Military stories from past to present, both wars.

"T" Model

May 31st, 2007 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

Let’s talk about my plane today. The mighty KC-130 has been around for almost fifty years or so and they are still pumping the latest version, the “J” model, out of the Lockheed plant in Georgia. Rumor has it that the reserves will start getting the “J” model in the next few years so that we can be compatible with our active duty folks, less of a parts nightmare when we deploy to the gulf. Right now we fly the “T” model in the reserves, a great plane but getting a bit worn out.

The old planes that I flew in the fleet in the early nineties were the “F” and “R” models, which were built, in the early sixties and early eighties. Believe it or not I liked them better than our newer planes in a couple of ways. One reason I liked them better was because they had a “Pisser”. When you had to go to the bathroom you tapped your partner on the arm, gave him the hand sign that you were going to the back and if you were nice, you asked if he wanted a cup of coffee so he would have to go next. Then you sat on the flight deck platform, hopped off into the cargo bay and worked your way back to the ramp of the plane. There you opened a little green covered swing door, dropped the floor plate and stepped up to the urinal drain. All that was required of you was to lift up the small lid to the drain and suction would begin. As you evacuated your bladder the urine would vaporize out of the tail of the plane in to the atmosphere.

Once you were done you reached up and took a handful of water from the emergency water supply (they looked like large coffee pots and were stored along the sides) to wash your hands. This was a great system in my mind because you were able to stretch your legs for a minute and the pee was gone. Now days they have these two big stainless steel vats up front at the bulkhead behind the cockpit. Someone decided when the new planes were built that the urine vapor caused too much corrosion so it should be self-contained. So, you stare at the wall with twenty guys (and sometimes girls) trying not to look at you. What they didn’t count on was volume. See, if you have over twenty guys flying for eight hours or more, you fill up these vats pretty fast. It then becomes a big rush to collect all the plastic bottles out of the trash for waste container duty…

We haven’t even touched on how you drop a flight suit for the ole number two. Maybe, another day, I will share this story though. I always carry a hammock on the long trips and string it up over the ramp area. When it’s my break from flying (three or more pilots) I go back, jump in my sleeping bag, put my eyeshade on and crash. One day when I went back to take a pee and my sleep break I saw this jet guy we were hauling to Norway asleep in my bag, in my hammock with my eyeshade cover on, drooling. I thought that was kind of ballsy to just use my stuff and not ask so I took a small handful of water from the emergency tank and flicked it at his head a couple of feet away. As the water hit his face and woke him up he looked for the source of those drops. Turning his head, he saw me standing on the platform next to the urinal; my flight suit unzipped and “Mr. Johnson” shaking in his direction. Have you ever seen someone try to get out of a small hammock fast? They become very unbalanced and sort of get dumped out. That’s what happened to our F-18 pilot as he fell a few feet to the hard metal ramp. Of course he thought I had sprayed him, but when I showed him that he was hit with water not pee he calmed down a bit. I told him to find another spot for this one was mine.

See, now that we don’t have that pisser anymore, you can’t play those good old fun and games like you use to. Oh well, I’ll have to think of some more.
Semper Fi,