Backward..Whoa!!!

by Bob Gould

    Back in probably the late '60s or early '70s, I was on a SEL turnaround as F/O.  I think it was a 707 freighter.  They pushed us back at SEL, and as we were moving back, the ground guy frantically yelled something at us on the intercom.  It was not understandable, so I asked them to repeat.  After a couple of tries, they screamed STOP!  Apparently they had disconnected us from the towbar without telling us (in any comprehensible way) to set the brakes, nor did they get a confirmation of Brakes Set, since we never set them.  In the meantime, the airplane was happily rolling backward across the ramp to who knows where, with a frantic Korean mechanic running after us tethered by his headset frantically trying to tell us to set the brakes.  We did stop in time, and all was well, except for the poor guy on the ground thinking of what might have been.

“I learned about flying from that.

 

Friends and Colleagues

In the era of my Air Force service I was assigned to a MATS Troop Carrier Sqd. in the South Caroline and Georgia. MATS (Military Air Transport Service) or (Midnight Air Trucking Service) ( + other unprintable definitions) published an excellent publication called the MATS FLYER. I have to hand it MATS for having the wisdom to distribute an ‘in house’ publication that was both humorous and self-effacing. Included in the MATS FLYER was a section termed, “I learned about flying from that.” These ‘Oh *hit’ experiences were indeed worthy reads. In a similar context I am forwarding unique aviator stories to you that have been submitted by your colleagues. There are all intended for your amusement and not intended to deride anyone.