First Person F-100A Flying – Thanks To Harv Damschen!

The Solo Flight

I first flew the “A” at Nellis, checking-out in the Hun in 1958. I had a couple of dual rides in the “F”, then a chase ride in the “A”.  I was sent out to solo over Lake Mead. We were briefed on compressor stalls and adverse yaw in class, but it was all academic and certainly not worth thinking about on my first solo ride.

After all, I was now an F-100 pilot and the envy of the world! I came out of a whifferdill pointed down with beaucoup airspeed so I decided to do a loop. I approached the top with the airspeed not quite what it should be, and noticed the power was about 85%. At the apex, I shoved the throttle to 100%.

There was a huge Bang! (in fact, a couple of them). I thought the aircraft blew up. The cockpit began to fill up with smoke. I tried to roll upright using the left aileron but the aircraft rolled right. It didn’t matter, because I wound up with the ground below and the sky above. The flight instruments looked OK and the engine was still running, so I headed to Nellis thinking about ejection procedures and trying to get my voice to work to declare an emergency. Then it dawned on me -“That was a compressor stall, you dipshit…along with an adverse yaw demo”.

I was so humbled and chagrinned (and scared shixtless), I continued back to Nellis and landed.

Did I relate this tale to anybody? Hell no!…not for a good long while!

Harv