Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vacuum the Plane

Over at Lex's place, we got to reminiscing about flying the P-3. Somehow vacuuming the plane came up. Towards the end of a flight, we use a hose that looks like the hose you vacuum a pool with to vacuum the inside of the plane. You stick one end into the sextant port and the suction makes it work.

In 1981, as a young CTI3 on one of my first dets with VQ as we neared Kef I was told to vacuum the plane.
How?
“When the FE tells you, open that little vent above the Nav station and stick this hose in it.”
Yeah, there was some cannister in the bag he handed me, but I didn’t know where that went. He had told me to stick the hose in the hole, never said anything about a cannister. It must be like vacuuming a pool.
So I stick the hose in the hole and hop down to begin vacuuming. Imagine my surprise as I watch about 20 feet of plastic hose disappear up through that hole. I can still remember the “zzzip” sound it made.
You should’ve seen the look on my supe’s face when I told him, “The hose went out.”

After we land in Kef, this little Air Force pick up drives up with our vacuum hose in the bed. The damn thing had wrapped around the long wire antennas and fallen off the plane when we landed.
That explained that bumping noise we could hear in the aft of the plane after “the hose went out.”

On Veteran's Day, remember those who served.

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