QUOTE(Ranger @ Jun 14 2006, 12:40 PM)
Hey, AirRabbit! I remember the Tweet. The first time I heard one running was at Da Nang, Vietnam. There was a neat little Chinese restaurant located at Gunfighter Village on the US air force base at Da Nang. When my C.O. was benevolent enough to give a few of us a day off we'd sneak over there for a good meal. You air force guys really know how to live. Is it true that they build the golf course first and then see if there's money left over for runways, hangers, etc. when they build air force bases? But, I digress. Anyway, that restaurant was located right along the flight line and we would occasionally see, and more obviously, HEAR the Tweets taxiing around. They were flown by Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) guys.
One of the last ground missions that I ran involved the use of VNAF Tweets. We sort of accidently walked into a very large NVA base camp. All 6 of us. After my point man pointed this out to me, we very carefully backed out of it. Long story short, we got away as fast as we thought we could and positioned ourselves on a ridgeline across from that camp. The next day we were sent a US air force FAC (forward air controller) and two flights of VNAF Tweets to bomb that camp. Now, you have to remember that the camp was geographically large. About 500 meters by 1,000 meters. Anyway, the first Tweet makes his bomb run. We see the bombs come off of the racks. We wait. And wait. Finally, we hear this faint "boom" as the bombs miss the entire front face of the mountain and land on the backside. No biggie, we have more airplanes and bombs. Second run, faint boom. Out of 8 jets we got 3 to hit anywhere on that base camp. And then brigade wanted us to walk back in and do a BDA. We basically told them not a chance and walked straight away from probably a division of very irritated and very much alive NVA regulars. I'm convinced that the noise made by the Tweets scared 'em a lot more than those bombs that kept on missing.
Thanks, Ranger! I needed a chuckle today! I expect that there are several similar stories about the "Vietnamization" effort ... but that's a whole
I KNOW there are stories like that involving "foreign" military ... back "in the day” it was with the Iranians (yes, I know, but...) anyway ... the MLG on theTweet were quite far apart ... VERY WIDE ... and you taxied it with rudder pedal steering via an engagement button on the stick … conveniently found right under the ring finger of your right hand when you had hold of the stick. One day, on returning to the traffic pattern, an Iranian student found a pretty stout cross-wind, and went around, twice. Finally the RSU (Runway Supervisory Unit - they actually controlled the runways, not the tower) got another Iranian student in the RSU cab at the approach end of the runway to "talk" to his countryman in his own language. They finally talked him down ... actually, he made a pretty decent approach, and landed almost in the center of the runway ... but he began to drift downwind toward the edge of the runway. He was advised by his fellow-countryman-student-translator, "aileron into the wind, aileron into the wind," followed by "keep the nose straight, keep it straight." One could imagine the kid with almost full cross control in the airplane ... right aileron and left rudder. Then came the critical advice …"use rudder steering." So when the lad engaged the nosewheel steering switch on the stick and had all that left rudder applied, that Tweet almost did a wingover; a very SHARP left hand turn; almost 90 degrees to the runway; and plowed a new path to the parallel runway ... he forgot to pull the power off!
But that wasn’t’ as bad as the one who, after executing a decent T&G, was reminded to clear on both sides of the airplane after getting airborne again, and he did. But he forgot to disengage his head from his arm. Looking back over his left shoulder, almost turning around in the seat, he brought his right shoulder and right arm through the “left / aft” movement at the same time, allowed the lad to roll left, to almost inverted, and pulled straight into the ground – from about 150 feet. OUCH!
I could go on, but someone is likely to think I’m being prejudicial … and, they would be right.