Friday, June 20, 2008

B-47 vs. Milk Man

I sent an info request about Exercise Coulee Crest to the AFHRA. I asked them for any information they could provide on the exercise. I thought they had forgotten about me, but about a week and a half later I got an email saying they had received my letter and that they were working on my request and it might be a few weeks due to their back log. But, the person added, they DO have a lot of information on Exercise Coulee Crest.

I am happy about that.

Now, I present a short summary of a story written by Major John P. Noonan. There was a B-47 on a training flight. The pilot lamented that there was no “weather” to fly through so he could get some IFR time. The Navigator in the nose thought this a tragedy and held the milk carton from his flight lunch up to the periscope sextant port, where he difference in pressure between the cabin and the high altitude of the aircraft sucked the milk out of the carton. It lit upon the windshield and froze. They had a good laugh about it, since now the pilot needed to use IFR to fly the aircraft, but then the milk would not go away. It would be embarrassing and possibly detrimental to some careers were this to get to Brass. They were running low on gas when someone suggested a rain shower. The pilot called control and asked to be vectored THROUGH a rain shower. This was an odd request and piqued controls’ curiosity. He gave them a vector, but the rain quit before they got there. Then he asked again for a nearby shower. This time, they got one. It successfully rinsed off the milk. “thanks approach!”

Approach said, “By the way, why did you want to be vectored INTO a shower?”

“To wash the milk off the windshield approach control.” The pilot said.

“Say again?”

“Milk.”

Approach asked how that happened. Not wanting to say anything over the air that might get them in trouble, he said, “We hit a cow, Approach.”

I got this from the book Boeing B-47 Stratojet: True Stories of the Cold War in the Air by Mark Natola. I recommend it!