By lex, on November 17th, 2009
Taking it to the stars *:
- Commander Charles Hobaugh, a Marine Corps colonel who’s making his third shuttle flight but his first as skipper…
- Marine Corps Lt. Col. Randolph Bresnik, 42, who’s from Santa Monica, Calif…
- Pilot Barry “Butch” Wilmore, 46, a Navy captain from Mount Juliet, Tenn…
- Michael Foreman, 52, a retired Navy captain from Wadsworth, Ohio. He was a naval aviator, test pilot and flight instructor before becoming an astronaut in 1998…
Plus a couple of civilian guys.
Scorch Hobaugh was a student of mine when I was an instructor in the mighty T-2C Thunder Buckeye, your host a bright and shiny-eyed Lieutenant Junior Grade up front with maybe 500 hours total time, and hizzoner in the trunk as a young but capable 2LT with a gret deal less flight time than that. It was a hastily thrown together hurricane evacuation which we were directed to turn into a training cross-country, just get out of here quickly and why are you still standing around? Sandy Eggo was our ultimate destination, with its blue skies, clement weather and proliferation of Christian Science Reading Rooms, so due to the lateness of the day we filed to Sheppard AFB in North Texas for our first overnight stop. Because of the nurses that were in it.
(You could tell that there were nurses in it, for the field had been NOTAM’d “NDB out of service.” This obscure citation on the notices to airmen was in fact a widely recognized code meaning that the USAF nursing school was graduating a class who would, history being any guide, celebrate their new achievements liberally. Sheppard being an air base that didn’t have a non-directional beacon.)
Alas, Sheppard ended up being weathered in, so – thankfully fat on gas but thin on nurses – we proceeded to Chuck’s pre-filed alternate at NAS Dallas. As we reached the initial approach fix at 2100 and commenced our penetration we were somberly informed by the air traffic controller that Navy Dallas was closed.
Me: “Chuck, I thought you said that Dallas was open until 2200?”
Chuck: ” ”
Air Traffic Control: “State your intentions.”
Me: “We’re open to suggestions.”
Ended up landing at Randolph AFB, and celebrating life with the locals at the O’Club until so late that it had become early again.
Kids, they grow up.
All of ‘em.
* 09-21-2018 Link Gone; no replacements found – Ed.