11 February 2010
Max Meets IT
Late in the takeoff roll, Max, the navigator, felt something hit him on top of the head. Since there was storage cabinet just above his head, he thought the cabinet door had popped open, and he reached up to close it. He discovered that it was already closed. For three or four seconds, Max wondered what had hit him on the head; then he felt something doing a many-legged soft shoe number on the top of his head. Instinctively, he swung at IT and knocked IT on a tumbling trajectory toward the boom operator. IT landed in the boomer's lap. Now, the boomer had an unpleasant experience several years earlier at Takhli, when he had to bail out of a burning KB-50. He had to spend some time in the Thai rain forest before being picked up by SAR; he had not been on friendly terms with insect life ever since. IT landed in his lap and leered up at him with two bulging many-lensed eyes. The boomer wanted no part of IT and frantically gave IT a slap shot which sent IT tumbling tail over teacup toward the pilots. IT landed on the control pedestal; in fact, IT landed smack on the rudder trim knob.