We have all sent the new guy to the tool room to get a bucket of prop wash or 100 feet of flight line. But there are more elaborate pranks that still worked just fine.
The Voice Controlled Lite All
The NF2 portable floodlight is also universally known as a “Lite All”. They are used to provide lighting on the parking apron. In the old days, they were big enough that you could climb into one. Those big ones were replaced by smaller versions because of incidents where some airman climbed into one to get warm and died due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Our story has a happy ending.
George AFB about 1979 or 80. We pulled this on the new guy and I SWEAR it wasn’t me. The victim was told that they were to be trained on the operation of the Lite All.
“This is the NF2VC floodlight unit. This is how you turn it on. First you have to activate it.” Trainer flips a switch, in this case it was the control panel lighting switch. Nothing happens, but a light comes on.
“Now all you have to do is say in a nice loud voice, LITE ALL ON!”
At this point the co-conspirator inside the Lite All starts the motor and flips the lights on.
“LITE ALL OFF!” and the unit chugs to a stop.
“I KNEW THE AIR FORCE HAD COOL SHIT LIKE THIS!” screams the new guy.
We let the FNG try it a couple of times, pronounce him “trained” and walk off with a quiet chuckle.
Then it got better. The Swing Shift Expeditor comes on shift and starts driving the Expeditor Truck (a bread van). It’s getting close to sundown and wants the Lite All’s turned on. Our FNG volunteers. After twenty minutes or so the Expeditor sees that none of the lights are on so he tracks down the FNG. As he rolls up, the FNG is standing next to a Lite All screaming, “LITE ALL ON GOD DAMMIT!” The NCO says, “What are you a retard? Get in the fucking truck”. At this point we’re in the back of the van laughing our asses off.
THIS ONE WAS ME
Hahn AB, 1985- I report in and after meeting the Flight Chief, Msgt Ron “The Mad Russian” Krevico. He tells me to go out to the expeditor truck and meet the troops. I get in the back of the Mercedes van and there are a few folks hanging out. It went like this.
Me: “Hi, I’m Walt what’s your name?”
Me: “Hi Mike glad to meet you.”
“And what is your name?”
I demand to see the next guy’s line badge and he hands it to me saying, “I’m Mike too”.
Over the years we pulled this a couple of times. Along with the Mikes, we also had a set of Bobs and Jims.