Bradford Runyon Interview, 25 February 2005

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our nose about 11:30 position just a little bit to the left side of the airplane, so we were heading towards it, straight to it.
TTSo it was in your windshield the whole time.
BRRight it was within our windshield.
TTAnd you were about 15 hundred altitude.
BRYeah, above ground.
TTDo you remember talking about it with the pilot, with Partin?
BRNo I just don't remember. I got busy with checklists and fuels and things like that. And you know, just as soon as I got everything caught up, I looked up and we were on top of it. But then, to go ten miles at whatever, I don't remember pattern air speed...
TTYeah, I think 180.
BRYeah I think 180 indicated so, you know, it's roughly 200 miles per hour. So at 200 miles per hour it doesn't take you long to go 10 miles.
BRYou have 36 different fuel switches I remember and you can take fuel out of certain tanks to a certain point. You just don't run those tanks dry you have to take them out of others. But you have two pages of checklist just on fuel settings and if you mess up your fuel then it imbalances the airplane, like an airplane weighs 180,000 pounds and you have 300,000 pounds of fuel on the airplane, so if you put it in the wrong place the airplane will break into two.
TTOh so you have to transfer it between tanks and the wing?
BRWell no, you don't have to transfer it, you just take it out of certain tanks at different times but you have to do it in sequence to keep the airplane balanced. There are other checklists I would have to run too, just various things I would have to do and, by that time I was caught up you know, and Major Partin was flying the airplane.
TTOver flying it. It must have been, I don't know, about five seconds you got to look at it?
BRNo it was just a matter of a few seconds you know—
TTYeah. I mean did you see it from various points?
BRWell, when I first looked up, we were already beside it and so I didn't look straight ahead out my window, but, I don't know, maybe from the corner of my eye I could tell that it was to the other side. But when I looked up, I looked out the pilot's window, or possibly the side window—I think the pilots window—so I just looked up and there was something there that to me. Well the first thing I saw was a dark square, a rectangle and then this red, a dull red around it. I mean it wasn't well lit, it would blend in with the ground pretty well, or the night sky, but this one part, one shadow, was completely black and my eyes were drawn to it and I was thinking, "well that's a barn loft and the door's open where they put hay in the thing" but I wasn't thinking that a barn was going to be that high, because I'm really not looking down, I'm looking out, maybe down some—
TTBut to the side?

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