“Boomer” was our Class Commander in UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training). Probably, kind of thought of as our “Den Mother.” In this capacity he was responsible for all the ‘administrative things’ that came our way. He was also responsible for kicking our asses when we needed it. That didn’t happen often with our class; we had a pretty good group of guys.
Boomer was also a T-37 IP. As it turned out, I flew with him frequently. Matter of fact, he “soloed” me out in Tweets. (And that’s another story! LOL!)
A lot of guys didn’t care to fly with Boomer; he was a “screamer!” But for some reason or another, his antics didn’t bother me – in fact, I thought they were kind of comical.
One day, whilst coming back to base, he gt so pissed off at me and dropped his (oxygen) mask, then turned his head and stared out the right side of the canopy. “Well hell,” I thought to myself, and I dropped my mask and began looking out the left side. Then something occurred to me, and I began laughing.
He was still kinda pissed at me, but he couldn’t help himself. “What’s so funny?” he asked.
“Oh,” I said, “I was just thinking about some bird we’re about to hit. Can you imagine what bird’s last thoughts might be?”
“Here I am about to get smeared by a jet, and the two assholes flying the thing are looking out their side windows – Great!”
He thought about it a sec, then reattached his mask, trying to conceal his laughter.
I wasn’t intimidated by him – I actually kinda liked him. We were both 1st Lts., although he out-ranked me by a year. And after that incident, we got along fine. Except for the day he got pissed at me again, and knocked off the glare shield with his fist! “Oh shit,” I responded, “glad I didn’t do that!”
For all my “smart-ass” remarks throughout Tweets he did get back at me. As was the tradition, as we were about to complete the T-37 phase, he invited us (the students he primarily flew with) and our wives over to dinner. And after dinner, he put on a few Bill Cosby albums. “A few,” my ass! He must have had everything that Cosby had produced up to that date – and we sat through them all! And Boomer didn’t drink. Absolutely no beer in the house… pure torture! They were funny, but 4 hours of Cosby?