I was a member of the Arizona Air National Guard in 1953. My previous flying experience included lots of P-47 and P-51 time. To add to that, we had been flying
T -33s to get a bit of JET flying time! Guessing, I would say I had maybe 10 to 12 hours in the T-33.
The checkout procedure for the F-86A was not much in those days. There was maybe a lecture or two, a cockpit check, and then off into the wild blue yonder. It did not seem to be that difficult, and my first flight went off without a hitch. My second flight, though, is the one I want to mention.
I was flying over Phoenix at maybe 25,000 feet. straight and level, when I got into a "control problem". The plane wanted to fly with the right wing low, and there was not much I could do to correct it. We had an officer on runway control, and of course the tower was in operation, with both on the same frequency. I called "Copper Mobile" stating I was having flight control problems. The response was quick. "Go through your checklist on flight control failure!" I knew 1 had a checklist in my flying suit, but I had never looked at it! Furthermore, I was not about to dig it out and study it in the middle of an emergency!
I called Copper Mobile and said. "Could you read the checklist off so I don't make a mistake?" The kind man in the control jeep did in fact read the checklist items. I soon landed the fast craft without incident. I was instructed to turn off the end of the runway. park, and shut down. My commander, Major Donald Morris, who was always gracious and no doubt heard all the transmissions, came up to my cockpit while 1 was unstrapping.
"Ed, nice landing!", he said. "There were no doubts about the procedures in the checklist. were there?"
"Oh no," I replied, "1 just wanted to be sure I made no mistakesin handling the problem!"
As the years went by, things changed considerably. Tech reps came to the squadrons and gave specific lectures on the various svstems in the aircraft. We not only had a checklist that stated exactly how to handle problems, but we were THOROUGHLY TESTED ON ALL OF IT before we went up and flew!
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