Bradford Runyon Interview, 25 February 2005

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TTAt that point you are in what direction in relation to the base?
BROK, we're still flying away from the base and we still haven't reached our TACAN penetration point. So we're flying out through there with the object showing on radar, and I don't know whether it blended in with the night and the clouds, haze or whatever we had. I don't know why I couldn't see it, but I looked where he told me to look, but maybe it was above or below. Basically, I was looking sort of straight out, I felt like that's where it was. And so we reached our penetration point and our radios had quit working when the object got in close to us. I'm not sure just at what point I realized that we couldn't talk to the ground, but we made our turn and penetration back towards the base and departed our altitude without receiving permission, which bothered me at the time because it was basically illegal to change your altitude without approval beforehand. So anyway the navigator...
TTAt that point does radar approach control have you on their radar system?
BROh yes.
TTThey do, all the way out there?
BRWell I don't know which one would have us, I mean, one will have us a certain distance out, and then like for our precision approaches, they would hand us off to someone that— whose radar is closer in for the precise...
TTOh, OK, they have a couple of different systems there—
TT...for the approach systems.
BRRight Tom. So, sometime maybe during the turn, or later after we headed back in, then the Navigator mentions that the object has moved over to the other side of the airplane, and at one point, I don't know if it was then when it came in real fast, or the first time, then it came in real fast. I know that Pat McCaslin said that he didn't raise his voice but someone raised their voice which, you know, it might have been me (laughs) I don't know. But I was a little bit excited there because by the tone of voice that someone said, and like I said, maybe it's just in my mind, but I felt the thing was closing too fast to stop. In pilot training I've had a couple instances where I closed to fast to stop and ended up on the other side of the airplane. Without my instructor having been with me I would have gone through the other airplane. It sort of concerned me, because when an airplane is closing on another one, I mean, you can bank and try to stop but sometimes if your close rate is too fast, it's hard to stop an airplane.
BRSo then we are penetrating, flying the instrument approach—
TTLet's, let's just stop a second and let's just clarify you have a headset communication with intercom system with the rest of the crew so everybody is listening, hearing what's going on. Let's talk about that excitement a little bit. Do you remember the communications exactly?

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