"One Time Flight"
"One Time Flight"
Submitted by - Specialist Victor Hikok, PMOS 67B20, 219th Pleiku
Anyone in Army Aviation (crew Chief, Mechanic, Tech Inspector, Aviator) knows what the dreaded "Circle Red X" means to the flying capability of an aircraft! And for those who may have forgotten, it means that the aircraft can only go on a restricted, one time flight!!
During my tour of duty at Pleiku (Camp Holloway )in 1966, I had the opportunity to go TDY (Temporary Duty) to a town (?) called Gia Hghia where one Army and one Air Force O-1 were stationed.
We received word that a major offensive was being mounted against our area in a few short hours!! We had the cowling (both upper and lower) off the Bird Dog, for maintenance, and had to make a rapid departure for safety back to Camp Holloway. The only way to do that was throw the cowling on the aircraft, secure it with a few screws and the latches on both sides of the cowling, then the mighty 100 mile per hour tape (Duct Tape) was wrapped around and around the cowling to hold it together. The decision to make the aircraft a circle red X was made and we flew that aircraft back to Camp Holloway in that manner. Of course, as soon as we shut down the aircraft at Camp Holloway, it became a Red X condition (Not Flyable) but we were safe from Harms way, once again!
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