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Rivet Ball

In the early hours of January 13th, 1969 I was forced to accept something that I had known for a while, but had pushed to the back of my mind: I was mortal and was going to die.

This was the first of several incidents when my chance of survival was a good deal less than 1 in 2. This wasn’t the scariest, but it was the first, and following on the heels of the terrible events of 1968, it had the biggest impact.

In the end the only “death” was an airplane, Rivet Ball, the Air Force’s only RC-135S. The military version of the Boeing 707, the fuselage broke in half, like an eggshell, on impact. A very talented pilot, John Achor, the aircraft commander, was responsible for that miracle.

I provide more detail on my other site.

2 comments

1 Kryten42 { 01.17.13 at 7:46 am }

I for one am very glad you had a good team on your side m8, and are still around to tell the tale. :)

I am here for the same reason, but I cannot (yet) tell the tale. *shrug* The only way one is selected for special forces (here anyway) is an innate belief and understanding of one’s mortality, and an acceptance without fear of that fact. Many fail the first Psych Eval because they don’t meet that criteria (and they will never know why they didn’t make the cut). And for the record, that doesn’t mean they want *Fearless Fools*! They get cut fast also!

Anyway m8, I understand. And I’m glad you are still here. :)

Cheers and much earned respect for your Pilot and crew!

2 Bryan { 01.17.13 at 11:04 pm }

That’s what a team is all about – specialists who work to keep the team alive and accomplish the mission. We had a great maintenance crew who kept the aircraft operating at peak efficiency. We could have wheels up in 15 minutes if everyone was asleep when the horn went off, and the aircraft had to be backed out of the hangar.