A mix from the ‘old days’ and the ‘new’…

A flashback to Naval Aviation!

You may have been a Naval Aviator/NFO if; or you might be in Naval Aviation if:

You’ve ever worked at, or done at least 1 or more of the following things:

Slept on the concrete under a wing.

Wished your jet would drop a Mk 84 on Ho Chi Min’s/Saddam Hussein’s house.

Ever said, “oh yes sir, it’s supposed to look like that.”

Drank water from a scuttle-butt that had more JP than H2O.

You know what a pointy head is.

You consider ‘moly b’ fingerprints on food an “acquired taste.”

Have sucked LOX to cure a hangover.

You know what JP tastes like.

Used a black grease pencil to fix an overworn tire.

You have a better benchstock in the pockets of your coveralls than the squadron can supply you.

Used a piece of safety wire as a toothpick.

You’ve ever had to say, “my boots are still black!”

Someone has tackled you right before you cuss out the squadron Ops Boss over the radio.

You refer to a pilot as a “control stick actuator.”

You’ve ever been duct taped to a tow bar and doused with PET and sand.

You’ve ever been told to go get “some propwash and a yard of flightline from supply.”

Worked a 14 hour shift on a jet that isn’t flying the next day.

You’ve ever said “as long as it’ll starts every other try you’ll be fine sir.”

You’ve ever considered a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to be a turkey sandwich in one hand and a wrench in the other.

You’ve ever jumped an intake to get out of the cold.

You’ve ever been told to tow the jets around so they match the board in Maintenance Control.

You’ve ever preflighted in really bad weather only to have Ops cancel after engine start.

You’ve ever been hassled in the Chow Hall for shave/boots/uniform/smell after a 16 hour shift.

You believe your bird has a soul.

You talk to your bird. (In your head still counts)

Your spouse refuses to watch any aviation shows with you.

You’ve ever said, “That nav light burned out after launch.”

You’ve ever used a wheel chock as a hammer.

The only thing you know about any city is where the good bars are.

You know more about your co-workers than your own family.

You’ve ever purposefully exposed yourself other than in the showers.

You don’t know what the inside of the good barracks look like (anywhere).

The refrigerators in your barracks only have beer in them.

Rode on the goose.

When you finish a DET there are enough empty beer cans to build an airplane to fly home on.

You’ve ever looked for pictures of “your” aircraft in aviation books.

You can’t figure out why maintenance officers exist.

You’ve ever been ticked off that they can’t make up their minds on what the MAF’s should look like.

Evaded the fox.

You’ve ever wished the pilot would just say, “Great bird, thanks!”

You are proud that no one on base understands you or thinks you are an animal.

You’ve ever passed gas in the step van in winter just to clear it out.

You relieve yourself more often outdoors than indoors. AND a lot of people other than your mother have seen you do the item above.

You’ve ever worked 7 day 12 hour shifts on DET while admin goes sightseeing for two weeks.

After getting back from the above trip, the admin pukes are getting an award while you are doin’ a seven day on your bird.

Played a lot of Acey Ducey.

You can’t comprehend why everyone doesn’t want to be a airdale

You think everyone who isn’t a airdale is a wimp.

You know what 2 on 5 means.

You can’t figure out why your 2 weeks advance per-diem is gone after 3 days.

You can’t get through a trip without finding an ATM.

On a trip the first place you go is to the Exchange on a beer run.

Most of your advance is spent in $1 increments in a “club.”

Evaded the “old lady” at the Hide-a-Way.

You can sleep anywhere, anytime, but as soon as the engines shut down you are wide awake.

You’ve ever said bad things about the IDIOT that said, “No more nose art.”

The SRB is not the main reason you re-enlist.

Your wife understands that you have a “mistress.”

Most everyone thinks your job mostly consists of waving your arms.

You have scars on you that aren’t from your spouse or significant/unsignificant other.

You’ve ever used a helmet as a pillow.

Gone looking for a snipe.

Love Bar-B-Q on a stick.

Gouged by the tag end of a safety-wired canon plug.

You know what a one wire is.

Tightened a canon plug with channel locks, cause the one-wire didn’t clip and bend the tag end.

You know what a short arm is.

You’ve ever stood on wheel chocks to keep your feet dry.

You’ve ever done the 100 yd dash to the line shack when lightning was called.

You’ve eaten more box lunches/MRE’s than hot meals.

You change underwear and T-shirts more often than coveralls.

You’ve ever done any of the following:

A. Used dykes to trim a fingernail.

B. Used RTV to fix a stripped screw.

C. Pulled the gun switch while riding brakes.

D. Wiped your hands on your pants.

E. Made tampons out of paper towels for drain hole leaks.

F. Knocked back a rivet stem that was hanging out a drain hole.

G. Wiped leaks immediately prior to crew show.

H. Picked your nose.

I. Thrown up more than two days in a row.

J. Gotten the new guys drunk just so you could make fun of them the next day.

K. Worn someone else’s hat to go to chow.

L. Taken pride in grossing someone out

M. Made sure the coffepot is the first thing in the Cruise Box.

N. The first thing briefed on DET is the coffee fund.

O. All you care about is the flight schedule and your days off.

P. Been to the club/bar before you even unpack.

Q. Hated the crew for going to club in flight suits.

R. Hated the crew for not recognizing you in the commissary.

S. Hated airdales that couldn’t hack the line, got admin jobs and promoted BTZ.

T. Pencil whipped your training records.

U. Hate the fact that admin types get rides on your bird and you don’t.

V. Chipped ice out of your moustache or a tie-down OR a grounding point.

W. Thrown something living into vented LOX.

X. Wondered where they keep finding the idiots that keep making up the stupid rules.

You know what a nose picker is.

You know what a tin bender is.

You know what a BB stacker is.

You’ve ever been woken up by the returning drunks turning on all the lights.

You’ve ever returned to the barracks drunk and turned on all the lights.

You’ve ever had to defuel your jet an hour after refueling it.

You know what a pecker checker is.

You know what a stew burner is.

You know what a skivvie stacker is

You’ve ever worked in a shop where the person held in the highest regard is the one who can drink a six pack in less than 5 minutes and not puke.

The person held in second highest regard is the one who projectile pukes.

You’ve ever driven home and don’t remember doing it.

You tell your peers you are getting divorced and the first thing they ask is,”selling anything?”

You’ve ever gone straight to work from the bar.

Because of the above you’ve done your preflight on “autopilot.”

Everyone you know has some kind of nickname.

Granted this is Navy specific, but I’m sure a few others can pick our a ‘few’ on the list… Military aviation is military aviation… Just sayin!

h/t “Timmy”


TBT… — 21 Comments

  1. Maybe add,

    Wear colored shirts so the rest of the carrier crew knows why the chow line is so long.

    Discover a pressing need to wash airplanes when the rest of the carrier is on water hours.

    John in Philly, USS Forrestal CVA-59, M Division 74-76

  2. Brown Shoe Navy: You tell your peers you are getting divorced and the first thing they ask is,”selling anything?”

    Camo Navy: You tell your peers that you’re getting divorced and the first thing they ask is, “can we f%#k her now?”

  3. Brings back a lot of “darn good memories”, well mostly good memories!

  4. “Greenest” crew member is the Beer Wench, responsible for dragging the coffin-sized cooler from the plane to get ice, and keeping the cooler full of beer the entire TDY.
    Airshow rules: No smoking 10 hours prior to flight, no drinking within 50 feet of the plane.
    Freezing cold day, parked your butt in the warm spot on the ramp where the F-4 Phantom exhaust (droopy-tail, bent-wing bug sucker) melted the ice and snow.
    Ethylene Glycol, despite having the -ol on the end, is not a drinkable alcohol.
    Have used liquid nitrogen to supercool a six-pack of beer.
    Have stood on the wing of an airplane and taken a pee over the edge.

  5. Hey Old NFO;

    As a regular airplane mechanic I DO recognize quite a few of those things….they are not just endemic to Military Aviation…Although a bunch of veterans do inhabit our ranks;)

  6. Oh, no, definitely NOT unique to the Navy. As a retired USAF fixer of ailing sky things I identified with quite a few there. By the way, cigarette filters will also plug a drain hole albeit only for a short time. Got to be real close to walkaround inspection to get through it. At least that’s what I’ve heard. Trading bleach stains for hydraulic fluid stains when too new to know better should be in the list, too. Also, bought my first Benrus Wrist Alarm wristwatch so I could sleep behind the blast fence on Guam — too far and too long back to the barracks – Buffs over RVN in the meantime.

    And I’ll be damned if I don’t miss those days. Couldn’t physically live ’em anymore, but miss ’em nonetheless.

  7. “Have sucked LOX to cure a hangover.” All I can say is that it’s lucky that the pilots had a seperate oxygen supply than the aircrew on the P-3C.

    Other signs you might be an aviator:

    Your flight suit contains any of the following – Aspirin, Visine eyedrops, Nasal Spray, Caffeine tablets, breath mints.

    Drank a double shot of rum as bug repellent as soon as possible after landing to drive away the “no see-ums” in Puerto Rico.

    Slept in a barracks/building that would be condemned state side and considered it to be a step up over your last det.

    Ever had to explain to the CO why his entire crew was thrown into jail 3 hours before preflight and the only thing he says is “I’m glad you guys stuck together”.

  8. Heh. I remember the time I took my father on his first and only airplane flight. I was doing my pre-flight, and just for grins, I sent him into the FBO to ask the mechanics for some prop wash.

    He came back a few minutes later to tell me what an ass I was. Great memory.

  9. “Used a black grease pencil to fix an overworn tire.”

    Don’t think that will really work, but it would pass inspection? And I thought I was cool using marker to draw an embroidered name tag on a new fatigue shirt.

  10. I can’t say I’ve done all of them, but close. I crewed fling wings so we couldn’t dive down an intake, but some birds had APUs. Didn’t help much in Norway in February though. And, don’t forget having your wings wet down with the wash cart.

  11. “Drank water from a scuttle-butt that had more JP than H2O.”

    How many points for knowing what a “scuttle-butt” is?