Boomer's F-15 Flight

"Boomer" was a boom operator for air-to-air refueling while serving with the USAF. Now living in Guam with his 20 dogs and wife of 40 years, Boomer is a main dorfworld supplier of jokes and humorous cartoons. A rabid Packer fan, he can frequently be found on various message boards mixing it up with trash-talking punks from rival teams.

dorfworld.net salutes Boomer for his service to country, his 20 dogs, favorite wife (Keiko) and to the GREEN BAY PACKERS.

Here is one of his favorite stories:

 

Subject: One more pic...

While I'm at it, may as well send one more...this one taken in December 1984 when I was "rewarded" by being allowed to fly an F-15 mission. One hour and one of the real kicks in the butt. Let me tell ya. Down the runway, leveled at about 50 feet for a bit then nose straight up and out of sight in no time. The F-15 can break the speed of sound going straight up. Tho we didn't exactly do that, we busted 20,000 feet so fast you wouldn't believe it. Watched the island of Guam shrink below me in the rear view mirror.

A younger and skinnier "Boomer" poses in front of his ride

Went into a dogfight for about ten minutes with another F-15, we in trail first, then in the lead being chased. From the rear it looks like we were right in the other guy's tail pipe. Every imagineable attitude you can think of...upside down, sideway, straight up, then straight down. Had the distinct feeling the aircraft was completely out of control (it wasn't).

After that we topped 50,000 feet (space suit altitude just about). I had been to 48,000 in a tanker and even then it was extremely eerie at that altitude. About the limit for a tanker and besides you can't exceed 50,000 without a pressure suit anyways. And...thank God for one of those when flying a fighter. Hate to think what it would be like pulling those G's without it. It literally holds you together and allows the blood to flow inside your body.

The pilot turned the aircraft over to me with the normal "It's your aircraft". I said OK, grabbed the stick (big mistake) and immediately dumped us on our side. He laughed and said something to the effect that this isn't a tanker, pretend you're holding a pen when you fly this thing. It's fly-by-wire...now I know what they mean. So he gave me the airplane back and within a short time I got the feel of it---After a lot of wallowing trying to stay level.

Once I got the feel I climbed some and flew the airplane north 100 miles to Saipan where we descended to less than 5,000 feet and did figure 8's around the island. Am I catching on? You bet. It was so easy as to be unreal. Climbed back out and headed back for Guam.

Pilot took the airplane back and said "This is a jet fighter and fighters are supposed to go fast." With that he shoved the throttle up and I'm telling you we literally jumped forward. Amazing acceleration, really plants your back to the back of the seat. Back at Guam we did some low approaches over the runway and those damn pitch-outs...these really got my neck. My helmet felt like it weighed about 100 pounds and I thought my neck was going to break. I finally surrendered and said I'd had enough fighter time for one day.

I realized how great these pilots are and their job isn't all that easy. And the capabilities are aerospace. With the gadgets and the displays etc. available, not to mention the weapons available, hell you don't even need to see the enemy. He's dead and doesn't even know it yet. And consider the F-15 is kind of an "old" aircraft now. Imagine what is on the F-117 or the newer ones being developed to replace even that one. Somewhere in the desert in Nevada is some kind of aircraft that we'd think of as sci-fi stuff...right now.

I ached for a week after that. During the initial climb-out the FAA guys were telling the pilot that they'd buy him a case of beer if they got Adams sick. I didn't get sick, but there were a few moments when I'd have loved to puked. The Polack in me carried me thru tho. One of the FAA guys, a private pilot and a long time personal friend, has always been envious of my flight that day. Whenever F-15 comes up he reminds me too.

Back on the ground and completely awed I realized another thing. I'm a Tanker Toad at heart. One reason is I like to get up and move around to keep the blood circulating, have a cup of coffee, eat some popcorn, take a dump (naw, never did that inflight), go in the back and look out the windows at the clouds to relax...and get away from the guys in front for awhile. Read a book, smoke a cigarette (back in the days when I smoked) and just generally loosen up. And yak with the passengers, if we had'em. Yep, Tanker Toad is fine with me.

 

 

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About the top banner:
Well call this guy "Mr T". I dared T to plank our bosses desk and he was dumb enough to do it.

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