Patrick D. McCaslin Interview, 11 November 2000

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to do it and we went to pattern altitude, turned back north and then proceeded back toward the west, just north of the base, in a visual pattern. The pilot said that I'll do a visual pattern at whatever altitude—
JKDoes that mean he's within sight of the ground?
PMYeah, he's at 1000 feet, maybe 1500 feet, and he's using his own eyeballs to navigate the airplane. He's not using any electronic—
JKOK, so ground landmarks?
PMSo, we were going west back toward where this thing had disappeared, and by this time the radar navigator was back with us and I suggested, or he suggested, I don't remember for sure, putting the crosshairs in the bombing mode. Putting the crosshairs of the nav system on the location of this thing where it disappeared. So we did that. Now there were no weapons on the aircraft.
JKRight, training mission.
PMYeah. So, but the computer was capable of—once you put the crosshairs on this location, it would navigate the aircraft, the pilots could then navigate the aircraft as if it were a bomb run and fly right to that point. So we did that. We put the crosshairs on the point and allowed the computer to direct the aircraft, or to direct the pilots—all they had to do was follow what's called a PDI. I think its Position Deflection Indicator or something. They center that up and then there's a Time-To-Go indicator that indicates how far you're from it in seconds. And at some point, we were counting down the time to where this thing had disappeared from the radar scope and I heard the pilot say something, you know like: "Holy Shit look at this" or something like that, and they indicated there was something on the ground, they were talking back and forth about it, apparently we flew right over the thing. At one point, I think the Aircraft Commander [Cagle] said "Nav, come on up here" since I was the one that had picked it up initially I guess. Said, "Come on up here and take a look at this thing," and I indicated that I was not about to get out of a perfectly good ejection seat, and climb upstairs with no parachute to look at whatever this was, because—I don't wanna say that all this went through my mind but it occurred to me either then or later that if I were someone in a strange place investigating things and this huge aircraft flew over me at a very low altitude, I'm not sure what I'd have done, but I wanted to make sure that I had something that would get me out of the airplane if, in fact, they took umbrage at that. So we flew over it, and I declined the offer to go up, they did a visual turn back to the south and lined up with the runway and flew back what would have been east and landed. And then when we landed, we went into the Ops Building, people came out and confiscated the film.
JKSo let me ask you now this was a B-52H?
PMH model, right.

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