HISTORY - ACCOUNTS - Bob Foley|
How low can you go?
While the squadron was deployed to Iwakuni in 77-78 air crews had the occasional
chance to get a weekend x-country to Korea (ok), Okinawa (good), or the PI
On one such weekend, our two plane made it to Cubi Point, I guess on Friday
afternoon. On Saturday it seemed like a great opportunity to fly a low level
(very low level) navigation training flight.
I guess everyone involved knows who the crews were so the names are not
Anyway, as we headed back to Iwakuni on Sunday afternoon, we landed at Kadena to
refuel and have the planes given a once over by the small maintenance detachment
we had semi-permanently stationed at Kadena.
When we went back out to the flight line after filing, the ground crew was quite
excited to show us the leaves they were finding, kind of wedged into the
sidewinder rails where they bolt up to the inboard wing pylons. As I recall
that's 5-6 feet away from the intake and maybe a foot and a half under the
bottom side of the wings.
The crew was good about loosening up the bolts so we could get the well wedged
leaves out of the pylons. (And not documenting that maintenance event)
I knew we were a 'bit' low over the trees which were on some sort of farm or
plantation. They were all very neatly aligned and growing in a nice, orderly
fashion on what seemed like miles of rolling, undulating hills. This was
somewhere south of Cubi: exactly where I don't recall.
I know the story floated around but never made it back to higher ups (at least
no one ever said anything during the deployment)
I guess this was about as low as an F-4 will go without landing.
And it says a lot about the integrity and loyalty of the Marines with whom we
served, and kept our Phantoms flying.