One from the memory vault…

TXRed’s comment yesterday about penalty boxes brought back a memory of dealing with the USAF at certain bases. They didn’t like us trashing up their pretty ramps with our dirty airplanes.

I think the statute of limitations has run out on this one… I hope… 🙂

One of those was CHS, which is a joint military/civilian base.

We used to do ‘school runs’ carrying people up and down the coast for various reasons with stops in Charleston, Norfolk, Andrews, Weymouth and Brunswick, ME. Due to the airplane, we had very limited passenger seating, depending on the schedule.

Now CAFB was a ‘special case’, in that they never gave Navy priority for flights unless there were NO USAF personnel that needed a ride, especially around the holidays. Also, the USAF people always charged personnel $10 for a box lunch on the flights, whether or not they got one (even the few times we got Navy personnel)…After a few negative experiences with them, we started parking across the field at the FBO, since they would let us park for free.

We would then borrow the FBO van, send one of the crew over to the USAF passenger terminal to scout for any Navy folks going north or south depending on that particular flight’s destination. Now we weren’t picky, if you had an ID and weren’t drunk, you could ride with us.

Soooo… The crewman would circulate through, knowing the number of seats we had and what our routing was…

If we had more seats than we had Navy riders, we’d check for Marines, Army and Air Force in that order. The crewman would tell the person- Wait a few minutes, then pick up your bag, go out the door, down to the end of the building. There’s a van sitting there marked such and such. We’ll give you a ride to the airplane…

We got away with that for about a year, until some USAF type woke up one day and noticed the Navy P-3 across the field and passengers disappearing. Apparently there were calls back and forth between the elephants, finally the ‘word’ came down to play nice with the Air Force.

That lasted about three months until the USAF started their crap (again), and we went back to circumventing the system (again)…

Fun times, and we hauled a bunch of folks out of there over the years, right under the Air Force’s nose!!! 🙂


One from the memory vault… — 19 Comments

  1. I bet you got better ramp and fuel service at the FBO too. I was there a few years ago in a King Air and there was an AFSOC MC-130 on the ramp. Deliberately not using the USAF facilities because C-17.

  2. Like anything in this world, try being a smug snob and others will find a way to give you the finger.

    Good job on your part.

    Just to pick on the Navy, whenever we were operating our Bridge Erection boats with any Navy types around, it was left, right, back, and don’t get mud on our floors.

  3. Differ- We never had to get fuel, but the ramp service was a TON better! 🙂

    WSF- LOL, and y’all had more boats too! 😀

  4. I always got a kick out of the rivalry – usually good-natured – between the services. I had to use USAF facilities several times, when there was no Navy equivalent, and they always seemed slightly condescending. On the other hand, the USAF hospital staff at Athenai Air Base in Athens was wonderful to me, during the two months I spent convalescing from serious injuries in ’74.

    • Then there was the time an E-3 Air Policeman on gate duty at Rhein-Main called our First Sergeant “Army Doggie”. Said AP learned first hand about the Army tradition of immediate correction.

  5. Rev- Yep, ‘sometimes’… 🙂 Glad they took care of you, we always went into Piraeus, the Greek base.

    WSF- Oh, I bet that was epic!!! 😀

    CP- I think they actually had to account for it against the # of passengers loaded, but who knows…

  6. I could tell you a story about an incident with an AF puke but it would have to be face to face! Nothing I would want in print!!

  7. At the same time, we C-5 crews flying out of Dover AFB headed out across the Atlantic weren’t allowed to carry passengers when we had a Navy gear on board. 76 seats left empty, lots of pax in the terminal.
    As for the in-flight meals, you don’t know how many snacks the crate-crushers scavenged for the crew. Sorry about that!
    But I lurved getting to toss boats and people out of the plane mid-flight…
    Ex C-5 Instructor Flight Engineer, SOLL II qual.

  8. Grog- LOL, it wouldn’t surprise me at all, considering some of the Seawolves I know…

  9. Humm… Air Force “pukes” !! I say to you “little piss ants” that use that term… “KISS MY ASS”. Oh, & have a great day 🙂

  10. Man, persecuting the Chair Force, good times.

    We once stol… er “borrowed” one of their buses from a nearby guard base. They never used it, and it was light years nicer than the Regan era Bluebirds we had. I think we kept it for almost 4 months before being forced to return it.

  11. 20 years AF, mostly as a mole man. Great stories there. AF seems to have gone downhill, according to .

  12. Heath- LOL, not the first time ‘that’ has been done!

    Sam- Nope, it doesn’t resemble the services ‘we’ were in… sigh