Thomas G. Goduto Interview, 20 February 2001

‹‹ Interview Index
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 29 / 30 / 31

the crosshairs on the end of the runway, and you've got something else on the radar, now you know the relative distance and direction from the end of the runway.
INT:When the General Officer came on the radio he ordered the pilot to go around and over fly the object, and they basically knew what the coordinates for that object were. That's the question. How would they know that if they didn't have it on their radar?
TG:How would we know it?
INT:How would anybody know it for that matter?
TG:If we didn't have it on the radar?
INT:Well, McCaslin's saying that he knew because somehow he was able to record where that object descended, so if you guys had to fly back over it he would be the one to direct you. There was a computer on board to drop those bombs, right?
TG:Yeah.
INT:That information would be in that computer? So basically the plane would fly itself back over that—
TG:No. You'd have to have what they called offset positions set in, in order for the airplane to fly there. I'm pretty sure the airplane could fly itself to the crosshairs, but as far as flying it to another point, I don't think it could. It couldn't solve that problem unless you had points put in. In order for us to over fly a given point, the radar and the navigator could've done it from inside the airplane. In effect, they could've navigated us right to that spot. But we wouldn't necessarily have known where that thing was unless we either saw it, or were painting it with radar, or being told where it was, which I think was the more likely case.
INT:I think so too.
TG:Okay. They would've said, 'We want you to fly 2 miles south of Lansford.' Well, we could see Lansford. You could see the lights of towns. You could see those lights at pattern altitude and you don't forget. A normal mission comprised probably 4 to 10 approaches on a sortie, so month after month, year after year of doing this stuff, these pilots and navigators knew that. Let's say you're a pilot and you'd be waiting to have ground control approach turn you to base leg, let's say. You knew it was coming because you'd look out the window and there was Lansford and when Lansford's about there is when we're gonna get our call, you know?

‹‹ Previous Page Next Page ››

18