Aircraft commander 1966

As an instructor at VR-3, I did several sessions of training 1st pilots to aircraft commander status. One of those pilots I worked with was Warren Scoville. He was a very wealthy young man and was a very capable pilot. We did the local training at McGuire and then I took him out through a trip to Vietnam. Actually, he took me on a trip out through Vietnam, because I allowed him to act as aircraft commander, so he could get ready for his check ride.

All of my training went well with him, but he didn’t get an enroute clearance before takeoff at McGuire. He only had half a clearance and then I failed the intercom system on him and he couldn’t talk to anyone on the radios. When he realized what had happened, he went into a holding pattern at the facility at the end of his clearance and squawked 7700 on his IFF equipment that indicated that he had a problem and then made an approach back to McGuire. He never accepted half a clearance again.

On our west pac trip, we laid over on Wake Island and Warren fell in love with a stewardess from a commercial airline. He also, snuck a large rock that marked the path to the Drifter’s Reef bar into my duffel bag that held my arctic gear.

As that trip went well, he got a check ride and became an aircraft commander. In December of 1966, I was in Tachikawa and tried to leave for the States. We climbed to altitude and when I tried to trim the rudder, the trim did not function. I returned to Tachikawa and was just about to leave my plane when I watched a C-130 make a very LONG landing on the runway and they had to do a touch and go, to come around for another landing. I knew it was Warren.

When we got to the officers quarters I put up a sign about the long landing and invited the crew to my room for a briefing. Well, they came to my room and it was Warren’s crew. When they came to my room, I started giving Warren a lecture about the long landing and his co-pilot spoke up. He said he had made the long landing. I knew for sure that he had, but I said that is not possible because Warren needs 100 hours in command before he can let co-pilots make a landing.

Warren spoke up and said: “Get your arctic bag.” I did and he said: “Turn it over.” When I turned it over, that large rock came out and all of us had a great laugh.

Just before I left VR-3, Warren came to my Country Lakes house at 8AM. I was off for the day and he lived close by. He was in a flight suit and held five bottles of whiskey and king crab legs in his arms. He came in and said: “Can you make some Martinis.” I said: “Sure.” I poured some gin out of his fifth and added a little vermouth. Now the whole bottle was a giant Martini. He asked me to put the crab legs on the stove and I did that. Then I said; “What happened.”

Warren, who was on his third wife at 26, said: “I just got back from Vietnam through Elmendorf. I got to my house and my wife wanted to make love, right there, in the hallway. But I said I couldn’t because I had caught the gonorrhea. Well, a disaster is going on over there. Glasses, dishes are flying everywhere. What did she want me to do, not tell her.”

When I worked for Pan Am, in 1968, I was on a trip that overnighted in Brussels. Warren was then a Navigator for Pan Am. He had come with another crew to Brussels and was to navigate my crew back to JFK. Well, we went out to diner with the Captain and the co-pilot. I was the Flight Engineer. I went to bed early and the next morning Warren was knocking on my door. He asked me if I had some money and when I gave him what I had, he went across the street to a bar where he had spent the night and paid them what he owed them. Then we met outside the hotel for the ride to the airport.

Well, there was a flight attendant on my crew who was very beautiful. When Warren saw her, he asked me how I could allow him to go out to diner with the Captain when this woman was on my crew. He talked to her all the way to the airport. On my crew, there was a Check Captain. He wanted to check the First Officer’s ability to navigate the aircraft using an inertial navigation system that Pan Am was testing, for use on the 707s. In the end, that system was not used.

So, there was the Captain, who owned a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania, the First Officer, me, the Flight Engineer and this Check Captain in the cockpit. The Check Captain was a General in the US Airforce reserve.

Warren did not have to navigate, so he was sitting in the forward lounge, talking to this beautiful stewardess who was working the first class galley. At some point, Warren came up to the cockpit. The Check Captain asked Warren if he had put all our names in the log book. Warren looked around the cockpit and said: “The Captain is busy flying this plane and is worried about the weather at JFK and at his alternate. The First Officer is busy as he can be, trying to navigate this aircraft on the inertial system, my friend Ted, is busy with the fuel system, the electrical system, the pressurization system and sundry other systems and I am hustling the Flight Attendant in the first class galley. Your the only one not doing anything, I thought you had filled out the log book a long time ago.” Then, he walked out of the cockpit.

After a few minutes the Captain told the Check Captain to go back into First Class, to have his lunch and asked him to have Warren come back to the cockpit. Warren came up and sat in the check captain’s seat. The Captain gave Warren a rather long lecture on how to get along on a career in Pan Am. Warren having been raised in Kentucky by very wealthy parents was very polite and listened to everything the Captain said, attentively.

Then, when the Captain was finished, Warren said: “Captain you own a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania don’t you. How often do you move those trees before you sell them?” The Captained answered: “Three times.” Warren said: “No wonder your wife keeps you in the basement and slides your food down to you on a board. Three times to make $2.25.”

Warren never wanted to make a career out of flying for Pan Am, he just wanted to have some fun. He had fun and lasted about four years before he quit. Then, Warren became a successful lawyer in Kentucky and later still, he called the Sheriff and gave him an address. When the Sheriff got to the address, he found that Warren had shot himself and committed suicide. So it goes ….

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