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Rockets and pods page 3

Stories by charles alexander and “turbo” tarling

On February 4, 1960, I volunteered to fly four visiting Winnipeg Air Navigation School cadets in the CF-100 for a “motivational” flight; the hope being that they would all aspire to become Obs AIs. Each one was to get half a trip–we didn’t want to give them too much of a good thing–the point was to encourage, not discourage! To a man, they all wanted to do loops, rolls and other wonderful things that only jets could offer but I got them to settle for a spectacular climb, some gentle, smooth rolls, and a sightseeing tour around the Parliament buildings and downtown Ottawa. Truth was, loops tended to mess up the radar unless the dish was properly caged, and these were novices with radar equipment.

The first two cadets were impressed with their half-ride and I was pleased with my greaser landing for the second cadet; now, for sure, he’ll want to be an Obs AI. Just then, a 410 Squadron pilot called for landing clearance behind me and was promptly told by Ottawa tower to overshoot, “The aircraft ahead of you just lost a rocket pod.” Instinctively, I looked at the left wing, and sure enough, nothing! It must have been quite a sight seeing our armament bounding merrily down the runway behind us, playing catch-up. The aircraft was 18526 again! An investigation discovered that the pod had not been bolted onto the wing but was just sitting out there waiting for an opportune moment to go soaring off into space. It had been less than a year since the CF-105 Arrow cancellation. One can only speculate about the publicity if that rocket pod had decided to come off while my cadet and I were flying around the Parliament buildings! |

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