.:VP-48 Alumni Association Sea Stories! Summary Page:.

Tall Tales - Fairy Tales and Outright Fabrications

  • Dedicated to all those who flew behind round engines...
  • Yellow Sheet Horrors
  • Landing!
  • What's wrong with this picture?
  • Aviation Rules
  • Flight Conversation
  • A Sea Story

    Submitted by Art Sutorus who received it from a friend who flew P-47’s in WWII


    We gotta get rid of those turbines, they’re ruining aviation and our hearing.

    A turbine is too simple minded, it has no mystery. The air travels through it in a straight line and doesn’t pick up any of the pungent fragrance of engine oil or pilot sweat. Anybody can start a turbine. You just move a switch from “OFF” to “START” and then remember to move it to “ON” after a while. My computer is harder to start. Cranking a round engine requires skill, finesse and style. You have to seduce it into starting. On some planes the pilots aren't even allowed to do it. Turbines start by whining for awhile, then give a lady like poof and start whining a little louder. Round engines give a satisfying rattle-rattle, click-click, BANG, more rattles, another BANG, a big macho FART or two, more clicks, a lot of smoke and finally a serious low pitched roar. We like that. It’s a Guy thing.

    When you start a round engine, your mind becomes fully engaged and you can concentrate on the flight ahead. Starting a turbine is like flicking on a ceiling fan: Useful, buy hardly exciting. If you have started his engine successfully your crew chief looks at you like he’d let kiss his sister.

    Turbines don’t break or catch fire often enough, and this leads to boredom, inattention and complacency. A round engine, even at cruise power setting, looks and sounds like it going to blow any minute. This helps in keeping your attention on the task at hand. Turbine don’t have enough control levers or gauges to keep a pilots attention. There is nothing to fiddle with during long flights.

    Turbines smell like a Boy Scout camp full of Coleman lanterns.

    Round engines smell like God intended engines to smell like.


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    Something loose in cockpit

    Something tightened in cockpit

    Friction lock causes throttles to stick

    That’s what it’s there for

    Used anchor

    Calibrated anchor ground checks 4.0

    Dead bugs on windshield

    Live bugs on backorder

    Suspected crack in windshield

    Suspect your right

    Aircraft handles funny

    Aircraft told to straighten up, fly right, and be serious


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    While attempting a landing in Lingayen Gulf the pilot was confronted with some large ocean rollers.

    His first attempt at putting the airplane on the water resulted in the water rejecting the airplane back into the air.

    The second, third, fourth, fifth attempts resulted in the same. Finale the exasperated pilot dropped the airplane literality into the water so hard that green water was seen through the afterstation windows.

    The plane captain then asked the pilot how should he log it? One take off and five landings?


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    The picture below appeared in the may 1966 issue of all hands magazine. for all you NATOPS experts - what's wrong in this picture?
    Send you answer to patron48@comcast.net

    So far...

    Al Meyer knows
    Ben Wagner got it
    Tom Dwan sees it
    Barry Stauffer is perceptive


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    By Emory Gardner


    . BLUE WATER NAVY TRUISM: There are more planes in the ocean than there are submarines in the sky. If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it’s probably a helicoptor and therefore unsafe.

    . NAVY PILOTS TO AIR FORCE PILOTS: Flaring is like squatting to pee.

    . When one engine fails on a twin engine aircraft you always have enough power left to get to the scene of the crash.

    . Never trade luck for skill.

    . Weather forcasts are horoscopes with numbers.

    . What is the similarity between air traffic controllers (atc) an pilots?

    . If a pilot screws up the pilot dies. if atc screws up the pilot dies.

    . The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in aviation are:

                 Why is it doing that?
                 Where are we?
                 Oh s- -t!

    . AIRSPEED, ALTITUDE, OR BRAINS: Two are always needed to complete the flight successfully

    . Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in a flight bag for the purpose of storing dead batteries.

    . The best things in life are a good landing and a good bowel movement.

    . The night carrier landing is one of the few opportunities in life where you get to experience both at the same time.

    . If something hasn’t broken on your helicopter - it’s about to.

    . When a flight is proceeding incredibly well, you forgot something.

    . You know that your gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal.

    . ADVICE GIVEN TO ROYAL AIR FORCE PILOTS DURING WWII: When a prang (crash) seems inevitable , endeavor to strike the softest, cheapest object in the vicinity as slowly and gently as possible.

    . The only time you have to much fuel is when your on fire.

    . If you hear me yell “eject, eject, eject!” - the last two will be echos.

    . If you stop to ask why?, you will be talking to yourself.

    . Mankind has a perfect record in aviation— we never left one up there.

    . Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to someone on the ground who is incapable of understanding or doing anything about it.

    . The piper cub is the safest airplane in the world - it can barely kill you.


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    Head of the ramp - engines turning - ready to launch the following conversation between the pilot and the afterstation.

    Pilot afterstation.

    Wait one afterstation I'm on VHF
    (short interval)

    Pilot afterstation.

    Wait one afterstation I'm still on VHF
    (Slightly longer interval)

    Pilot afterstation.

    Afterstation standby I'll call you when I'm finished.
    (reasonable interval)

    OK afterstation what is it?

    Sir, The APU is on fire.


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    Submitted by Jim Cornwell


    Several events that were part of the seaplane days and VP-48 were that the first aircraft to take off from NAS Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was a damaged PBY flown by LT(jg) Frank Vessell who, as you know, was the first CO of VP-48 in January 1953 when it changed from VP-731 to VP-48. Also, Vessell was PPC of "Strawberry 7" which was one of the aircraft that sighted the Japanese fleet approaching Midway. Joe Ball, the XO of VP-48 (2nd tour), was a PPC of a PBY that was part of the "Black Cats". He was awarded the Navy Cross for making an open sea landing and picking up about 45 men who were on rafts after their ship was sunk. He could not take off because of the weight so he taxied 60 miles to a small island in Japanese territory. He and his crew stood by until two PT Boats picked the men up. Joe flew to the seaplane tender. His PBY had many holes in it, but he made it back. Two of his crew were killed.

    One day my crew and I were enroute from Guam to lwakuni. I called over the intercom to see if they would like to fly over Iwo Jima. It was about 50 miles off our track. As we approached the island, I let down to 100 feet and circled the island two times. For several minutes nobody said a word. It was a memorable time in our lives. One of the crew finally spoke... "that little island cost the lives of 6500 Americans. That is a high price for such a small piece of land." A beautiful sight was the flag flying on Mt. Suribachi overlooking a barren, black sand piece of land still showing the craters and trash some nine years later.

    When I was 1st pilot in the PBM-5, we operated with the USS Pine Island (AV-12) in Naval Base Buckner Bay, Okinawa and the USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13) at the Pescadores Island. The rule was that the 1st pilot and the 2nd pilot rotated each day or night along with two crewmen on buoy duty. I enjoyed doing buoy duty...I could fish, sun and drink beer. We didn't have San Miguel, but some off brand. In the P5M as a PPC, I stayed on the ship...I'd rather have been on the buoy duty...guess it was the Marine in me!


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