posted on Jun, 19 2005 @ 04:28 AM
When my father was working on B-52s, they had an incident between a BUFF and a KC-97 tanker. During the refueling the two planes midaired, and the
boom of the KC-97 went into the cockpit of the BUFF, right between the two pilots. One of the pilots was an Instructor Pilot (IP) giving a check ride
so the other pilot could stay current. After the boom hit, he pulled the ejection handle and punched out. The copilot pulled the handle on his seat,
but the seat malfunctioned and didn't fire. They wound up flying home, and landing safely. The KC-97 crew had to try to land, as the crew chief had a
back back so he couldn't jump. The boom going into the tail had severed all the control cables, but acted as a tail, so they were able to land
safely. The BUFF pilot took the plane home and landed with all the crew but the IP, and they landed safely.
A short time later the Inspector General (IG) showed up to question the crew, as they were going to court martial the IP for leaving the airplane
without ordering the crew out first. The IG was questioning the tail gunner, who was usually a sergeant of some rank. It went something like this:
IG: Did you hear the order to bail out, before the IP ejected?
TG: No sir.
after a few more questions
IG: Did you see the bail out light come on before the IP ejected
TG: No sir.
This went on for a little while, until the final exchange, which went something like this......
IG: Did anyone give the command to bail out before the IP ejected?
TG: Hell no, the dumb SOB didn't even say bye before he left!
The IP wound up beating the charges, but no one would fly with him ever again and he wound up a maintenance officer. For his crack, the tail gunner
was brought up on charges of insubordination, which were later dropped.