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An Eagle Tells Flying Stories with Associated Drivel

An Eagle Tells Flying Stories with Associated Drivel

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An Eagle Tells Flying Stories with Associated Drivel

évaluations:
4.5/5 (3 évaluations)
Longueur:
353 pages
7 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Oct 15, 2012
ISBN:
9781477276341
Format:
Livre

Description

This book is about a shy boy, who learned discipline from strict parents and seven years of Parochial School. My ten years in a band taught marching. A graduate mechanical engineer, who loved to fly control line model airplanes, was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, and found the Air Force a piece of cake. The Air Force taught me to fly, although I had little desire to do so, and pushed me to be an extremely aggressive pilot.

Skill, knowledge, and training allowed me to advance through the highest performance jet aircraft during the time period of 1955 through 1984. Jet aircraft flown were the T-33A, F86F (Sabre), F100 (Series A, D & F Super-Sabre), F105 (B & D Thunderchief), and the F110 (F4D Phantom).

My stories progress from Primary Flight School, through all training and missions in the above aircraft as Pilot, Test Pilot, Instructor, and Air to Air Fighter Pilot. Few understand the training and life of an Air Force Pilot, so the Drivel shows a portion of life with these interesting, actual flying stories. A most enjoyable read!
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Oct 15, 2012
ISBN:
9781477276341
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

This book is about a shy boy, who learned discipline from strict parents and seven years of Parochial School. My ten years in a band taught marching. A graduate mechanical engineer, who loved to fly control line model airplanes, was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, and found the Air Force a piece of cake. The Air Force taught me to fly, although I had little desire to do so, and pushed me to be an extremely aggressive pilot. Skill, knowledge, and training allowed me to advance through the highest performance jet aircraft during the time period of 1955 through 1984. Jet aircraft flown were the T-33A, F86F (Sabre), F100 (Series A, D & F Super-Sabre), F105 (B & D Thunderchief), and the F110 (F4D Phantom). My stories progress from Primary Flight School, through all training and missions in the above aircraft as Pilot, Test Pilot, Instructor, and Air to Air Fighter Pilot. Few understand the training and life of an Air Force Pilot, so the “Drivel” shows a portion of life with these interesting, actual flying stories. A most enjoyable read!


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An Eagle Tells Flying Stories with Associated Drivel - John Murphy

1-800-839-8640

© 2012 by John Murphy. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the author.

Published by AuthorHouse 10/09/2012

ISBN: 978-1-4772-7635-8 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4772-7634-1 (e)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2012918391

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

Contents

Preface

Chapter 1 Primary Flying School—Stallings AB, Kinston, NC

Chapter 2 Basic Flying School Laredo AFB, Texas

Chapter 3 GCI Training Tyndall AFB, FL

Chapter 4 Advanced Gunnery School Williams AFB, Arizona

Chapter 5 Further Advanced Gunnery School Nellis AFB, Nevada (Home of the Fighter Pilot)

Chapter 6 474TFW Clovis (Cannon) AFB, New Mexico

Chapter 7 Survival School Stead AB, Reno, Nevada

Chapter 8 49th TAC Fighter Wing Etain AFB, France

Chapter 9 49th TAC Fighter Wing Spangdahlem AFB, Germany

Chapter 10 118th Military Airlift Wing, TN Air National Guard

Chapter 11 108th TAC FTR WING, New Jersey Air National Guard McGuire AFB, NJ

Chapter 12 170th MAC/SAC Refueling Group, McGuire AFB, NJ

Chapter 13 108th TFW McGuire AFB, NJ

Glossary Terms

Preface

Caution

Graphic Language in this Book

After World War II one of the British aerial heroes was giving a presentation to a large group of ladies in the US explaining how the Air War saved Britain. On his introduction to the group, a General praised the Air Marshall for his heroic endeavors and those of his fellow pilots, and of course our Air Groups who lost many aircrews. As the Air Marshall explained how radar detected large groups of German aircraft approaching England local Fighter Units would be scrambled from many airfields and vectored to the incoming masses of intruders. The Air Marshall said when the enemy was finally seen by pilots, the sky was full of Fokkers. The General stood up and interrupted the Air Marshall and said, Ladies, Fokkers which the Air Marshall is describing, are aircraft designed and manufactured by Hans Fokker, a most famous German aircraft designer.

The Air Marshall said, No, no, General, those Fokkers were Messerschmidts!

Such language is commonplace dialect in the Fighter business.

My early childhood can best be described as a sheltered religious atmosphere with strict obedience to my parents, who were medium income Catholics in a southern Baptist town. I attended Catholic grammar school (four in the class) and went to public high school. Relatively unknown and extremely shy, I graduated in the top quarter of the class. When visiting the college, my senior high school year, planning to major in engineering, I was told the ROTC was mandatory for all of the land grant colleges. My observation revealed, the Army with rifles. At dismissal time, the Army troops ran to the armory to turn in their rifles, and I then observed the Air Force troops as they ran to the chow hall and were first in line.

At that moment I knew the Air Force was for me.

I had flown several times in my early childhood, but at that time I had no desire to be a pilot or aircrew member. In college, the Air Force ROTC program would result in my commission as a Second Lieutenant Maintenance Officer due to the relationship of my mechanical engineering degree.

At summer camp in Valdosta, Georgia, all ROTC cadets had to take physicals. All were given flight physicals, but they found I was color blind. I had missed 17 out of 18 slides in the color test. This really didn’t matter at that time as color perception was only needed for flying school and I was not in that program. At graduation time, the Air Force changed the rules. Since the Korean War was over, they had a surplus of maintenance officers. Only pilots would get their commissions and the rest of the ROTC cadets would be required to go in the Air Force for three years as Staff Sergeants. Since I was married with one child, I could not afford this option.

The Professor of Air Science and Tactics (PAST), Colonel Jowdy, called me and discussed my situation. He got a color chart book and told me to take it home and memorize it. I came back with it memorized and he gave me the test. I got all 18 charts correct. He arranged a staff car to take me to Pope AFB. At Pope, the doctor looked at my records and said, What did you do, memorize the chart? I said I didn’t understand the test. He laughed and got the color book and gave me the test. I passed all 18 pages. He took them out, shuffled them and did the test again. I again passed all 18. The doctor said, You did a good job in memorizing, so I’ll pass you. He said, They will commission you, but at preflight school they will give you another physical, see the original test and retest and not let you go to flight school. "

I said, Fine, I really didn’t want to fly, just wanted the commission, so I could be a maintenance officer. When I graduated I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force, but I would receive my assignment at a later date.

I then reported to the North American Aviation Company, Columbus, Ohio as a Junior Design Engineer on the F86H. After about six months with the company, I received orders to report to Lackland AB Texas for preflight training class 56L. At Lackland I did the marching, physical training, marksmanship training and was assigned to Stallings AB, Kinston, North Carolina, for primary flight training. No physical exam was given. So I departed to Kinston, NC for primary training.

PA – 18 Piper Cub

T-6G

The photos above are the aircrafts flown and described in the first chapter. The Piper Cub was flown the first 20 hours. The T-6G was flown the next 120 hours. It was much more complex and difficult than the Piper Cub.

AT-6C Texas in Flight

Chapter 1

Primary Flying School—

Stallings AB, Kinston, NC

(Piper Cub PA-18 North American T-6 Texan)

The base was run by the Air Force, but all the ground and flight instructors were civilians. My instructor was a nice, old crop duster, who was easy-going and very likable. He never raised his voice, and just demonstrated, and talked you through the myriad of stalls, spins, aerobatics, take-offs, traffic patterns and landings. Academics was a breeze, and my flying was fair, so I managed to get through primary without a lot of effort.

The Military TAC instructors tried to make life miserable through drill and physical exercise, but as officers we were a lot better off than the cadets who were treated like dogs. We were given 20 hours in the Piper Cub and expected to solo around 10 hours. Then 120 hours in the T6. Several incidents of note in early flying. One of the cadets got sick, in flight in the Piper Cub. He took off his hat and puked in it. He nearly filled it up with vomit and was careful not to spill any in the cockpit. He carefully opened the side window to throw it out, but as he did the air stream blew it back in all over the civilian instructor sitting behind him. He spent hours cleaning the airplane and the instructor was pissed at him for months!

One of my early flights in the Piper Cub was progressing satisfactorily, but it was hot in the airplane. Looking around I saw a knob right below the side window that looked like the knob on a car window. I reached for the knob trying to open the window a little so it would get cooler. When we landed, the instructor gave me an excellent for the flight and noted that at this early point, I was already using the trim knob to assist me in flying. I never told him I thought I was opening the stuck window instead of trimming the aircraft.

The T6 was a fine airplane. Complex, with a lot of gauges and knobs. It was fun to fly and was designed for aerobatics. We learned navigation, how to fly at night, and all emergency procedures. It was a great airplane with an excellent instructor who was a good guy. After solo in the T6, we were supposed to shoot landings, touching down 500’ from the approach end of the runway. This was a solo event. Two of the three landings had to be within 200ft of the touchdown mark. My first two landings were perfect. On the third landing I was long, but since I had already accomplished what was required, I just flew along until it landed. My instructor quizzed me on why I landed instead of going around, returning on another try and touching down at the mark. I told him I already got the two touchdowns as required, so why waste time doing it again? This was the first and only time he got uptight. He said I should do it every time. Not just what was required. I got a 30 minute lecture on how I should try and do each item required perfectly. From then on, I tried to do my best at each required event and we got along fine. Three fellow students with another instructor, who was an asshole, had a problem. All pilots had to wear a crash helmet, which had earphones. The instructor, usually in the back cockpit, communicated with you via the intercom. If the students did not respond fast enough or adequately the asshole would scream. If that did not get their attention, he would take out the rear control stick and beat them on the head. Those three poor students had holes all over their helmets from the idiot instructor, but he did get their attention.

Due to the number of aircraft launched in a short time, there is not enough landing areas for all airborne aircraft to get the job done. Auxiliary fields at nearby towns are used so each flight leader takes his instructors and students to the auxiliary for the day. The aircraft with either students, or students and instructors depart Kinston for the auxiliary. A bus will take the others to the auxiliary usually about 30-45 minutes away. You grab a sandwich, candy and a Coke before you camp out on the bus. After the 1st bunch land, they deplane and another student gets in and flies an hour and another gets in.

One day at Washington, NC, a solo student came into land. During round out, and still a couple feet in the air, the aircraft stalled and the right wing hit the ground. The ground was wet and the right wingtip went about a foot in the ground. The student used rudder and aileron to keep the aircraft on the runway but it was in a 30 degree incline with the right wingtip acting like a plow digging a furrow in the ground. The student added full power and before he got the wingtip out of the ground had done about 200ft of a furrow. The aircraft got airborne so he chopped the power and the left wing stalled at about 2 feet. It hit the ground just like the right wing had done. He added power and the aircraft dug another 200ft furrow on the left side of the runway. He went around, flew a closed pattern and landed correctly the second try. He pulled off into the parking area and shut down. His instructor inspected the aircraft and determined the damage was too great to be flown with another student, so he got in and flew the aircraft back to Kinston where they fixed it within a week. You begin to wonder if these aircraft are really airworthy after years of this kind of flying.

Later in my career my suitemate in France was quite bold and told me his T6 story. Everyone wore a hat colored to the flight you were in. The instructors had special marking on it and as the student progresses, they paint markings on their hats (i.e.) solo, instrument qualified acro, etc. He was scheduled for a solo practice day 30 miles away in the acrobatics area. He purchased a hat with the instructor’s markings. He landed at an airfield close to the acro area. The girlfriend with one of his flight suits on met him at the airport. He put her in the backseat and she pushed her hair up into the cap. He took off, did his acrobatics practice, landed, she got out and he took off, and landed at the home base. No one reported the landings and takeoffs from the field that was not an auxiliary.

If that had been me I would have been caught and thrown out of the Air Force. Not much else was noteworthy, so I was elated to graduate from Stallings and on to Basic Flight School and Jets at Laredo.

The next photos are the aircrafts flown and described in the next chapter. The T-28A was flown for 40 hours. The T-33A was flown the next 80 hours. The Jet (T-33A) was fast so reaction time to control it, I thought was difficult. In later Chapters, at Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound) this Aircraft was antiquated. It is good that the training was incremnentally programmed or I would be dead.

T-28A

T-33A

Chapter 2

Basic Flying School Laredo AFB, Texas

The road to Laredo was long and straight, and the town was not like most towns in the USA. The population was mostly Mexican and most spoke Spanish. The military at the base were Gringos, so most shopping and social events were at the base. The Rio Grande separated Laredo from Neveau Laredo, the portion of town in Mexico.

The base was all military and my class was one of the first classes of both officers and cadets. Initially they tried to treat us like dogs, but a couple of the 1st lieutenants in the class, after long sessions with the cadre, at least got all the officers out of scrubbing the floors. My instructor was a little short shit who tried to instruct by shouting and sarcasm. The 40 hours of flying in the T-28A was the most miserable experience that I had ever known. The engine was hard to start, and usually I would over prime the gas and a backfire would occur. This would start ‘little shit’ shouting and cursing, and with the distraction caused by the instructor, the flight went downhill. The plane was one of the nicest that I ever flew, but the hell I received from ‘little shit’ made it a most unpleasant experience. Most of the instruction was in acrobatics, instruments and formation flying. I finished the T-28 phase by the skin of my teeth and continued on to the T-33 with the same instructor. O lucky me. Little shit, never relenting, continued his shouting, cursing, and sarcasm throughout basic training.

My first experience with a T-33 (JET) would be with me in the front seat, my instructor in the back seat, on a high altitude navigation round robin flight to Houston, San Antonio back to Laredo. My instructor, who was an asshole in the first 40 hours, in the T-28 screamed, shouted, degraded you and just verbally abused all his students. This manner of instruction contributed to my nervous fear of being instructed by him. After getting in the front seat and putting my helmet on, I was really distracted by the intercom system. I could hear his every breath or utterance of a sound. Although he was to do most everything from the rear, I was responsible for several items that he had no control of in the rear. On taxi out I had extreme problems. The nose wheel was a swivel controlled by differential braking from each main brake. The fuel (JP-4) was being burned at 5 gallons a minute. But with the power I had to add to keep it going straight, we were using 8 gallons a minute. By takeoff time I was 60 gallons behind programmed fuel and ‘little shit’ was beside himself in anger. He was shouting and cursing so loudly, I could not do anything properly. Somehow we got to the takeoff end of the runway. I was in the process of doing the before takeoff checklists when he blasted me again. So I told him I had finished the checklists. He then pushed the throttle forward, and we took off.

I took control after takeoff and was so busy trying to fly, keeping and maintaining the wings level (as the aircraft had hydraulic assisted aileron controls) as we flew a straight line to Houston. The flight sensation was nice, but his constant remarks still had me on edge. A slight breeze was refreshing that warm Texas day and I began to relax a little. Soon my instructor asked me to turn up the heat as he began to get chilly. Climbing through 18,000 feet he asked me to read the cabin altitude to him, but I screwed up and read the outside air temperature. He was satisfied, but asked for more heat. I advanced the rheostat and over the next 10 minutes he threw a tirade over my inability to get adequate heat in the aircraft. At level off 41,000 feet, I again relaxed and began to look around. A glaring red light caught my eye, so I read the placard under the light and it said, CANOPY UNLOCKED.

My God! In my hurry to finish the before takeoff checklist I had failed to lock the canopy and it was slightly open with a breeze coming under the base of the canopy. What was happening was the cockpit was unpressurized and at—60 degree outside air temperature was coming into the cockpit. The hot air for heating the cockpit was mixing with the below 60 degree air from outside with little affect. It was cold inside the cockpit and we were approaching the altitude where your blood would boil without a pressure suit. As I was extremely strong, and without saying anything to ‘little shit’, I grabbed the canopy handle and with all my might closed it. Instantly the cabin pressurized and the cockpit altitude went from 41,000ft to 15,000ft. Our oxygen masks slammed flat against our faces and the temperature went from freezing to hot. My instructor yelled, What the hell happened? I replied I didn’t know. With the heat on Full, and the temperature soaring, he surmised the heating and pressurization system had iced up and finally melted, causing the change of temperature and pressurization. I agreed that this had probably just occurred and the rest of the flight was uneventful. Had I told the truth, it would have been my last jet flight.

One thing I must explain is the intercom system for pilots. Each pilot has a microphone in his oxygen mask, which is hot, or On all the time. Each breath and exhalation is heard by the other pilot. Any sound by one pilot is amplified to the other pilot and you can hear even a swallow by the other pilot. A most distracting system, but this aircraft was an extension of the first jet flown—very primitive. The remaining 80 hours were nothing but hell. One day, while trying to learn to fly instruments, I tuned the radio compass and identified the Laredo Range Station by Morse Code and turned the volume to minimum intensity to start working a radio range orientation including entry, holding pattern, and let down. While I was watching the instruments and trying to fly the aircraft under a hood, which would allow no visual outside references, the instructor moved the radio station to another frequency (Alice—75 miles down the road). I had a hell of a time determining my quadrant and shot the Laredo entry, holding pattern, and let down on the Alice Radio Range. Needless to say I failed the instrument ride, although he played a dirty trick on me. His answer was I should’ve noticed the change in the call letters in Morse Code. I was too involved in the difficult procedure, plus flying under the hood, listening to his every breath, verbiage, shouting and cursing to notice a change in call letters.

Near graduation date, the big instrument check flight was given by a flight examiner from Standard and Evaluation Section. I will never forget that flight. He didn’t shout like my instructor, but did he curse! He would be singing a song which was extremely distracting. Midway in a word of the song he would start cursing saying things like, What the fuck are you doing you stupid ass? He then would continue singing with the next word of the song. After the flight he and my instructor took me into a small room and made me promise. If he passed me for instrument flying, I would not fly in the weather until I got at least 20 more hours of instrument time. I promised. So with excellent academic grades and extremely low flying grades, they gave me Pilot Wings and turned me loose on the world to kill myself.

After treating us like dog shit for a year, they now asked who would extend their time in the Air Force and be assigned as Co-Pilots in SAC, in either B-47’s or B-52’s. Most of the class refused to extend, so we were all sent to Ground Control Intercept School at Tyndall AFB, Florida to learn to control aircraft for the Air Defense Command on radar scopes. (Early Warning Air Controllers trained to intercept enemy aircraft trying to attack the US and its possessions.) This time period was April 1956.

T-33A

The above photo of the T-33A is the aircraft flown and described in the next chapter. On arrival I was perhaps the weakest jet pilot in the Air Force. I flew this aircraft for over 500 hours and when I left Tyndall, I was one of the better pilots in the Air Force. Amazing what a 100 hours a month flying will do to your skill level!

Chapter 3

GCI Training Tyndall AFB, FL

Tyndall, adjacent to Panama City, Florida was a real jewel of a base, 1st-class. The base was beautiful and clean and the people were nice. The only drawback was a stinking pulp mill that, on occasion with the right wind direction, would stink up the whole area. On arrival in mid—April 1956 a flight of 16 T-33’s passed over the base at about 1000 feet in trailing diamond formations. Then shortly after, all 16 flew by in echelon formation (all aircraft to the right or left of the leader wing tip to wing tip). F-86D’s and T33’s were all over the sky and the dual parallel runways were busy most of the time.

The flying atmosphere was superb and at the GCI school the First Sergeant made a most interesting proposal. Signing a three-year contract, agreeing to stay in the Air Force three more years, and you would get your choice of fighters within Crew Training Air Force. Since this would only extend me by three months and the pay was good, I signed a contract to go through Gunnery School in the F-86F then F-100A fighters. While waiting for a class assignment of approximately 6 months, you were able to fly the T-33’s used to train the scope dopes (GCI Controllers). I was scheduled to fly the T-33 on intercept missions 20 hours a week. So in six months I would have around 500 hours Jet time, when it came time to advance to the F-86F/F-100A. I was assigned to a T-33 squadron at Tyndall and flying occurred immediately.

Checkout and mission demonstration were expediently handled. The aircraft were old, with different cockpit arrangements within the flight. Most pilots flew the same aircraft each day, but since I was the newest and lowest ranking, I got the oldest aircraft in use. Being dumb and inexperienced with limited knowledge of the aircraft in a squadron of highly experienced pilots (most with over 1000 hours in the aircraft) it was a demanding ordeal.

On one of my first flights with the flight commander (the officer responsible for my utilization) I was in the rear cockpit observing how he flew the mission profile. After about 10 GCI intercepts we reached bingo fuel (minimum to return to the base 75 miles away and land safely). Instead of heading for the base he proceeded to a prescribed orbit point and started a left turn. Other aircraft began to join up and shortly we had 12 T-33’s in formation. He then proceeded to do some mild acrobatics, while working towards the base. Soon the fuel low-level light came on indicating 85 gallons of fuel remaining. In flight school when that light came on, you declared an emergency and shot a straight in approach to the nearest field. He proceeded to arrange the flight in three diamonds and requested from the tower clearance to make a flyover of the field. By the time we got to the field we had only 45 gallons of fuel (less than five minutes at our altitude and power setting). After flying over the field in show formation he proceeded to about 5 miles over the water and put the 12 aircraft in echelon formation for landing. On initial, he checked with the tower for landing. All I did was watch the fuel gauge. We now only had 15 gallons of fuel (less than two minutes). He pitched out and pulled the throttle to idle (Each aircraft did the same thing, four seconds between each aircraft). On touchdown we had 10 gallons of fuel remaining and he turned off the runway and taxied to the parking spot. On shutdown the gauge showed 1 gallon.

Throughout the last 10 minutes of flight I just knew we would flame out, crash and die. When I deplaned, my legs were shaking so badly I had to hold onto the ladder extra tight so I would not fall. Luckily my flight commander had departed into Operations. Turns out this was a standard practice for this flight commander. Some of my friends from flying school, who were being trained for the GCI Scope came over and got back seat flying time for pay purposes also flew with our leader. He scared them to death. A couple went over and got their flight time in the base C—47. The more upset the poor guy in the back seat got, the better our leader enjoyed the flight.

After a few flights, one of my old flying school chums wanted to ride in my backseat. Glad to accommodate, we went out together on our normal mission. After the intercepts I went to the orbit point and joined the formation. As I was slow getting into formation, I ended up number 12 in a flight of 12 aircraft. We flew over the field in diamond (show) formation, and then over the Gulf, went into echelon for the landing pattern. Formation flying is difficult until mastered and I was at the beginner’s experience level. Much stick movement and power changes were required to stay in position as the last aircraft in a 12 ship formation, flying wing tip to wing tip, I was moving the throttle from idle to full power trying to maintain my position. Lead pitched out and every four seconds the next aircraft broke left. The traffic pattern for jets involves a 180 degree turn pulling 4 G’s (aircraft being in a 90 degree bank)—rolling out wings level—check gear lowering airspeed, if satisfactory, gear down, flaps down—bank 90 degrees left turning from downwind to final. On base leg while in a 90 degree bank check the gear indicator for being down and roll out on final with at least 200 feet ground clearance and land. On the parallel runways, 1 through 4 land on the Left runway, 5 through 8 on the Right, 9 through 12 on the Left , and 13 through 16 on the Right. We only had 12 this day, so I was to land on the Left runway. A lot of the aircraft land within a couple of minutes. As the other aircraft were breaking into the left 90 degree bank and turn at four second intervals, I was still flying level and counting for my point to break left (In order to be uniform you count the seconds from when the leader begins his turn.). Trying to maintain position on number 11, I was in the process of full throttle when my time to break left occurred.

I broke left but forgot to pull the throttle to idle. I pulled 4 G’s ( 4 times the pull of gravity—your body weighs the equivalent of 800 pounds) leveled my wings on downwind and dropped my gear down for landing. My error was, I still had maximum power on the aircraft and I was going faster than the speed which allows the gear to come down. The landing gear tried to come down, but the excessive airspeed on the doors and gear caused them to only come part way down. The gear doors at this angle acted as a control surface, so suddenly my aircraft began to roll upside down. I exerted full aileron against the roll, but it continued slowly to roll. I was inverted at approximately 700 feet above the ground, I then applied aileron with the roll, and quickly we rolled several more times. At this point, I pulled the gear back up and it retracted. I then had full control of the aircraft and righted the aircraft to its normal position.

I had come within seconds of killing myself and my passenger. The others had landed, so I went out and reentered normal traffic and landed. I was silent on taxi-in and shut down. As I crawled

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