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Captain Abandoning His Ship

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Captain Abandoning His Ship

Old 01-17-2012, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by CheyDogFlies
Not the Captain, but how about this airman who went down with the ship?
David Richard Kingsley, Second Lieutenant, US Army Air Corps
"Carrying me in his arms, Lieutenant Kingsley struggled to get me through the door into the bomb bay," Sullivan told the Oregonian newspaper the following year, when Kingsley was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. "He told me to be sure and pull the rip cord after I had cleared the ship," Sullivan continued. "I did and as I was floating down I saw the Fort fall off and go into a spin. It crashed, exploded and burned. "The last time I saw Lieutenant Kingsley, he was standing on the catwalk over the open bomb bay doors." All eight crewmen who jumped from the plane made it to the ground safely. Seven were captured and held as prisoners of war, while one was hidden by Bulgarians sympathetic to the allied cause. Sullivan, circa 1995 'Carrying me in his arms, Lieutenant Kingsley struggled to get me through the door into the bomb bay. ... The last time I saw Lieutenant Kingsley, he was standing on the catwalk over the open bomb bay doors.' The B-17 crashed near the village of Suhozem, a tiny remote village. A Bulgarian air commander on the ground watched the plane go down and went to the crash site. He found Kingsley's body in the cockpit. Witnesses on the ground said the plane circled before coming down, indicating Kingsley may have tried to save his own life by making a crash landing in a field. Bulgarian villagers buried Kingsley in a makeshift grave. He was later reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Amazing story. Why didn't he attempt to tandem with one of the men, perhaps drop equipment to make lighter? Probably both would survive, and I am sure nobody would object. I assume he was trying to save the plane if found in cockpit though.

If there is ever one two few chutes in a bailout situation, somebody's going to get very up close and personal with cardiomd. Don't worry, I smell like cinnamon.
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by abelenky
By way of contrast, I heard a talk by Cpt. Richard Champion de Crespigny, of Quantas 32, last week. His focus on dealing with the emergency to the absolute end was incredible.
I was there too, very good presentation.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:13 AM
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Do you have insight on why airplane pilots and ship captains may approach their duties so incredibly differently?
We don't have lifeboats.... and maybe being 38,000 feet in the air typically precludes simply jumping ship to be water rescued.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by RogAir

"In all four ports, a good thirty minutes before we would anchor, whether at a pier or in the open ocean, a small boat would come out and deliver a local pilot to I assume steer the ship into waters he was familiar with. We would always be well out in the ocean when this happened."

I believe they are called harbor pilots. In San Francisco they make $500,000+/year salary--which I will venture to guess--is because they have a strong union. If anyone wants to argue that they have more responsibility than a 747 captain (or A320 captain for that matter) I would be interested to hear the argument. These guys know what their skills are worth, and what they contribute to the bottom line--when will pilots learn??

They get paid a lot primarily because they take on a tremendous risk and liaibility, and in some locations (ex Columbia River) they must be very experienced Any Ocean/Any Tonnage masters...ie former VLCC captains. Also since intimate knowledge of the waterway in question is a requirement, there is a limited pool of applicants at any given local.

The risk is personal...getting on and off the ship involves at-sea personnel transfer either from a small boat or a helo to a large ship, often in rough conditions. This is the approximate risk-equivalent of a grey-haired 747 captain having to base-jump to get to work before before each leg. Guys get killed doing it and I have a friend who recently lost one of his partners this way.

But some of them have unions too...can't hurt.
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by rickair7777
They get paid a lot primarily because they take on a tremendous risk and liability,
I completely disagree, today its all about what you (or your union) can negotiate.
If risk and liability were used to determine pay in the aviation biz I would be payed much, much more than guys at FedEx or the legacies. The again I am just a lowly 121 Supp Capt.
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