Ponch July BoB

  July has been typically hot, Gas prices are ridicules so We sit at home, watch way to much TV and sweat.  I have been busy in the garage on my Sisyphean quest to own a large dobsonian telescope.  The attached pics show the progress so far.

It’s been allot of fun, and stress relief, except for the dollar usage that keeps the wife agitated.  Oh well that’s hobbies.

I am sickened by the loss of the B-52 in Guam.  I knew Chris Cooper.  Met him at the 11th after he returned from an ALO tour.  I talked to him about his experiences as ALO and shared mine with him.  He had served in Iraq and Afghanistan on the ground and had some great stories and had contributed greatly to the effort there. He was a decent folk.  I had heard much before he came back about him from Bartels.  Seems that B2 had nothing but bad to say about him as a student.  I had heard that the 20th BS had problems with him and sent him to ALO as a co-pilot.  I don’t remember flying with him at the 11th and I don’t remember any bad reports on his performance or who his instructors where. But I suspect that if he was having trouble again , that the mess that the 11th turned into probably masked it.  Also I  suspect  that B2 wasn’t the right instructor for him.  He was B2’s only student as a Buff IP, and Brian spent most of his flying career in T-38’s .

Alas we all used to joke about how it was wise to sell your property under the flight path because of the upheaval in the training at Barksdale and the lack of attention to what was right and earned through years of trail, error and blood.  I don’t think we truly meant it though.  I enjoyed living under the traffic pattern and loved to watch the Buffs fly.

I believe that this accident, the nuke buffoonery the fratricide in Africa, the accidental bombing of the dam ect. ect. are all related to the same problem.  Some how, some where the focus of leadership turned from getting the job done to getting promoted.  Oh I guess there were always people who thought that there personnel glory was more important than service to your country and to the pride of being the best aviators on the planet. However the ones who did serve always outnumbered the goons and were able to overcome the stupidity.

How many of us experienced ORI’s were the stupidity would get so bad everyone was sure that a bust was imminent.  Then the ‘crew dogs” would get an chance to do what they did best…fly. Then all was good and the celebration was on. The physics of flying is pure…you get it right or you get dead.  You can’t bulls**t your way past the laws of nature.  That is part of why we as a group (aviators) were so harsh an had the sharpest criticism for those who tried to be part of us and didn’t have the skills.  In times of stupidity the crew dog was always the one who straightened it out and made it work.

Who was it that tried to explain this in one of the stupid meetings at the 11th?  Can’t remember his name only his face.  He stood up in the meeting and declared “ You can’t feed me a s**t sandwich and then accuse me of having bad breath!”   He also relayed a story about how they got a screwed up mission to Diego,  to attack Iraq.  He relayed that everything about the plan and the leadership was bad.  But because of the training and the fortitude of the Buff crew concept that the crew dogs made it work spectacularly. Of course what he was speaking out against was the willful destruction of the crew concept by those who felt they knew better then the thousands that came before.

There were others who spoke out too…Jim Blackwood, John-boy most notably.    Alas this we have all vented about before to no avail… now the damage is done.  Well more to come on this subject as the accident report comes out.

Cheers

Ponch

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