Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My VIP Flight in a T-39

I know this is going to sound a bit crazy, but it did happen and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I have a younger brother who was stationed at Ramstien AFB in Landstuhl, Germany.  He was working with the VIP Jets and apparently had enough clout to pull this one off.

Below is an image of a North American Rockwell  T-39.

So, when was down in Landstuhl, Germany visiting him when he asked me if I wanted to go to Oslo, Norway. Of course I said yes. So, we set up a date and time.  That was the easy part.

The hard part was to convince anyone on the Army side of this flight of fantasy that, in fact, I wasn't a prime candidate for the loonie bin and approve the trip. As it turned out, I did get approval and I told my brother I had been given permission.

My brother was notorious for pulling pranks on my for most of my entire life, so you can imagine me being a bit anxious and feeling a bit embarrassed when the time for the plane's arrival passed.

So I asked our operations people if there was an Air Force get scheduled to arrive here at Harvey Barracks and they told me they didn't see one. There was, of course, this look at me that I was a certified stir fry crazy.

So, I waited for another 20 minutes and was about to go grab some breakfast when operations told me the T-39 was about to land.  They also told me to meet it out on the runway. Which I did and the only two people in the cabin was me and my brother.

We picked up an Air Force One star General at Heatherow in England.

As we were climbing altitude, I head a loud bang followed by the engines going to flight idle and a deep dive.  We went from 30,000 to 10,000 feet in seconds.  While I was able to get my ears to adjust to the quick change in altitude, the General not so lucky.

Like his rather, my brother chewed a lot of gum. I waited for about 5 seconds, looked at him and told him to give the General a piece of gum. I don't think my brother was too happy with me.

While he did try to tell me that I might have to wait for a return flight home, I think my looks and body language told him that wasn't going to happen.

As it turned out the line for pressurizing the cabin broke and once that was fixed,  we flew into Oslo along the Fords.

My impression of Oslo and the Fords was what in the world was wrong with my Great Grand Father's mind. And why did he change his name from Edward Steen to Steen Edwards. Colorful, picturesque and more importantly the people there were dressed in bright colors and were having a good time.

I was breathing in my roots and the sensations were as good as an emotional high can get. I didn't want to leave. But the threat of being AWOL sent me back into that T-39.

Four hours later, we touched down at Harvey Barracks.

In a really weird kind of way, I was glad to be back.





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