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Old 06-30-2019, 03:09 PM   #1
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Nstiwtiwgd

First off it stands for No Shxt There I was Thought I Was Going to Die

It was suggested this tread be started over in the Pilots thread. NSTIWTIWGD comes from a book about sky diving, which I have no experience. In fact we always said only bird shxt and idiots fall from the sky.

My experience was in a twin engine turbo prop, OV-10. there were 5 aircraft going from Hawaii to Osan Korea. We got to Guam no problems. Well nothing serious. It took about 8 days to get to Guam. We left Guam for Iwo Jima. Clear and a million all the way, well that what the weather man said. Half way we contacted Iwo, and got the 'Come on in weather's fine' We had a C130 escorting us and when we were about 120 miles we picked up the nav aids and the 130 left us and push ahead to IWO.

After about 20 min he radios us and tells us weather is going down in a hurry and we need to push it up. The OV-10 has a max speed of 350, only problem is that is in a 45 to 60 degree dive!. Straight and level you are lucky to get 180 out of it and as it was a 6 plus hour flight we weren't sparing the fuel! So, no push it up!

When we got to IWO we put all five aircraft in holding. First down the shoot did not see the island. He was given a PAR (precission approach radar) but the minimum was 3,000 and 3 mile! To younon pilots that is VFR, visual flight rules! Second guy down the chute, no island, but his minimum on the PAR was 1,500 and 2! For you non pilots, minimums don't change!

I was the third down. PAR minimums 700 and 1. I saw the island! However, the only part of the runway that was visible was a couple of hundred feet of overrun. I said to my self, 'Well I know the runway is there, so I pushed the a/c to max landing speed to account for gust, and preceded to land! When I called the tower that I landed, there come back was 'Where are you' OOPS, I thought, but I bravely said, 'On the runway'. There come back 'We can't see the runway!' It was raining that hard. It took another hour or so before we got all five aircraft down.

Turns out the PAR had not been certified, and the controllers were winging it. I have to hand it to them they did an outstanding job getting all five a/c down. Also of the five a/c, three of the pilots had less than 100 hours in the bird, and one had about 150.

So there is one to start it out. I got to thinking it does not have to be a areal feat to qualify for NSTIWTIWGD.
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:20 PM   #2
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Not quite there with NSTIWTIWGD, but I was returning from an overseas trip. Domestic leg to get home. First row First class, since I was business for the overseas flight. As we approach landing the fight attendants give us instructions on what to do if the plane has a "hard landing", and they can't help. Apparently the front wheel was not indicating it was all down.

There were no problems, but .....
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:47 PM   #3
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In 25 years of flying hang gliders I have way too many of these sorts of stories. Most basically boil down to poor decisions on my part. They say good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment. Well by that measure I must have great judgment by now.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:06 PM   #4
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NSTIWTIWGD comes from a book about sky diving, which I have no experience. In fact we always said only bird shxt and idiots fall from the sky.
Yes. Many fellow pilots refer to skydivers as "meat puppets." Very insensitive, but if you fly much around drop zones, well, it can be a challenge.
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First down the shoot did not see the island. He was given a PAR (precission approach radar) but the minimum was 3,000 and 3 mile! To younon pilots that is VFR, visual flight rules! Second guy down the chute, no island, but his minimum on the PAR was 1,500 and 2! For you non pilots, minimums don't change!
A PAR would be quite a luxury today, they are almost all gone. More ILS's, though, and the GPS approaches are pretty good. But, especially when flying a single-place plane, flying a PAR (someone on the ground to talk you through the approach) is fantastic.

My "NSTIWTIWGD" experience was about getting low on fuel--really low--in a T-38. Lots of things lined up perfectly to make it happen, but ultimately it was, of course, my own fault. I'll say I didn't panic, but I could certainly feel something that was panic's cousin. Everything ended well, and thankfully I got back to the parking space without flaming out and inviting a big inquiry. There are things we know in our head ("don't push the limits in fuel'"), but an experience like this burns that knowledge in very deeply.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:18 PM   #5
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Details may be a little off, but it was 1964 and along with the 7 top district managers in MW, a 10 day, prize winner's trip to Japan. The trip started off from JFK on JAL ... destination Tokyo...

A full plane, with 90%, Japanese people going home. Uneventful take off on a cloudy day. About a half hour, through a break in the clouds, looked down and saw what appeared to be the ocean. Hmmm... thought we should by now, be over land, headed for Idaho, then Alaska, then Tokyo.

A few minutes later, looked out the window,, and saw the shadow of the plane going over clouds. A little bit odd, because the shadow, showed contrail shadows from the wings. Didn't mean anything to me, because my seatmate said it was normal and I hadn't flown much at the time.

A few minutes later, over the intercom, there was an announcement from the pilot... in Japanese, that set the whole plane buzzing with panicky looks from almost everyone... and the stewardesses moving down the aisle, checking the overheads. In another minute, in English... "We have a problem with the warning light for the nose wheel staying on" . ""As a precaution we are returning to the airport."

The shadows on the cloud were not the contrails, but the plane dumping fuel.

Another half hour and we were prepared to land, back at JFK. Seats belted and backs in the upright position. Long, long slow landing, and it seemed forever that we were at 5 feet high... cruising down before the end of the runway... Half way down, several firetrucks picked us up, still going a hundred miles an hour. Firemen in white fireproof suits, sitting in turrets with foam guns aimed at the plane...

Soft uneventful landing, but on deplaning, a steady trail of people heading to the rest rooms. An exciting beginning to a wonderful 10 day trip throughout Japan. The first night's stay in the Tokyo Hilton, made up for the minor inconvenience..
.................................................. ......
Sometime later, on a plane flight to Maine, on a commuter, in a storm, we were hit in the nose by lightning. On landing could see a burn hole under the cockpit. Didn't even know it had happened, so no harm.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:35 PM   #6
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I had the pleasure of sitting in the jump seat during one of my niece's husband's corporate jet training flights. Just the two of us and the training pilot. We did all kinds of maneuvers - had to inform local airport towers as to our training oddities. During one maneuver, we went into a forced stall and all kinds of warning buzzers were going off, the plane was shaking. The purpose was to train him how to recover from a stall. It was a rough ride. Luckily we recovered from the stall, but we were both sweating profusely. Training pilot was calm though.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:38 PM   #7
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Ahh yes, T-38 stories! Everyone in our class was crowing about how cool it was to do vertical aileron rolls. What they failed to tell you is the T-38 runs our of airspeed in a hurry and you will be going straight up with ZERO airspeed, saying to yourself 'Don't stall, Don't flame out' as the nose drops to about a 90 degree dive.

Second thing, at one of our recent pilot reunions, just about everyone tried them, and jut about everyone had the same experience! It just took 50 years for them to admit it!
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Old 06-30-2019, 05:06 PM   #8
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I have to say that, while it didn't involve an airplane, my closest call would had to do with a pickup truck and an old wooden bridge over some railroad tracks.

This bridge was out in rural northern Illinois, about 20 or so miles west of DeKalb. I was at school at Northern Ill Univ in DeKalb and a buddy from back home came out for a visit. I used to like to pack a cooler and drive out to this bridge to drink beer, watch the stars and, occasionally, watch a freight train come roaring through at 60mph just a few feet below.

So, my buddy and I drive out there and have a good time talking and drinking. When it was time to leave, he was a little *unsteady* and, instead of driving over the bridge, he drove off the side of the bridge.

Luckily, when his truck went over the side, it dislodged one of the old timbers from the edge of the bridge. It peeled out to the side but did not come loose from the bridge. The front of the truck was on top of that dislodged timber, hanging off the side of the bridge, with only that timber keeping the truck from plunging to the tracks below.

We very carefully climbed out of the truck back on to the bridge, walked to a nearby farm and used their phone to call a tow truck.

I can still remember the reaction of the tow truck driver when he saw my buddy's truck dangling off the side of that bridge!
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Old 06-30-2019, 05:09 PM   #9
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Ahh yes, T-38 stories!

Ah, to be 23 again and given a rocket to fly solo for 1.3 hours. Even at the time, in our youthful obliviousness, we knew it was amazing. I'm sure I'm not the only person who thought, while strapping in for a solo flight, "I can't believe this!"

What an airplane.





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Old 06-30-2019, 05:32 PM   #10
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Ah, to be 23 again and given a rocket to fly solo for 1.3 hours. Even at the time, in our youthful obliviousness, we knew it was amazing. I'm sure I'm not the only person who thought, while strapping in for a solo flight, "I can't believe this!"

What an airplane.
Yep. And to think they PAID us to fly that!
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Old 06-30-2019, 05:43 PM   #11
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Not my experience, but a good story.
Neighbor of mine used to fly private jets. Has a flight into Aspen. Aspen is a tricky airport with mountains always close by. He tells me only a curtain separates the cockpit from the cabin and on this flight the curtain is pulled back. Apparently it’s common when approaching Aspen for the ground warning to announce to the pilot to “pull-up”, “pull-up” as they approach the runway as the plane senses the mountain terrain. He said he usually switches off the verbal warning, but forgot on this flight. As they approach and the warning goes off repeatedly, he looks back to notice several white faced passengers.
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Old 06-30-2019, 05:56 PM   #12
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Used to fly at least once / month between Richmond VA and Tampa FL, always connecting through Atlanta.

The plane began its descent into Hartsfield about 6 pm ("rush hour" for take-offs and departures). Seated in the middle of the wide-body plane, I occasionally glanced out the window, eventually seeing treetops when we were about 50 feet from touch-down.

The plane lurched and we were slammed back into our seats. We re-gained altitude quickly. Passengers were startled but not panicking.

The plane leveled off and the pilot, in his best "Right Stuff" voice, drawled "I'm sorry about that, ladies and gentlemen. As we descended, I saw some equipment I wasn't expecting. We will come back on approach and we'll be touching down in Atlanta shortly."

Pilots in the family later agreed: "Equipment" was pilot-speak for "another plane."

(Ironically, my only NSTIWTIWGD story happened in a modern plane. That one time I flew in a Tupolev turned out to be a non-event... )
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:18 PM   #13
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Used to fly at least once / month between Richmond VA and Tampa FL, always connecting through Atlanta.

The plane began its descent into Hartsfield about 6 pm ("rush hour" for take-offs and departures). Seated in the middle of the wide-body plane, I occasionally glanced out the window, eventually seeing treetops when we were about 50 feet from touch-down.

The plane lurched and we were slammed back into our seats. We re-gained altitude quickly. Passengers were startled but not panicking.

The plane leveled off and the pilot, in his best "Right Stuff" voice, drawled "I'm sorry about that, ladies and gentlemen. As we descended, I saw some equipment I wasn't expecting. We will come back on approach and we'll be touching down in Atlanta shortly."

Pilots in the family later agreed: "Equipment" was pilot-speak for "another plane."

(Ironically, my only NSTIWTIWGD story happened in a modern plane. That one time I flew in a Tupolev turned out to be a non-event... )
Had this happen to me in December in Denver around 1994. “Equipment” was a snowplow on the runway.
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Old 06-30-2019, 07:07 PM   #14
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I was heading to Shemya AFB (3rd to last island in the Aleutian Island chain of Alaska) aboard a Lockheed Electra L-188 commercial flight with Reeve Aleutian Airways. They had the military contract to transport troops on and off the island along with mail runs twice a week. Bob Reeve was at the controls that day. (Bob flew bush in South America for many years before heading to Alaska. Has some books worth reading...)
The year I was on Shemya, we had 10 days out of 365 that were VFR. Weather was always a cross wind and fog as the cold Bering Sea is on the North side of the island and the relatively warm Pacific on the South. The runway ran East/West, bearing 264 degrees if I recall right. So, strong cross wind.

I was sitting on the right side, looking out the window as the pilot informed us we were on final. At one point the fog seemed to thin and I saw a cliff out side my window. The aircraft lifted, cleared the bluff and slipped sideways as the wind pushed us across the island sideways. The pilot almost immediately set the plane down, reversed the props and we slowed to a stop. It took 2 hours before a Follow-Me truck could find us on the runway and we could taxi back to Base Ops.

While I was sure we would die, Bob and his pilots flew this route twice a week, every week for years. Bob Reeve was killed by a driver late for a flight in Anchorage and hit him in a crosswalk at the boarding area. Amazing what a life that man lived and what he flew only to be taken out by a rushed driver late for a flight.
My flight experience was in June of 1976. Bob Reeves died in 1980 at age 78.


Shemya AFB and the runway




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Old 06-30-2019, 07:09 PM   #15
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Back in the 1980's (I was 29) I was working as a geologist in Yukon Canada. I hired a guy with a small plane (a teenager actually) to fly me from Macmillan Pass to Dawson City. As we were flying the clouds moved lower and lower. And so did the plane. We were following the roads and after a while a tractor trailer came along and I felt we were uncomfortably close to the top of the trailer. That was about the time I noticed the pilot had started chain smoking. That was the most unnerving of all. Because of thunderstorms, we had to go around the backside of a mountain to get to our destination. But then it was getting late (it does get dark in August in Yukon but late). And then we were low on gas. So we stopped at a small field where this guy had some fuel stashed. Then back up we went. We arrived in the dark, and landed just before the airport lights went off at 10. I did not know about the lights until the pilot mentioned it when we were landing. Yikes.
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Old 06-30-2019, 07:26 PM   #16
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Not quite as dramatic as my Shemya flight, I took a small commuter flight from Gulfport, MS to New Orleans to catch a flight to San Francisco. On approach the pilot broke off, circled and made another attempt. He did this 3 times. Weather was beautiful. On the fourth try the pilot got on the intercom and announced that his radio was out and that each approach was broken off due to traffic taking off from the runway he was trying to land on. He said he finally got the air traffic controller's attention, guessing the pilots taking off reported the near misses, and we were able to land. This was in 1979.
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:12 PM   #17
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Back in August 1985, I was returning from Las Vegas on a business trip to the east coast. I twas a one stop flight, stopping in Dallas. During the landing at DFW airport Dallas we had noticeable turbulence and heavy rain. Within seconds of landing a huge, windy thunderstorm hit. We could feel the plane shake as it taxied to the runway.

Passengers got off, more passengers got on... and then we sat on the runway for a couple of hours. I and others thought the delay was weather related, but word began to spread that "something" had happened. The flight attendants were not saying anything, but they looked very strained. Someone said that a relative of a passenger had come to the gate (these were the days when you could easily see someone off at the gate without needing a ticket) and said that a plane had crashed and part of the wreckage had killed a motorist, but it seemed more of a rumor at that point.

I had a window seat on the flight. When we finally took off, there were gasps from many on the plane. I looked out... and one could clearly see, as we climbed during takeoff, the wreckage of another plane, with emergency vehicles around it. The rest of the flight was the quietest I have ever been on an airplane.

We landed in New York, I still had a long taxi shuttle ride to get home, and normally I did not call when my flight landed (this was before the days of cell phones). But this time I did - and DW was overjoyed to hear me. She knew I was connecting through Dallas, she was seeing on the news about a plane crash in Dallas, and had misplaced my flight info but knew I was connecting through Dallas, so was very nervous until she heard my voice.

The flight that crashed was Delta Flight 191. My estimate was we landed not much before they attempted to land, through the same bad weather that we may have beaten the worst of by seconds.
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:58 AM   #18
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I had an experience like Imoldernu's flying to Chicago with my then 6 or 7 year old daughter. We got a few minutes out when the pilot explained that the warning showed the wheels hadn't fully retracted so they were going back to the airport. The stewardess had us take the brace position with our heads down. My daughter was scared so I told her this was routine. No big deal when a light didn't work, they always have backups but need to go back and fix it, blah, blah. As I was BSing my daughter I looked up at the white faced guy in the seat next to her and we both just shook our heads. The landing was uneventful and my daughter wasn't even scared but I nicely told the customer relations people that she was a bit traumatized so they upgraded us to 1st when we re-boarded.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:42 AM   #19
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Almost forgot this story:

I was flying Air Tungaru from Honolulu to Kiritimati (Christmas) Island back in the late '70s. At the time, Tungaru shared some old rickety prop-driven heap with Air Nauru. There was only one flight a week; Kiritimati was a "closed" island at the time, no tourists.

It was mostly a cargo plane with a few passenger seats; the rest of the cabin was full of cargo. The plane was so heavy with cargo that it used the longest runway in HLN and used every last inch of it to get airborne.

We were out in the middle of the Pacific when all of a sudden we noticed a trail of liquid coming down the aisle along with an odor. Seems that a container of some flammable liquid started leaking. At about the same time one of the engines started smoking and sputtering.

The pilot (barefoot, T shirt, shorts) came out back, looked things over, opened some vents, looked at us and said: "no smoking" and went back to the cockpit.

As we approached the island, he came back again, told us that because the runway was relatively short, he was going to jam the wheels into the ground because we couldn't afford to bounce "so prepare for the hardest landing you've ever had". It was. The wings must've flexed 4 or 5 feet.

I was 20 something at the time and had a 'what could go wrong' attitude back then...I thought it was a great adventure.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:30 AM   #20
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I have had some traumatic moment in life (and it predates the recent health scare).

Thought about linking a favorite song of mine. "This is the end. Hold your breath and count to 10".

On 2nd thought, I have linked that song multiple times. Will spare y'all this time.
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