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

    Brian,
    
    This sounds like about the time this incident happened at Frobisher Bay.
    Does the report indicate where they landed?
    
    Robert
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Brian Whatcott 
    To: 
    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
    domes
    > >that used to be affixed to aircraft. The stories were always gruesome and
    > >usually involved headless navigators.  'nuff said on that. Matter of
    fact,
    > >an aircrew member was supposedly killed in about 1989 or thereabouts
    because
    > >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
    to
    > >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!
    >
    
    
    

       
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