Afraid to Bail Out?

I answered this question on quora.com and it’s been pretty popular. So I include it here. Are USAF Pilots Afraid to Eject from the Aircraft? I’ll speak from my own experience in the F-111, which is unique in that the entire cockpit separates from the jet and the Pilot and Weapons Systems Operator, who sit…

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Stick Time in the P-51

WHEN THIS LIFE IS OVER, AMID THE GREAT THINGS YOU’VE DONE WILL YOU HAVE STICK TIME IN THE P-51? www.collingsfoundation.org My P-51 pilot’s name was Jim. A lot of pilots are named “Jim”. I know this because for some reason I’ve flown with a lot of pilots named, “Jim”. It’s a good name for a…

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BIRDS OF A FEATHER

Quick weekend trip to the Cedar Mesa area of Bears Ears Nat’l Monument with my daughter Val, her husband Rich, and their four kids. I’m 10 weeks out of back surgery and hoping my Dr will clear me to do what I did when I see him this Friday. I did stay away from their…

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Ornithology or Ontology?

Ornithology or Ontology? Wandering Robber’s Roost on my own one day I had an experience that, as I write about it almost 20 years later, eulogizes my contribution to our earthly existence: Here Lies Johnson Clarifier Of  All The Things He Never Did Understand Allow Me To Clarify: Wandering Robber’s Roost on my own one day,…

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FLYING LOW, FLYING FAST

FLYING LOW, FLYING FAST I flew a number of aircraft during my 24-year career in U.S. Air Force and the Utah Air National Guard. Specifically, that number is four. Two were training aircraft, the T-37 and the AT-38B. Third was the F-111 “Aardvark” and #4 was the KC-135 Stratotanker. I was not a military pilot….

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UPPER BLACK BOX, SAN RAFAEL RIVER

UPPER BLACK BOX, SAN RAFAEL RIVER, 1995ish “No good country over there, little water, don’t run far. Rocky”. – Chief Wakara, Timpanogots Utes Tribe. David and Nate, my brother-in-law Jeff, and I hoisted our kayaks and gear onto our shoulders and walked down a wash of sand and rock. There was no water. Didn’t even…

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Imperial Canyon

Imperial Canyon, Utah, Spring 1968 A lot hung in the balance in 1968. On one hand, North Korea captured the USS Pueblo. North Vietnam launched the Tet Offensive. Several of our cities were torn by rioting. And Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were both assassinated. “And that’s the way it is,” Walter…

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SAMMY IN SIXTH WATER

SAMMY IN SIXTH WATER It was the late eighties. The decade’s earlier floods had subsided but even then, Utahns were still running away from water rather than praying for it. BuRec was diverting a lot of Spring run-off into the Great Basin via the Diamond Fork System of the Central Utah Project. New creeks had…

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