Flying With Iranians…

In the late ’70’s, we received 29 Iranians at Vance AFB, OK for pilot training.  In preparation for these guys we had a 3-4 hour briefing on their (Muslim) customs from the State Department. (In retrospect, one of the best USAF briefings I ever received.)

One of the things they told us was that, in their society, if “they” lied” to you, and you didn’t ‘catch it,’ it wasn’t considered a lie. And, in addition, it was somewhat of an insult to these guys to challenge them if you suspected they were lying… Well, okay then.

I flew with their Class Leader, Lt. Bosh, very early on in his T-38 training.  We had just come back to the pattern and were coming off a touch-and-go I had demonstrated for him. As we pulled up for another pattern he asked me the final turn and final approach airspeeds – something he was responsible for knowing. I gave them to him, 10 knots slow.

As we were about mid-way through the final turn we began sinking like a sewer pipe. “Go around, use Burners!” the controller directed…

As we went around Lt. Bosh said, “Sir, I don’t think the airspeed was correct…”

“Well, you got me Lt. Bosh,” I replied. “I was just messing with you. I wanted to show you that, if I ask you a question and you lie to me, I will lie to you.  So, if I ask a question, and you do not know the answer, just tell me. Okay?”

“Sir, may I speak freely” he then asked.

“Of course.”

“Sir, I think you are crazy!”

But you know, the “word” got out and I never had any issues with those guys, and came to enjoy flying with them.

Note: These guys were all reported killed after they returned to Iran. They weren’t the Khomeini’s guys…

This entry was posted in The Book, UPT, USAF, War Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.