Bradford Runyon Interview, 25 February 2005

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BRYou reach a certain point like if, at that time, if we'd had to go to war with Russia—if you flew the high altitude all the time, why then their radar would pick you up. Well in advance we would reach a certain point, then we would penetrate to low altitude and fly as close to the ground as we could using our terrain avoidance radar, basically you know, in practice about four hundred feet above ground. In an actual war we would have probably gone lower. So, then you'd have radar bomb scoring sites and at the end of the track, you might be low level for an hour or two hours, then you have bomb drops and you'd see jamming and so then they would be scored on certain things too.
TTAnd those are at certain locations where they'd have equipment set up to test against?
TTLike St. George was one—
BRThey were all over and they changed and we didn't use the same route all the time, you know so we'd practice on different terrains.
TTRight. So let's go to October '68 then. Do you remember that training mission?
BRNo. Basically, they were all the same type of stuff, I just remember on that one we had extra pilot for the familiarization ride in the different model airplane.
TTHow often did you do that, where you had other pilots onboard? I thought the Stanboard a lot of times they went onto the other flights...
BRThat, that's correct.
TTSo this is kind of a unique situation.
BRIt was, it was unusual. Usually, Don Cagle would fly with their crew and then maybe the next day they would give a check ride, you know, with another crew—or maybe two or three days in a row, but, probably Major Partin—I think he was Major Partin at that time— probably didn't have his own crew just yet, but he was a highly qualified pilot already, he just needed, he'd already had some rides in our airplane and he already knew the differences but probably he just needed to be checked to make sure.
TTOh, on the H model.
BROn the H model, and so it was just probably a convenient thing instead of—our crew had a training flight scheduled so they probably just stuck him on with us to let Don Cagle check him out to make sure he was qualified.
TTWould he have flown the plane the whole mission?
BRProbably not, I can't remember. Probably Don Cagle and I did most of the pilot stuff because we have air requirements we have to get in also, so probably Partin just got in the left seat for certain things you know. But I can't remember, he might have been in the left seat the whole time, Don Cagle might have been right seat, being an instructor pilot he could fly either seat, he knew the co-pilot's duties as well as the pilot's duties, and I might have sat in the IP seat for most of the ride. I just can't remember. But I do know at one point that I was in the co-pilot's seat with Partin.
TTat the end of it there—
BRUh huh, at the end.

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