I sent them an email giving the exact date, and the reply was very interesting. My memories of the flight are generally positive. This may have had something to do with the fact that I was going home. I'm glad, however, that I wasn't aware of what was going on up at the pointy end. The trip would have not have been so enjoyable had I known.
I certainly remember a long take off run at Tan Son Nhut, and a very rough landing in
Your flight was under the Command of a Captain Norm Field and from the only story from a pilot, he wrote:
Maybe some of the Blue Mountains Vets will remember this departure from Saigon as it was just before Christmas 1970 on December 10th1970 ,707-338c VH-EAA City of Toowoomba.
The airport was a shambles with military equipment, broken helicopters and Air
Then "Murphy" took over. Our flight plan arrived and with the high ground temp and big payload (a bum on every seat) we could not do the direct flight, so plan via
This was my first introduction to the
Because of our delay we had now lost our slot departure time and the chief controller advised that due to a fire fight problem to the north-east and the F4 phantoms having priority we could not take off into wind and would either have an indefinite delay or take off downwind, actual tailwind component at that stage was 15kts. Max component for a 707 was 10kts. Bugger!! Now we were really weight restricted. At this stage we had all the blokes on board drinking fosters and wanting to get the hell out of there.
With a bit of persuasion the controller changed the tailwind component to 10kts gusting 12 kts occasionally, which we accepted, but don't tell Boeing.
Normally the airport defence helicopters checked the "big white rats" departure track before we left and moved to the north but on this occasion with our delay and the temperature, heavyweight take off, increasing tail wind as we climbed signals got a bit confused and we passed underneath them.
Five hours later we were in
What I remember about the troops was that they held their officers in high esteem, and nothing was going to stop them marching through the capital cities when their turn came.