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|Cruising out over the Pacific Ocean just off Big Sur (Kite - W-285) not long after getting back from Tyndall AFB in early 1982. After getting back from RTU, the senior guys would fly with you a few times just to make sure you weren't too dangerous. On one of my first flights with "Bo" I was doing a stern with him at 2000' and got a front contact at 12 miles. With the active duty jets at Tyndall you were lucky to find your target at 6 miles or even after you came around the corner. I knew then that I was going to get to fly some amazing airplanes. I understand that the avionics shop would re-solder the circuit boards with gold which improved the connections and conductivity. We had radars with exceptional reliability and performance.||Here's a picture that was taken for, but not used in the 35th Squadron Anniversary Yearbook. When I was at Tyndall for F-106 school a couple of classmates and I went over to the Officers Club for lunch. It was pretty busy and not too many seats left except for a general sitting by himself. It was Pat Marckesano. He saw me and called out "Hey Ron." I waved back and called back "Hey Pat!" The place went quiet like an E.F. Hutton commercial. It was bad enough that a butterbar was flying an F-106, but the Guard guys had no respect for rank either. I remember back then when we had a strong Guard staffed National Guard Bureau and our attitude was "Sorry, doesn't apply - we're in the Guard."||Frank Brown, from Ops went out with me to take some pictures when I had been back from Tyndall AFB about a year.|
|On my very first x-country I was #4 with JAD Dennis, Jamie Mackay and Al Heers. We took off for Hill AFB late one afternoon. It was crappy weather and nightime. I got lost on the radio twice and they had to come and get me on Guard. I didn't know to meet up on CH. 2 if I got lost. We spent the first night in the Qs and then Howdy and I spent Sat. night with his folks. Saturday we did some 2v2 and on Sunday Howdy and I did some intercepts for a Mobile TAC Radar Unit and then headed home low altitude all the way. We flattened a herd of cows somewhere over western Utah or eastern Nevada.||If the F-16 Fighting Falcon is a Formula One - then the F-106 was the Caddy. It was extremely comfortable and stable. We would cruise at 49,000 feet and .93 Mach. If you were in a hurry you could push it up to .98 Mach. When the F-15 guys got all excited about getting Data Link we would just smile knowing that we had it 20 yrs. earlier. You could couple the Data Link up to the Autopilot and let the controller fly you around. All you had to do was lock on, hold the trigger down and wait for the MA-1 and Data Link or Auto Pilot to do its thing. You could also couple the ILS to the Autopilot. Take-off and land around 190 kts. Remember the TSD? (Tactical Situation Display) And it had the biggest ADI I've ever seen! And taped instruments no less. Way ahead of its time!||AIM-4F and AIM-4G missles were actually "Hittiles." They didn't have proximity fuses and actually had to impact the target. The fuses were in the fins. They were not all that accurate so they fired two at a time and hoped for the best. We always fired the AIM-9 first. The AIR-2A Genie was a nuclear tipped rocket that would do 3.3 Mach on top of whatever Mach you were doing. Potentially going up to 5.5 Mach since the Dart was rated at 2.3 Mach. The motor would fire when the firing wire was pulled out after the Genie dropped out of the missle bay. Simple - but it worked. Don't blink or you'll miss it! With good winds you could make Tyndall AFB in one hop. Willy Benton and I once took off from Fresno, went out to Kite, did one Fly-up each and RTB'd to Luke. We hit the pattern just after the external tanks went dry. Still too heavy to land so we had to burn up the pattern for a while before landing.|
|As a new Dart driver it's just about mandatory to see how high you could get in the jet. I manged to zoom up to 63,000 feet once. The airspeed tape doesn't register anything under 80 kts. so I don't know my speed. Had to be kind of careful on the controls and hope that the engine didn't flame out. Lose the pressurization up there and, well, you know... Didn't feel the need to temp fate again. Been there, done that! BFM started at FL300 and ended at 10 grand. It was downhill all the way.||Cool visor cover! Yeah, it was a hand-me-down. Willy gave it to me when he bought a custom helmet. Cool is cool no matter where it comes from.||Ron "Aileron" Yelton, Tom Bennett and Randy "Bushhog" Bushore getting ready for a flight. Once when flying with Tom as lead of a four-ship the other three of us had gone out early and were sitting under the jets just waiting for lead to show up. We saw him walk out and the next thing we know he's cranking up and we had to scramble to catch up. Some of the the old guard thought it was an insult to the crew chief to do a walk-around. Tom tried to get me out of the habit of checking the fuel tank quantity and balance frequently. He said it would either work or not. Hmmm.|
|I love this picture of Jim "B.O.B." Mcnab. You can actually see the mischief just begging to be let out. I keep wondering what he's going to do with that thumb :) Jim has the most infectious laugh I've ever heard, and how can you not smile in an F-106? Where his callsign came from is one of the great mysteries of the Universe. Only a few are still around to tell the tale. We may never know the truth :)||Carol and I bought Larry Baker's house on Maple Ave. Before we bought it Bob Yelton, Pam McCarger and Danny Cerna lived there. When the jets were taking-off on 11L and the afterburners lit off you could actually see the windows flex. It was a "hard" light. When they were in the final turn they went right over the house and you could tell who was flying by the color of their helmet.||The afterburner was a "hard" light. The nozzle only opened from the pressure after the ligh-off. That would give you a real kick in the pants on take-off. It was even better doing LOWAT and hitting the burner at 400+ - it would literally throw you back in the seat. "Whoa boy, wait for me."|
|That's me Landing.||Here's a nice shot of a formation take-off from the tower. Check out the old Marine Alert Area in the background. That's where the cannon that used to be in front of the hanger came from. The Marines should have nailed it down if they really wanted to keep it :) It was "borrowed" by some of the squadron pilots. The field behind the row of trees is now fully developed and Peach Ave. has been re-routed. Too bad - up on the high bank corner was a fantastic place to watch the planes take off and land.||Another tower shot. Everyone always needed to log formation approaches. It wasn't unusual to swing by NAS Lemoore on the way home and do a three-ship or four-ship PAR approach. Everybody then got to log one.|
I've always found the lines on the F-106 to be fantastic - especially nose-on.
Willy and I took a x-country to Luke to do a low level route. We got started on the first leg and had to take a detour due to a thunderstorm on the route. After trying to find the route again down in the weeds we cancelled with ABQ and routed around looking for it again heading generally south. We figured we'd better head north again after the dwellings we encountered started looking distinctly hispanic :) We worked our way north for a while and turned west, popped over a hill and found ourselves looking at Tucson. We were under the TCA. Not good. Headed north again and then west right over a series of rectangular areas (Titan Missile silos). After about two hrs. of clipping the tops off of cacti we decided to find our way back to Luke. Popped up to 12.5 over Gila Bend to get an IFR clearance. Center said we were right in the middle of a gaggle of gliders. A few zipped right by us. Got back to Luke and a straight-in approach was good enough for me at that point. That was one of my most memorable F-106 flights ever. What a blast that airplane was at low level. Thanks, Willy!
|Tell me this isn't a sweet look!||Was flying one day with SQ. C.O. Paul "PC" Carrol. He got delayed and I went off solo. When I got to Kite the controller told me to turn right. I started to push the stick over and the jet went left instead. I corrected back but kept getting uncommanded inputs. I declared an emergency and headed home. PC joined up on me and we did a controllability check at 10,000'. Coming down final Paul told me to bailout if it got squirrely again. Said we could always get another jet. Landed OK. Later that day the hydraulic guys showed me the fluid. The primary hyd pump had failed internally and the copper shavings in the fluid were contaminating the elevon actuators. They said I had about five minutes maximum flying time left before they seized up completely. Just another day at work :) I have to say that we had absolutely the finest aircraft maint. guys in the world. Jets and machines break but just think of the millions of hours of flight time they've produced without mishap.|
|Paul "Nibes" Nibur||Bob "Grinder" Hervatine. Air Tech., and all around great guy heading out for a jog. Bob finished out his career as out Chief of Stan Eval.||For the last six months or so before we transitioned to the F-4, Willy Benton I volunteered to give rides in the B-Model to the enlisted folks on base. They had a type of lottery going. I would file VFR and head up past Bass Lake and then by Yosemite. Then we would climb up to 17.5 and push it up to .98 MAch. Next up we would go around the north end of Lake Tahoe, sailing back down past Reno and Virginia City. Eventually we'd end up checking out Bodie and doing some acro for a few minutes by Mammoth. Then to wind things up we would E & E our way back through the Sierras and come out at Dinkey Creek and Kings Canyon - making our arrival over Millerton Lake. All in one hour. Seeing how excited the folks would get as they got a once-in-a-lifetime experience always reminded me of how lucky I was to have such a fantastic job flying fighters. A small fraternity to be sure.|
This was a great trip. I had the honor of taking Retired Colonel Jack Bolt Sr. to see his son Jack "Lightning" Bolt
at his UPT graduation at Laughlin AFB in Texas. He smiled the whole weekend. He was in seventh heaven getting a lot
of stick time both ways after being out of the Guard and cockpit for so many years.
Remember the bungy cords that held up the intrument hood? There were always holes in it and the light moving around would give you the whirlies any time you banked.
|We were heading to Carswell for an F-4 crew swap-out in the C-131. We were doing live fire at Tyndall and had to evacuate to Texas because of a hurricane. Dr. Mork was getting checked out in the right seat and we all thought it would be fun to mess with his trim by slowly migrating to the back of the plane and then to the front. We were all holding our sides, trying not to laugh too loud while watching him furiously spinning the big trim wheel. Suddenly he looked back into the cabin and realized what we where doing. He slowly and calmly reached for the P.A. mike and announced "Alright you motherfuckers get back in your seats or you'll be peeling yourselves off the ceiling." It was fun but we knew who held the upper hand on that one :)||Employer Appreciation Day at Fresno ANG. Got some pretty cool shots of the guys doing air-to-air refueling. I thought it was really cool to take the employers of the Guard members up in a tanker. They have a blast and then they take good care of their Guard employees. I think that was a very valuable P.R. tool.|
|If I remember correctly we would normally refuel at about 230 kts or so. Thus the high AOA compared to the tanker.||As the song says, "A little bit closer now." There were T-tanks (transfer) in the aft part of the wings (wet) and an F-tank (fuselage). Fuel would be pumped back and forth to keep the CG right. Down below about 5000 feet, especially with external tanks, and you were supersonic, there wasn't enough down-stick or down-trim to keep from climbing. You could stay down there by rolling 90 degrees of bank and let the nose drop down to lose altitude then roll upright again. Just a little bit of lift on those wings, eh?||I absolutely love this shot. Coming into the tanker, just drive straight in watching the lights on the bottom of the tanker. The Boomer would move the boom out of the way and fly it right by the left side of your head. Then you feel the "thunk" as the boom latches and the lights go auto.|
|Here I am coming in for a hook-up. I gave my camera to my friend Susan Ellis from the ODC and she did a great job of capturing the real me :) The tanker was a KC-135. An observer watching AAR got to lie down on a platform with your head right near the glass. In the KC-10 it was more refined - you got to sit in a bucket seat.||I took off for VCV for a Det swap one day on RWY 11L. They had done some maint. on the T-tanks and the panels weren't fastened correctly. Last thing before take-off is to pressurize the T-tanks. As I was going by Clovis Ave. and unknown to me I had about 100 feet of fuel torching off behind me. I got a call from departure to contact Maint. on CH. 1. I called Marv. Stone and asked "What's up?" He said he didn't want to alarm me but to get the jet on the ground ASAP. He thought I ruptured an AB fuel line. Yahoo! I wondered why my eyes were burning. The burnt air was getting sucked back up through the aspirator.||Here's one of the guys hooked-up and taking gas. We would normally take on about 2000 lbs. A few years later when we had the F-4 I gave these pictures to Mike Caraker, one of our WSOs and a wonderful artist. He did a 3x2' pencil composite drawing for me that is still on the wall and one of my best F-106 keepsakes.|
I know you all remember the F-106 turn key. But do you remember how to use it?
Anyone remember what the FCT numbers are for?
|Here's the left side of the cockpit. RAT handle, UHF radio and a few of the myriad radar knobs and switches under the gear handle.||Main instrument panel. Taped instruments, drag chute handle upper left, auto-pilot controls lower left. TSD down low. How fun was it to tune the radar scope on the way out to W-285. Rhon Manor, before he went to pilot training, developing your film when you got back, and then watching your home movie to see if you broke in the right direction and if your hand control was "Abismal." Don't forget the Escape Maneuver for the Genie.|
A/S, Mach and Outside Temp.
A normal training mission was breakfast or lunch upstairs in the hangar snackbar, then a High, Medium, Low Stern, RTB.
Two-man control and don't lose or eat the Cookie.
|Big ass ADI and HSI, Altutude and VVI. Engine instruments as well. More radar controls lower right. Every time there was a radar upgrade they just stuck the switches and knobs wherever there happened to be room. Ergonomically, the cockpit was a flying disaster but really fun and a challenge. Flying the jet was really easy - working the radar was really easy. Doing both...not so much. Always had to be extra vigilent especially when doing Lows. Loved the dual handled stick. The left side unlocked for radar control. Just keep hitting the buttons until you got what you want. Lead Pursuit, IR... I think there were about a dozen different radar/IR attack modes.||
Right side of the cockpit. Idiot Panel, Data Link, TSD control, lights and pitot heat.
One more hour and some puffy clouds is all I would ask St. Peter for.
|Here'a picture that Jim McNab sent me. #774 and #011 both of which ended up in the Boneyard. That looks like Jim's blue helmet on the rail. The radar docks are off to the left.||There goes a single-ship F-106 on Rwy 29R.||
A radar trail departure. 20 seconds for #2 gives 3mn trail. Nice burners! The trail on the right is lead.
My last flights in the F-106 came on October 31, 1983. Bill Gore and I were on alert up at Castle AFB while the McChord guys converted to F-15s. We got scrambled (turned out to be a "Spade"). We were getting some serious jamming from a B-52 coming back from Hawaii - lots of gate stealing and driving the azimuth off. Bill just says, "Arm Hot." Instantaneously all of the jamming stopped and we got the VID. Buff pilots were very wary of ANG pilots since the 60s when a guy shot one with AIM-4s. I had to RTB to Fresno for Maintenance and my last flight was back up to MER in the weather. Had to do 360s over Friant (FRA) VORTAC for 45 minutes with the speedbrakes out and min burner before landing. Talk about not going out with a bang :)
|#523. One of our B-models.||#535. The other of our two B-models.||
#774. I got to take this jet on a great cross country trip with Jim McNab and Willie Benton to visit Jack Bolt and Mark
Taylor at pilot training. It is now a static display at the Hill Aerospace Museum. Check out this link to #774's restoration at
Hill Aerospace Museum.
|#011 as a drone.||A 4-ship of 194th FIS F-106s.||Shooting The Genie|