MikeD Messages


Mama Bear....
Staff member
The other MikeD message thread can be found here ...

Here's the newest MikeD message...
Flight last night was a total pain in the ass too. We've got crap WX here, and the A-10 isn't an all-WX plane by any means, it's day/night VFR. We launched on a surface-support mission with me leading a 2-ship. WX was 040 LYRD 070, 070 OVC 240 solid. Viz about 4 miles underneath with thunderstorms and rainshowers. Not only was it a pain getting in and out of the area, but we're essentially VFR in IMC, there's no IFR service here. So when we get to our working area, I have to do a letdown through the WX to a "figured out" MDA for our area (terrain dependent is some areas of the country). Get below, and it's tough working underneath, while having to coordinate with agencies, spot targets, etc. Depart the area and climb into IMC again to hold awaiting a tanker for refuel. We're #4 flight for our assigned tanker, but we don't have the fuel to wait, so we have to press to another tanker track, again in hard IMC with me having to move us around sectors and still deconflict my flight. While coordinating to rejoin with the new tanker ( who was 45 miles away trying to find any VMC to effect a rejoin in; A-10s have no radar of any kind), I was flipping through my frequency coordination book and map pack trying to find a freq and tossing what I didn't need aside on the right console, all while adjusting the throttles and flying the stick with my knees. My airspeed begins slowly decreasing on the HUD in 5 kt increments since I'm up at FL 240 at this time (the Hog hates it up there), but the airspeed kept creeping down, all while I'm trying to get coordinated with the tanker, and while the tanker is vectoring us via his TCAS. I eventually sighted the tanker in a small, clear suckerhole doing tight (for a transport category aircraft) turns in order to remain there, I was able to rejoin to the boom and placed my #2 on the wing. By this time, my airspeed was down to 146 knots at full throttles, and it's only then that the lightbulb goes off and I double-check the pitot heat. While throuing checklists to the right console, I'd inadverently knocked the pitot heat off, and everything began slowly freezing. I had ice on the leading edges, on the nose, windscreen, and massive lighting-bursts of St. Elmos fire going on everywhere.

On the tanker, I had trouble hooking up from spatial-D since I could only see the tanker intermittenly through the WX, mainly seeing the boom only, not a good point of reference to just have (G-excess illusion..acceleration/deceleration makes the body feel like it's turning) and it was tough to fly straight and level. I eventually only took on 1500 pounds and pulled off to allow my #2, also low on fuel, to get a drink. After a number of trys at the boom, he disconnected, and I worked in to top off. All in all, a royal pain in the butt, and some of the worst WX I've had to fly in, definately the worst WX I've had to tank in. RTB was like the rest of the flight, other than the PAR went down (seems to only be in service when it's day-VFR!), so it was a TACAN penetration to landing under NVGs in blackout with moderate rain.

Gets to be quite a workout when one gets comfortable with training in/flying in "Arizona IFR".

Was going to include some more about the DHL jet, but keep forgetting. What a job that crew did, an excellent one. Putting that thing down like they did was and incredible feat of airmanship, and a sight to see. Crew reported they lost all hydraulics, spent a while doing controllability checks while circling back for landing. Were it at about 8K. Came down for one approach, executed a missed with engine thrust only, and cirlced back again for landing. Really pounded the thing on the runway. The plane slightly veered off the runway slicing through some concertina wire and into the sand due to lack of nosewheel steering. Crew shutdown, deployed the escape slides (one of which popped on the concertina wire) Both engines were severly FODed out. Wing outboard flaps severly damaged/missing Wing spars apparently destroyed in the same area too from the fire.

Excellent job all around.

Still haven't found the frog in my tent.


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New Member
Not exactly a walk in the park for you guys was it? Damn, that does sound like a total pain in the ass flight. I feel for you guy's dealing with all the war crap, the aircraft and their limitations and what you have to do to pull it off in spite if it. I salute you.

Hope you enjoy all the good stuff were sending to make life a little easier for you over there. I was glad to kick in and help you guys out, you all deserve it. Can I fly your A-10 when you get back? Really no problem, I fly it on MSFS2004 all the time! I've got a couple of DVD's of the A-10, quite an impressive asskicker. A machine gun with wings.

Gotta go, say hello to the crew and take care.

Blue'er Skies