Roberts, Nail 38, 23D TASS 72-73
was taking-off from NKP on a regular combat sortie with the usual complement
of stores (rockets and the centerline tank) and a new guy in the back seat.
say the OV-10 was staggering
off the runway with this load on a regular basis would be a true statement.
The Dash-1 states something to the effect that loss of a main landing
gear tire just prior to rotation always resulted in the aircraft immediately
departing the runway and then other associated bad things usually happening
and that consideration of ejection
might be a good option. Hey, they
were right! Just prior to the
magic “125 knots” for rotation I lost my right main gear/tire with the
resulting immediate departure from the runway
and the aircraft turning into a 0V (off road vehicle) which is “numbah
ten” if your fanny is in it!
was so busy trying to miss the BAC-9 shack and other assorted hazards I never
even thought of anything other than getting the plane back on the runway!
After being “in the weeds” for approx. 1500 feet, I finally got the
airplane back on the active, stopped, and shut down the engines.
We both got out of the bird and took stock of the situation.
Aside from both being scared shitless and forgetting to pin our
respective seats, everything was OK except the right main gear/hub had seen
better days. I asked the back
seat new guy if he had considered jumping-out and he said he had “just held
on” for the duration. Although
I would like to attribute
this “save” to extreme skill and airmanship, I’ll have to give it a 2
for skill and the remaining 8 for blind luck! They came out and placed a dolly
under what was left of the right main and towed it off to maintenance – it
flew again the next day (so did I).
Later in the year, this again happened to a Rustic FAC taking-off from Phnom
Penh in Cambodia. He departed the
active as advertised in the Dash-1 but was faced with a large ditch
approaching from his 12 o’clock. He
punched-out, and after successfully ejecting, walked over to the bird that had
mired in the mud just short of the ditch, and shut down the engines.
The sum total result was that maintenance flew-in a new canopy;
ejection seat and hub/tire, fixed the aircraft and one of the guys flew it
back to Ubon.
(Ed. Note The Rustic Jumper was Rick Scaling Rustic 09..his story is told by Mark Berent in the Rustic Section)
Guys...please send me your story. I will edit and return to you for approval...then send on to Al who is compiling all the new stories which we will eventually publish like the Mistys did.