They are rewards for a job well done. In 1979 I was named Wing Crew Chief of the Month and got to fly in a F-4 Phantom II. Ten years later, I got a Ride in a F-16. You can do your whole career and not get a single ride. Celebrities get rides all the time. This next one blows my mind. James May , host of the automotive TV show “Top Gear” gets a ride in the U-2. Wow!
Putin continues to put Bears in the air. Harkening back to the good ol’ days when we were armed to the teeth waiting for the U.S.S.R. to attack us. As the Christmas Season is upon us it reminds me of a TDY back in 1979.
I was stationed at George AFB and was crewing F-4C’s. We were tasked to go to Duluth Minnesota and relieve the Guard so that they could spend the holidays with the kiddies.
As it happened we got a real world scramble and sent two Phantoms aloft. After an hour or so they came back and as I parked the jet I noticed an AIM-9 Sidewinder missing and alot of black soot on the empty rail.
The pilot came off the ladder. Turned and gave me a thumbs up and said:
“Smoked that fucker”.
He and his GIB got immediately into a staff car and were never seen again.