Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: Off topic - Fatality (was: Bubble horizon)
    From: Robert Eno
    Date: 2002 Dec 17, 20:55 -0500

    This sounds like about the time this incident happened at Frobisher Bay.
    Does the report indicate where they landed?
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Brian Whatcott 
    Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 7:46 PM
    Subject: Off topic - Fatality (was: Bubble horizon)
    > Here is the most informed background on this fatality, that I have
    >   been able to find:
    > In November 1988, Master Sergeant James Borland, a boom operator
    > whose principal task it was to fly the fueling boom onto a receiver
    > airplane when refueling, was preparing to make a celestial observation.
    > This was the standard practice for that position on a trans-Atlantic run.
    > (The boom took the sights, and the nav did the sight reductions. )
    > One of two sighting windows then fitted to KC135-E airplanes
    > broke free, thought to be due to corrosion at the seal.
    > These overhead windows were located about six feet aft of the
    > pilots' position, near the boom operators seat.
    >   Sgt Borland's head and arm were lifted clear outside the  aperture
    > where the force of the partial ejection into the high speed, thin air
    > killed him.  His intact corpse was recovered when the aircraft
    > descended to a viable height.
    >   James served with the MARCH Air Force Reserves.
    > The sighting windows on the KC135 were then deemed
    > unnecessary,  and replaced with a sandwich of plates to
    > eliminate this risk.
    > Brian Whatcott
    > At 12:18 AM 12/17/02, Robert Eno, you wrote:
    > >P.S.
    > >
    > >I too, have heard about navigators getting sucked out of the perspex
    > >that used to be affixed to aircraft. The stories were always gruesome and
    > >usually involved headless navigators.  'nuff said on that. Matter of
    > >an aircrew member was supposedly killed in about 1989 or thereabouts
    > >he got sucked out the dome. The aircraft ended up emergency landing in
    > >Frobisher Bay. That was the story anyway. It happened too long ago for me
    > >verify it.
    > >
    > >Robert
    > >Paul Hirose,  you said:
    > >Robert
    > > > KC-135s used to have flat windows on top of the plane near the bubble
    > > > sextant port. I heard they were replaced with metal plates after an
    > > > accident in the 80s (?) in which a nav got sucked out to his death.
    > > > Such stories are often apocryphal, but there may be some truth to this
    > > > one. The one -135 I worked on in my career, in the 1990s, did have the
    > > > window openings plated over. In fact, I heard the story of the nav
    > > > from one of the crew chiefs on that bird, after he noticed me playing
    > > > with the periscopic sextant. What a way to die.
    > > >
    > > >
    > Brian Whatcott
    >    Altus OK                      Eureka!

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site