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Humorous Naval Air Flight Experiences

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Old January 11th 05, 08:44 PM
W. D. Allen Sr.
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Default Humorous Naval Air Flight Experiences

For what it's worth...

At the Naval Academy in the early 1950s we got fam flights in N3N
floatplanes. It was great fun. The engine flywheel had to be hand cranked to
provide the energy to turn over the engine to get it started. The plane then
pushed off the Severn River bank by white hat crewmen. We nuggets sat in the
front cockpit while the pilot (a naval aviator from the USNA faculty) was in
the back. We got to make climbs, descents, turns etc. until we finally got
to try our hand at landing on water (more difficult than land).

The day that really sticks in my memory was when we were returning from the
Chesapeake Bay and the prop suddenly flew off (later learned it was a fairly
common event with those old N3Ns). The pilot just stopcocked the throttle
and assumed glide speed. He had to maneuver between the yawl sailboats on
the river before setting us down. Then we sat for an hour until all the
other "healthy" N3Ns were hauled out of the water before a power launch
could come out to tow us to the ramp. I thought it was a lot more fun than
ever being chief engineer in a destroyer. I was convinced that Naval Air was
the way to go at graduation.

Don't know what they do for fam fights at Mother Bancroft today.

USNA '53



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