Thursday, August 12, 2010

Flier at Fingal Threw Drogue, Went Right Out of Plane With It

November 4, 1943: Life as a drogue pilot at the Fingal Bombing and Gunnery School may seem drab and monotonous to the casual observer, but the boys who pull, the targets have a different slant about it, according to FO. C. A. Magee, whose story titled - "Drogue Driver," appears in this month's edition of Wings the R.C.A.F . magazine. F.O. Magee writes : "One morning a red-head who hails from Texas and answers to the name of Wheat took off as usual to tow the over grown wind sock around the sky. On reaching his position over the 'drome he told his operator to stream the drogue. The operator opened the hatch, threw -out the drogue-and went right out with it, minus his parachute . Luckily he had fastened a small cable known as the G-string to his chute harness. Nevertheless he was hanging head down under the fuselage trying to contact the operator by "inter-com," Pilot Wheat received no reply. Looking into the operator's compartment he found no operator. When he failed to see a parachute drifting earthward he decided to land and report the strange disappearance of one, drogue operator. "Taxiing to a stop the pilot found the operator bruised and lacerated, in his compartment . The only reason he was still alive was that, after the plane had decreased speed to land he had been able to grasp the hatch door and pull himself back in the plane.”

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