Thursday, May 3, 2018

Really Low


  1. Oh! I had noticed a sign in southwestern Colorado similar to this one. it was at the top of a low ridge line on a county road. the year was 1972. the shrubs and grasses along the roadway were windblown. as i sat there looking at this curious sign(which is usually found near the approach end of a runway) all was peaceful on that fine spring morning. as i was reaching for my thermos of warm coffee, my pickup was violently rocked and dust and whatnot filled the air which was filled with the smell and smoke of huge amounts of burnt kerosene. frightened we almost witless.
    i looked westward in time to see the ass end of a B-52 humping over the next ridge line with engines screaming and enough smoke to alert the fire crews. altitude at roughly twice the wingspan. Holy crap on a cracker.
    Word of advice. do not take a coffee break on the side of the road while in the flight path of an oil burner route. practice makes perfect?

  2. Some years ago there was a low level route the buffs used to fly called IR 300. It started up by Lakeview, Ore and flew southeast across the Black Rock Desert, hung a left and headed for the exit up at Wilder bombplot, in Wilder, Idaho. It was about an hour in length. It was one of the better routes for training for night mountainous terrain. Some nice flat peaks just at the entrance to calibrate the terrain avoidance set and then from there on it was as low as pilot skill and as the radar navigator could stand. (His ejection seat went downwards so this was of a concern to him.) At the time, the thought was radar avoidance and nobody would know you were coming. Problem was that if you flew low enough you'd pull a tremendous rooster cloud of dust up behind you literally for miles.

    1. Must have been awe-inspiring to witness that close up (but not too close). Nearest I ever got to something like that was lying on the end of the runway at Dallas Love Field at night a couple of times. I grew up close to there, and we'd ride our bikes to the fence, hop over it and lie on the concrete at the end of the runway's approach end. 1960's airport security wasn't very tight!

  3. Was doing the boating thing at Lake Powell many years ago during my misspent youth with some other neer-do-well folks. We heard some very loud noises coming down the canyon from behind us. Lo and behold, two dark green BUFFs were coming in at low level a few hundred feet above the rim. Of course, our lady friends, feeling patriotic, popped their tops and waved as they flew by. Hoped the lads had their sensor cameras activated that day. I'd loved to have been at their post-flight debrief to hear their reports.....