteemed Order.
NUT POWDER -- very important --
JEEP -- official ground transport.
WILGA -- form of aerial transport commonly used for induction.
EXPEDITION -- official journey with a specific purpose.
NORMAL -- not something officially recognized.
I WILL NOT PUT THAT SHIT ON MY NUTS -- expression used by some recalcitrant
I-CHING -- Chinese procedure employed by the Order -- "when the way comes to an
end, change; having changed, you pass through."
PHURBA -- official three-bladed Tibetan dagger used to "remove
WHEELS UP PARTY -- a party held anytime that a visiting member leaves town.
PULL PITCH -- a phrase meaning "let's get out of here."
EXTERNAL LOAD PERMIT -- something that you should have before leaning out of the
door of the Wilga.
USE OF LIPS -- an African technique occasionally used by members of the order to point
in a certain direction.
ANYTIME FROM NOW -- unit of time used by members to communicate what time they
will return to a place.
SMITH -- a term meaning to "ignore with egregious intent" sometimes inflicted
upon members of the Order.
VIEW OPERATIONS BEHIND ENEMY LINES --
MEMBERS OF THE ORDER
Members of the
C-47 Hump Crew (Alan Searle, Barry Arlow, Bob Small with Yingshan
inducted into The Royal & Ancient Order of Bush Pilots with a full
application of Nut Powder in front of The Hump Bar in Kunming, China
after the last ever flight "Over The Hump" on 15 Oct 2016 --
Captain Philips, Young Tom and the
Right and Honorable Kishore Patel of Superior Aviation -- Exclusive purveyor of
Bush Aircraft to the intrepid National Geographic Wildlife Documentary Air Force
that traversed the length and breadth of Africa on numerous occasions in search
of Black Rhinos, Pygmy Elephants, and other elusive creatures.
Captain Xiao Ying is the
overall commander of the Chinese Division of the Royal & Ancient Order
of Bush Pilots. She is CEO of Wild Winds China and a passionate
It is not often that we get to meet
a real live Captain Jack Sparrow -- but we did it. With over 15,000 hours,
including service in Mauritania and 25 years in the skydiving business, Captain
Jack was presented a can of Nut Powder for his tactical prowess and love of the PC-6.
gathering of flying N3N aircraft ever assembled -- in Hal's hangar --
as reported by CC of the Royal Order.
Executing "And There I Was"
maneuvers at 26,300' with D. Sherpa and G. Sherpa and no Oxygen on the North
Slope of Mount Everest after a
successful summit on 17 May 2010 with frostbite on all toes --
Induction of Air American
Les Strouse &
(in front of M151-A1 Jeep and Helio Courier H-295).
The Helio was used extensively by Air America for operations in Laos and
Vietnam. Mark Daniels is the chairman of the Aeronautical Archaeological Society
and has an advanced degree in Aviation Hieroglyphics. Mark has flown the Wilga,
and these were his comments: "I didn't know it until the first time I flew it,
but the Wilga is the reason I wanted to learn to fly. It is loud, has a powerful
radial engine, is designed and built by the same people who produce perhaps the
world's best sausage. The funny looking gauges and the air-driven prop, as well
as the bizarre starting procedure gives me the sense that when I climb in I am
passing through an elite ritual of the truly eccentric in a bid to enter a sort
of crankcase nirvana. It has a rumble that makes a Harley seem like an espresso
machine. And it is hard to fly. My legs are still sore from using the rudders
two days ago, and that's the way it should be. The plane has almost no brakes
and a very high center of gravity. It may look like an insect, but it is the
kind of insect you would find around Chernobyl. It is about as forgiving as
Lewis in the 8th round, and although I don't know for sure, I would imagine that
if you make a mistake with this one, you will end up as chicken food chop-quick.
Counsel of the Royal Order standing in front of the bullet-ridden
old Entebbe Airport control tower with Ugandan Aviation Security
Inspector Mr. Tito Nyarwekaka Kankya. Immediately following this
photo, the Chief Counsel entered into the now-abandoned tower and
conducted a full reconnaissance of all the relevant rooms including
the glass tower cab on top. The bullet holes hail from Big Daddy Idi
Amin's day, when the Israelis conducted a nighttime covert operation
to recover some of their compatriots. For more information -- search
"Raid on Entebbe."
ANCIENT CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
By unanimous decision, The Royal Order has awarded the first ever
Royal & Ancient "Certificate of Merit" to Kenyan Innovator Mr. Gabriel
Nderitu for his "service in the line of duty." We commend
Mr. Nderitu for his courage, initiative and innovativeness. There was
once a man from Lake Turkhana who very wisely said, "it is only a matter of sand." Therefore,
we salute Gabriel and wish him continued good success in the truest
and highest spirit of the Order.
The first ever Russian Member of
the Royal Order was recently inducted. Mr. Andrei Solov was born in Kharaganda,
Kazakhstan. For this reason alone, he is fully qualified to be a member.
However, he has also established the first Russian chapter of the Royal &
Ancient Order of Bush Pilots herewith referred to as "EE TOGDA" (and there I was
in Russian). Andrei is a fully qualified hydro-samolyot pilot and Russia is the
country which produces AK-47 Vodka (official Vodka of the Royal Order). Andrei
reports that the temperature in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, varies from
-40*C to +40*C and that it is very difficult to build in this environment,
because everything moves due to the contraction and expansion of the steel used
in the construction. Andrei is an admirer of President Nazerbayev. He is a
Dictator, of course, but his vision has led the country in the right direction
over the past 20 years of his rule. As the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, he
invited professors from Moscow University to Kazakhstan to be his Ministers and
lead the country in developing an open Asian economy. Andrei has advised us that
Kazak people have a saying, "your home is where you are."
Bob Poole has been a member of The Royal Order for a long time, but he just
didn't know it. His first film for National Geographic was "Flight Over Africa"
and there were many opportunities in that film for depicting aerial maneuvers
solely by the use of one's hands (but occasionally Bob has been known to point
with his lips as well). Bob has now made over 100 documentary films and shot
aerials from over 50 different types of aircraft. He is fluent in Swahili and is
a great lover of Nut Powder.
Chief Counsel of the Royal
Order inspecting a Chinese Mig-23 aboard the Soviet Carrier Minsk in Shenzhen,
China - August 2009
Recently inducted Rob
Driscoll executing maneuvers above Hadley Harbor in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
This may be the first actual aerial "and there I was" rendition ever recorded.
And there we were... inducting Rob
Driscoll into the Royal Order and vibrating with Cooke in the forbidden
"verboten" tower of the BAD Schachen in Germany. Rob's father saved
Wings Field in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania from overzealous land developers. Anyone
anywhere in the world who saves an airport is automatically appointed an honored
member of the Order with the highest standing.
Chinese AN-2 equipped with floats -
located and photographed in Beijing 2010 by the Chief Counsel of the Royal Order
before a historic ride from Beijing to Shanghai by Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Inducting Peter Balmer into the
Royal Order after receiving a checkout in a Pilatus Porter in Interlaken,
Switzerland. Peter has 2,500 hours in the PC-6 with over 5,000 glacier landings.
He was unaware of the existence of the Royal Order, but subsequently very
pleased at his induction. The PC-6 is powered by a PT6A engine with 550
horsepower. The propeller can be reversed on landing permitting extremely short
Inducting Khun Krittika into the
Order in front of a DO-27 in the Dornier Museum next to Lake Constance in
Germany (Jun2010). The DO-27 was flown by Dr. Bernhard Grzimek during the making
of the documentary film "Serengeti Shall Not Die" in Tanganyika, Africa. His son
died in this aircraft after striking a vulture in flight near the edge of the
Ngorongoro Crater. One of the members of the Royal Order found the remains of
original Dornier in the bush on the edge of the crater.
And there I was... at 7,800 feet
eating pretzels with a couple of Marmots. Members of the Royal Order are often
called upon to perform various tasks.
And there he was... Doc receiving
instruction from Nud on how to start Boom's tractor. Nud is a senior advisor to
the Order and a good friend of Smith.
Warren Claytor and Graham
(wearing a high-visibility shirt) demonstrating a steep dive during maneuvers on
Nantucket Island (Jun 2010) on a mission to honor Schlog (one of the greatest
schlongers of all time).
"The Wop" -- Located by the Chief
Counsel of the Royal Order in New Delhi, India whilst on a mission behind enemy
lines in Jun-Jul 2010. Official name: Wapiti Mk 2A. This was the first aircraft
to fly through the Khyber Pass and was used in the Indian Airforce from 1933 to
Schoettle reported a successful mission transporting Roman Catholic
Friar Chris of Portsmouth Abbey, RI to Teterboro, NJ by Lear 31A on
Valentines Day 2013. Chris is a strong believer in Nut Powder and has
been attempting to proselytize Friar Chris to the delights of Nut
It is not often that we get Peter F. Cooke behind enemy lines, but there he was
at 5 a.m. in Cambodia vibrating in front of the ancient Khmer ruins of Angkor
Wat. Cooke is no stranger to Asia. He was coach to the King's Cup Thailand
Elephant Polo team in 2004 and leader of the Hong Kong ass-signing expedition in
2006. Cooke celebrated his arrival in Cambodia by wearing his uniform and
shaving his chest.
Induction of Has
breakfast) near the Royal Order HQ.
Hal's comment after induction: "Outstanding, I
am extremely proud to be a member! I made liberal use of nut powder on my first
roll in my N3N last month, hanging in a 65 year-old harness pushing the nose up
while inverted. (I have since ordered Hooker Harnesses). Oh yes, the engine
stops firing whenever you are inverted. I could have used more nut powder, but it
was all I had. I remembered later I actually held myself down (up) into the
seat with the stick and later wondered what I would have done had I pulled the
stick out?! So I am returning to BKK to restock before the next try."
Afghan Flying Club co-founder
Jersey hails from Bavaria, but he has enjoys working in Sudan, Congo, Cambodia, Afghanistan,
Burundi, Indonesia, and other
war-torn areas of the world. He owns Ulbi WT01 "Wild Thing" tail-dragger (with
120 HP Jabiru engine), and has successfully
performed the Nut Powder ritual. "Herewith I seek to become
associated with the esteemed Order. As you can see, I'm a man of good standing
(but rather unconventional flying) & well suited to perform the required hand
movements... And there I was ... during the approach briefing with
Captain Frazer (of Airserv) for Baghdad International 32 Right - maximum sink
rate in steep spiral descent." Jersey's plan is to return to Kabul, Afghanistan
with the first aircraft for the Afghan Flying Club (anytime from now), and he is
also looking forward to visiting New Zealand to attend "Warbirds Over Wanaka"
(Easter Weekend every year). Jersey is also a "Wilga Lover" because it has a big
loud engine that turns the wrong way, which he calls his "deuxieme bureau"
(terminology that he picked up in the Congo). Jersey has shared with us a link
of Bush Planes in action --
Aside from his
duties as Chairman and CEO of Nestle, Peter Brabeck has a passion for glacier
flying in Switzerland and has flown in many parts of the world. Maria is from
Colombia and when not serving as Ambassador, she also enjoys
exploring far and forgotten corners of the world.
Puranitee is one of the most enthusiastic aviators on the entire continent of
Asia. When he is not flying his PC-12, he is busy making all the cans that
contain The Royal Order
new inductee, The Venerable Khenpo Rinpoche Chime Tsering is the director of
Siddhartha Foundation in
Nepal. Khenpo oversees 3,000 Buddhist Monasteries in Nepal, and his brother is
the head of the Nepal air force and a very experienced helicopter pilot. Khenpo
was teaching us the 5 poisons - ignorance, attachments, anger, pride, jealousy -
and that the 5 poisons are the enemy. The way to damage the 5 poisons in one's
life is through meditation. Khenpo's example was a Doctor who gives medicine; if
you don't eat it, you can't get better. In Buddhism, the teacher gives the way,
if you practice, you can accumulate good Karma. Meditation involves a 7 point
posture - Feet in Lotus position (discipline), Right hand in Left hand (samatee),
Back straight (honesty), Arms in a circle (Om Dharma wheel), Neck straight (no
left, no right), Eyes looking down nose (to liberate sentient beings from
samsara), Tongue in middle of mouth (no attachments to eliminate desire). All
expectations in life come from desire. Breathe in (the goodness of Buddha, the 5
elements, prosperity, long life) and breathe out (the 5 poisons). Kick out all
thoughts. Do this for 15-20 minutes. This meditation is the path to Dharma and
health. Khun Suchard was also inducted into The Royal Order. He is a keen
follower of Khenpo Chime and a very skilled Mooney "bush pilot." He is a part
owner of the Wilga and the pioneer of the
Uchida San, Worawoot, and
Dave Floyd in the new Coconut Jungle.
This was truly a historic day. Previously, Dave "don't-put-that-shit-on-my-nuts"
Floyd was reluctant to join the ranks of The Royal Order. He soloed a J-3 in
1954, a T-38 in 1962, was shot down twice in an F-5 over Vietnam, but he was
having a little trouble soloing a C-150 in Bang Phra. Some gentlemen from The
Royal Order suggested that Dave should consider some Nut Powder. Dave was reluctant, and continued to not solo in Bang Phra.
Dave eventually came to understand the dictates of the I-Ching, "when the way comes to an end,
change; having changed, you pass through."
Subsequently, Dave soloed, and now he enjoys Nut Powder. Fellow inductees
include Uchida San from Japan who is in training to become "DokoDayMo, OreeChow
Piloto" (anywhere landing can pilot) - the Japanese version of Bush Pilot - and
Khun Worawoot (manager at TFC) who is a keen planter of coconut trees. Dave is
also the coach of Black Dog Polo
Khun Chatchaya is
the chief photographer for The Royal Order. She is jeep-qualified. When she
drove a World War II vintage Ford MB Jeep named "Smith" from Bangkok to Bang Phra, she was stopped three times by the police. The jeep had no top, one
headlight, some brakes, not much clutch, and too much free play in the steering,
and no license plates. The first police took her license. She told the second
police that they couldn't have her license, because the first already took it.
The third police asked her why she was driving an open jeep from Bangkok at
night by herself, and she invited the senior officer to drive with her. They let
her go too. Khun Chatchaya is the CEO of
Thai Jeep and is a fully inducted member of
The Royal Order.
Thompson (with his wife Gaye next to the Wilga).
Nick was born in Enfield, England and works in Hong Kong. He used to be a
cartographer in Rhodesia. He has driven a Jaguar from Durban to Harare, a Jeep
from Doha to England, and after scuba diving in Maldives and Aquaba in the Red Sea
discovered a book about Captain William Shakespeare - a British Political
officer in Kuwait in the early 1900's who befriended Ibn Saud, which lead to the
creation of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (previously part of the Ottoman Empire).
Nick spent many years in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, and Oman. He met his
lovely wife Gaye in Tanzania. He worked on oil rigs in Australia and
Philippines. He soloed a Tiger Moth in 1973, and he loves "taildraggers."
His dream is "to spend the rest of my life with the woman I love," as King
George V said when he abdicated the British Throne for Wallis Simpson. Nick's
dad used to fly DC-3's in Burma in World War II and died after crashing into the
Ngong Hills in Kenya. Nick's favorite books are "Cape to Cairo" by Grogan and
"First Light" (about grammar school in UK). His favorite character is Lord
Nelson (who lost and eye and an arm) because he was a great Admiral with big
balls but also had the common touch and compassion for his men. He is planning
to build a flying replica of the Spitfire.
Graphic team for the film "First
Flight" have been there too -- for the past 3 years, they have been waiting
and sometimes working on the intrepid film about the early days of aviation in
Siam. This is the first Thai movie to have real aerials and everyone in the
whole world is waiting to see it. Maybe finally in early 2007. "Awaitings which
ripen hopes are not delays."
Meanwhile, on the
other side of the world, the intrepid crew of Saberdancer were there too... more
Khun Rolf and
Shmirmaxe have recently opened the German Chapter of the Royal Order -- "Und Ich
war Da" (and there I was...). Rolf and Shmirmaxe are great pioneers of Thai
skies in their Remos G3. Here there are positioned in front of an ATV that Rolf
had just soloed. Rolf is a great fan of Klinsmann and Lahm, because they are
"workers on the field."
Henrik and Johan from Sweden -
with their Diamond Diesel Twin-engine Aircraft. They love Nut Powder and will be
promoting the benefits around the world.
Norman in Dokkrai
with assistance from new members Johan and Henrik. Norman used to be a
professional golfer, and then the CEO of American Standard, but now he is in
charge of promotion and marketing of Nut Powder for The Royal Order. Norman has
pioneered the new labeling technique on Nut Powder cans. Norman is a very keen
aviator and explorer of parts unknown.
Munkhbat is from Mongolia. Her short name is "Bulgaa." She was recruited in the
Gobi Desert and took the 32 hour train from Ulaan Bataar to Beijing, then flew
to New Delhi and traveled to Agra to be inducted into The Royal Order in front
of the Taj Mahal by our Chief Counsel and his Coordinator. She is now working on
her MA in Linguistics.
Induction of Royal Thai
(in the Bushpilot Clubhouse)
And there we were
with Khun Wanpen, one of the former Commanders of the "Blind Bats"
squadron in Ubon, and one of
Thailand's famous aviation characters -- Police Col. M. L. Term Snidvongs (Mom
Term) -- at his airstrip in Klang.
Dr. Dick and Ben
Claytor really were there at Oshkosh in 2007, and whilst wandering around, they
saw an airplane that looked just like Great Grandmother Mary Ingersoll's 1931
Waco-F. Upon further inspection of the
logbooks, they found that this aircraft
was indeed based at Wing's Field in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania and most probably the
same one owned by Great Grandmother Mary Ingersoll. It is a very small world --
and there they were 76 years later. Good job to Dr. Dick and Ben for finding
Bushelfoot -- www.rareaircraft.com/NC11457.html.
WACO F2 NC11483
WACO F NC11210
KITTY HAWK NC33V
MARY INGERSOLL PRIVATE PILOT LICENSE # 23573
Source: Holy's Private Pilot's Log Book! (Courtesy of Nud).
Photo taken by Chief Counsel of The Royal Order in honor of General Anthony
McAuliffe of the 101st Airborne Division who replied to a German surrender
ultimatum during the siege of Bastogne in World War II with the simple, clear,
concise word - "Nuts!"
The Royal Order warmly welcomes new member and veteran Bush Pilot John Goulet.
Here John is pictured on the beach near Bugis, Indonesia. The tribe that lived here
were originally Sulawesi pirates who could not live on the mainland Indonesia,
because the locals did not want them there -- so they moved here and built stilt
villages in the tidal swamps slightly offshore. They loved to raid the English
ships off the Sumatra coast and earned their reputation as the Bugis men of
Indonesia. English mothers would tell they children that if they got out of bed
in the middle of the night that the “Bogie Men” would get them. The Bugis
tribes have also migrated to Malaysia and Philippines, so the "Bogie Men" can
get you there too. John has been arrested
several times, has visited a number of different jails, and has been kidnapped
and held for ransom on three occasions. He has also led over 12 kidnap release
raids or "extraction" tactical operations in Nigeria. He has been shot at, but
never hit (to his knowledge), on two of these extraction flights. John has a
webpage which chronicles his activities --
-- When John signs his name, he writes the words "Red Green" after his name. The
colors are a behavior based safety management system that uses psychological
profiles to determine how someone will behave in any given circumstance. You do
the “test” and the outcome determines your profile and, to make the assessment
easier, it assigns you a color for others to better understand and be able to
deal with your particular quirks. Knowing how someone reacts to
certain situations helps them and the people who work with them to understand
how they can get hurt and how they can hurt others in a work situation with the
goal of preventing accidents and injuries. The idea is that, no matter how
bizarre someone appears or behaves, as long as you understand WHY they do what
they do, you can find ways to work with them… You can look up John's profile on
the Equilibria web site --
-- John explained to us that "Red Green" is a “Thinking Director,” amd
it is best to
not underestimate him.
- AN-2 shot down by Civilian helicopter (Air America, Laos)
On Jan. 12, 1968, as helicopter pilot Ted Moore watched in amazement, a
formation of North Vietnamese air force AN-2 Colt biplanes attacked a secret
U.S. Air Force radar base on a mountaintop in Laos. Two Russian-built biplanes
dropped mortars, fired rockets and strafed the field with machine-gun fire,
seeking to destroy a critical outpost in the U.S. air war against North Vietnam.
The painting by aviation artist Keith Woodcock, "An Air Combat First," depicts
the confrontation in 1968 in which two North Vietnamese aircraft crashed. To
Moore, who was in the air flying an Air America Bell helicopter -- a civilian
version of the UH-1 Huey -- the scene was reminiscent of a different time and
place. "It really did look like World War I," Moore, 68, recently recalled. "It
was a Red Baron type of attack." Moore was an Army helicopter pilot who had been
recruited to fly for Air America, a CIA-owned and operated proprietary that
supported intelligence agents and military personnel in Asia for more than 30
years during the Cold War. Site 85, a secret radar station 15 miles from the
North Vietnamese border atop one of the highest mountains in Laos, gave American
bombers the ability to attack in all weather, a critical capability during the
Rolling Thunder bombing campaign. Moore and his flight mechanic, Glenn Woods,
were on a mission delivering artillery ammunition in the area when they spotted
the drab-green biplanes attacking the base. Moore radioed a warning to agents on
the ground, but the attack killed several Hmong guerrillas defending the base.
Moore's helicopter was supposed to be unarmed, but Woods had packed a piece of
contraband -- an AK-47. "When Glenn told me he had an AK-47 with him, I decided
we'd make chase," Moore recalled. Moore said he never had a chance to ask Woods
why he was carrying the assault rifle, though it was not a huge surprise. "If
you go down and don't have a weapon, you're toast," Moore said. "Some of the
crew chiefs packed heavy." The Colts -- versatile, Russian-built biplanes first
flown in 1947 -- were faster than the helicopter, Moore said, but he gained on
the planes when they flew low and then tried to climb in the mountainous
terrain. "I closed on them and made a dive," Moore recalled. "I knew I had one
chance to get them, and if I missed, I was a goner." Woods fired the AK-47 from
the door of the Huey. One of the planes immediately crashed and burned, while a
second plane, also hit, flew on for several miles, then crashed into a ridge.
Moore and Woods thus had shot down fixed-wing aircraft from a helicopter -- "a
singular aerial victory in the entire history of the Vietnam war," according to
historian Timothy N. Castle, author of "One Day Too Long: Top Secret Site 85 and
the Bombing of North Vietnam." Moore was hauled before superiors and
interrogated, but after initial consternation his actions were commended. "I was
a little out of line in what I did," he recalled. Two months after the aerial
battle, Site 85 was destroyed and 12 U.S. Air Force personnel were killed during
a raid by North Vietnamese commandos. Woods died the following year in a
helicopter crash. Some 86 Air America personnel were killed in action, beginning
with flights over China, Korea and Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam, and continuing
through the Vietnam War, according to William Merrigan, 72, a McLean resident
who served as legal counsel for Air America from 1962 to 1975.
Lands on U.S.S. Forrestal
On October 1963, the U.S. Navy decided to try to land a Hercules on an aircraft
carrier. The four-engine C-130 with its bulky fuselage and 132-foot wing span in
moderately rough seas 500 miles out in the North Atlantic off the coast of
Boston became the largest and heaviest aircraft to ever land on an aircraft
carrier, a record that stands to this day. Lt. James H. Flatley III was the
pilot. The Navy was trying to find out whether they could use the Hercules as a
"Super COD" - a "Carrier Onboard Delivery" aircraft. The airplane then used for
such tasks was the Grumman C-1 Trader, a twin piston-engine bird with a limited
payload capacity and 300-mile range. If an aircraft carrier is operating in
mid-ocean, it has no "onboard delivery" system to fall back on and must come
nearer land before taking aboard even urgently needed items. The Hercules was
stable and reliable, with a long cruising range and capable of carrying large
payloads. The aircraft, a KC-130F refueler transport (BuNo 149798), on loan from
the U.S. Marines, was delivered on 8 October. Lockheed's only modifications to
the original plane included installing a smaller nose-landing gear orifice, an
improved anti-skid braking system, and removal of the underwing refueling pods.
"The big worry was whether we could meet the maximum sink rate of nine feet per
second," Flatley said. As it turned out, the Navy was amazed to find they were
able to better this mark by a substantial margin. In addition to Flatley, the
crew consisted of Lt.Cmdr. W.W. Stovall, copilot; ADR-1 E.F. Brennan, flight
engineer; and Lockheed engineering flight test pilot Ted H. Limmer, Jr. The
initial sea-born landings on 30 October 1963 were made into a 40-knot wind.
Altogether, the crew successfully negotiated 29 touch-and-go landings, 21
unarrested full-stop landings, and 21 unassisted takeoffs at gross weights of
85,000 pounds up to 121,000 pounds. At 85,000 pounds, the KC-130F came to a
complete stop within 267 feet, about twice the aircraft's wing span! The Navy
was delighted to discover that even with a maximum payload, the plane used only
745 feet for takeoff and 460 feet for landing roll. The short landing roll
resulted from close coordination between Flatley and Jerry Daugherty, the
carrier's landing signal officer. Daugherty, later to become a captain and
assigned to the Naval Air Systems Command, gave Flatley an engine "chop" while
still three or four feet off the deck. Lockheed's Ted Limmer, who checked out
fighter pilot Flatley in the C-130, stayed on for some of the initial
touch-and-go and full-stop landings. "The last landing I participated in, we
touched down about 150 feet from the end, stopped in 270 feet more and launched
from that position, using what was left of the deck. We still had a couple
hundred feet left when we lifted off. Admiral Brown was flabbergasted." The
plane's wingspan cleared the Forrestal's flight deck "island" control tower by
just under 15 feet as the plane roared down the deck on a specially painted
line. Lockheed's chief engineer, Art E. Flock was aboard to observe the testing.
"The sea was pretty big that day. I was up on the captain's bridge. I watched a
man on the ship's bow as that bow must have gone up and down 30 feet." The speed
of the shop was increased 10 knots to reduce yaw motion and to reduce wind
direction. Thus, when the plane landed, it had a 40 to 50 knot wind on the nose.
"That airplane stopped right opposite the captain's bridge," recalled Flock.
"There was cheering and laughing. There on the side of the fuselage, a big sign
had been painted on that said, "LOOK MA, NO HOOK." From the accumulated test
data, the Navy concluded that with the C-130 Hercules, it would be possible to
lift 25,000 pounds of cargo 2,500 miles and land it on a carrier. Even so, the
idea was considered a bit too risky for the C-130 and the Navy elected to use a
smaller COD aircraft. For his effort, the Navy awarded Flatley the Distinguished
SMITH SYSTEM OF
command, The Royal Order fully fully recognizes and approves the Smith System of
Defensive Driving with immediate effect (23sep2011). The Royal Order recognizes
that Defensive Driving applies not only to drivers, but to Bush Pilots as well.
Defensive driving prevents accidents.
The Smith System for Defensive
Driving employs five
basic principles. Each principle is designed to reduce the risks involved in
driving by teaching drivers to anticipate dangerous situations. By driving
defensively, traffic-related injuries are reduced, even in adverse weather
conditions. An important rule in defensive driving is anticipating other
drivers' errors, mistakes in judgment and/or carelessness. Aim High
"Aiming high in steering" is the first principle of the Smith System. A driver
who "aims high" looks far ahead and further than the drivers around him. Knowing
traffic conditions up ahead keeps a driver alert to possible slowdowns. A driver
who is aware of slowdowns or accidents can avoid rear-end collisions and warn
drivers behind him of slowdowns by tapping his brakes. Get the Big Picture
A driver who "gets the big picture" is aware of her surroundings at all times.
This principle teaches drivers to be aware of how closely they are being
followed and whether any driver nearby is driving erratically. Awareness of
these things allows a defensive driver to anticipate the mistakes of other
drivers and to position herself accordingly. Keep Your Eyes Moving
This principle of the Smith System asks defensive drivers to be more aware of
driving conditions and surroundings than other drivers on the road. Drivers who
keep their eyes moving constantly take account of traffic conditions, driver
behavior and road conditions. Leave Yourself an Out
The fourth principle of the Smith System is the "leave yourself an out"
principle. Drivers who leave themselves an out make sure they are not following
too closely in anticipation of slowdowns. Drivers who leave themselves an out
also avoid being surrounded by other drivers by choosing outside lanes. Make Sure They See You
The "make sure they see you" principle prevents possible accidents by making
others aware of their surroundings. Ways to make sure other drivers see you
include avoiding driving in another driver's blind spot and making use of
headlights, signal lights and horns.
Here we have the
Chief Counsel of The Royal Order in a Navy N3N demonstrating the correct use of
one's lips in a turn to the left.