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Old Man turns back the clock

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Old 10-16-2014, 01:16 PM
  #1  
Chris Balling
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1962: Phantom on the Runway: “Miramar tower, Bones 00 ready to roll”, “00, tower, you are cleared for take-off. Gear up check with Departure Control, Button Seven. Have a Good Day Sir”. “Roger 00”.



2014: Phantom on the Runway: The adrenalin is pumping, the knees are knocking, but now I’m not strapped in the in the airplane. This is not a controlled flight, and there will not be a button 7 departure. An Instructor Pilot is not sitting behind me monitoring my every action. I’m at the Speedway RC Field in Arizona; my wife standing by my side. My RC cronies stand behind me quietly cheering for success. This is not a normal maiden, it’s a Phantom and when one flies it seems that everyone stops what they are doing and holds their breath.
Throttle to full power, roll out is fast and lift off normal. Gear up, flaps up, one click right aileron, one click up elevator and its 1962 all over again. Fast, sleek, the guttural throb of the bi-bifurcated pipe (it even sounds like a Phantom). Cruise around the field, burn off some fuel, drop the gear, full flaps, and anticipate the requisite high angle of attack landing. The classic nose high look over the threshold and a soft touchdown. A perfect flight. The cronies cheer and Carole breathes a deep sigh of relief.



Not many years left in this old body; but when I die I’ll go where retired fighter pilots go. It doesn’t need to be heaven because I flew the Phantom and now I fly its model. Bless this wonderful addiction we call Model Jets.

Chris Balling
FLY NAVY
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:50 PM
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Congrats on the successful maiden flight, Chris. I'll look forward to seeing you fly your Phantom.

I'm still working my way up to a Phantom. I've only made it to the Reaction-Phantom stage so you are way ahead if me, ol' timer!

Jim
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Old 10-16-2014, 02:44 PM
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Congrats, Chris no one better than an ole' phantom driver to show us how it's done!
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:23 PM
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Love the story and love the experience. This is exactly why I got into the hobby. Congrats on the maiden!
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:57 PM
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Eddie P
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Awesome. Love it. Great story, great connection, great day! Congrats to you and your wife.
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:01 PM
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Congrats! … good story too.

Z
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:32 PM
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Way to go Chris. Great looking F-4. Good looking co-pilot too.
Nothing like getting a maiden out of the way.
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:06 PM
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Ron S
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Congrats Chris on your F4 flight! What turbine is pushing it? Hope I get to see it fly either at Phoenix jets or Tucson! I really want to build another F4 model some day.

And Jim - pretty cool looking Reaction! I've seen 4 Reactions now, repainted - perhaps it's getting time for mine to have a facelift!
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:47 PM
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1962 ... That was a very good year for me too!
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:25 PM
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Congratulations,, absolutely gorgeous phantom,,
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:33 PM
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Chris,

I actually got a few goose bumps on my arm reading that. Thank you.
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:34 PM
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okay Chris I'm at Best in the West with the Kingcat bring it down I will take it off your hands as well
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:40 AM
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Awesome write up. Congrats Chris, the Fabulous Phantom was my own inspiration into Naval Aviation. I envy you flying the real thing and now a perefct mini 'toom. Many happy landings.
Bravo Zulu
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Old 10-17-2014, 05:08 AM
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**** Hot Chris! Phabulous Phantoms phorever! Never experienced a thrill like that since like that since my last Rhino ride. Gawd I love that jet!
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:40 AM
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chris thank you for your service I was a grunt radioman in nam those phantoms where a beautiful sight and your phantom is beautiful
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:48 AM
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Congratulations Chris. One of my good friends, who is now 91 years old, flew P51s with the 357th fighter group out of England during the second world war, a rather successful fighter group with several aces including Chuck Yeager. My friend, who is also named Chuck, still comes to the field occasionally and tells war stories. When he talks, nobody flies. There is still a lot of admiration and respect for you old fighter drivers. Thank you for your service.
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:37 AM
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Chris,
Thanks for the story, and thanks for your service!

I just finished reading Robin Olds book, "Fighter Pilot" and read a lot about the F4. Great machine!

Best wishes,
Dave Olson
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:05 AM
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Congratulations on a successful maiden Chris. Thank you for your service and sharing your story with us. I too would love to have a F-4 Phantom in my fleet, especially from the 'Nam era. I wish that you have many enjoyable flights with your F-4. I really love the CAG scheme.

Brent

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Old 10-17-2014, 09:26 AM
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Great story, congrats!
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Balling View Post
1962: Phantom on the Runway: “Miramar tower, Bones 00 ready to roll”, “00, tower, you are cleared for take-off. Gear up check with Departure Control, Button Seven. Have a Good Day Sir”. “Roger 00”.
2014: Phantom on the Runway: The adrenalin is pumping, the knees are knocking, but now I’m not strapped in the in the airplane. This is not a controlled flight, and there will not be a button 7 departure. An Instructor Pilot is not sitting behind me monitoring my every action. I’m at the Speedway RC Field in Arizona; my wife standing by my side. My RC cronies stand behind me quietly cheering for success. This is not a normal maiden, it’s a Phantom and when one flies it seems that everyone stops what they are doing and holds their breath.
Throttle to full power, roll out is fast and lift off normal. Gear up, flaps up, one click right aileron, one click up elevator and its 1962 all over again. Fast, sleek, the guttural throb of the bi-bifurcated pipe (it even sounds like a Phantom). Cruise around the field, burn off some fuel, drop the gear, full flaps, and anticipate the requisite high angle of attack landing. The classic nose high look over the threshold and a soft touchdown. A perfect flight. The cronies cheer and Carole breathes a deep sigh of relief.

Not many years left in this old body; but when I die I’ll go where retired fighter pilots go. It doesn’t need to be heaven because I flew the Phantom and now I fly its model. Bless this wonderful addiction we call Model Jets.

Chris Balling
FLY NAVY
Beautiful machine there, Mr. Chris. Wish I could build & paint like that.

I always wanted the F-4 and had an assignment, but -- long story -- I was 2 weeks away from going to F-4 Transition after 3 years Training Command, after 4 years in SAC, B-47s. A General and I had some real problems come up so he deleted my F-4 and added to my Training Command tour. Well that did last a couple more years and my transition then went into UAL, 727, 737, DC-8, and DC-10. Better retirement package also!

Best Wishes!
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:44 AM
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Way to go old timer!!! Bout time you burned the paint off the intakes!! Look forward to seeing it in Mesa next to mine.

I bet you could almost hear the air boss say..." You gotta land here son if you want to eat "

congrats

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Old 10-17-2014, 01:04 PM
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Great story Chris and I can relate. December 1972 Korat, Thailand and getting ready to go "downtown" (Hanoi) in A-7 ship 982. Easy to remember since it was the only jet we had painted up with the sharks teeth and those are missions you don't forget.

Fast forward 36 years and here I am with the JHI version of 982. It seemed a little strange at the time to be posing there with an RC version of the one I flew. I have to admit though that the adrenalin was flowing a little faster in 1972....and the JHH was just an electric fan. Sure wish somebody would make a decent turbine A-7 and I would be all over it.

Thanks for the memories,

Craig


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Old 10-17-2014, 03:49 PM
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Chris Balling
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Thanks a million for your kind comments and PM's. I can't take credit for the build; just the assembly. The Phantom is an X-Treme unit that I purchased a couple of years ago through BVM. The paint and nomenclature are stock, and are very accurate. The turbine is a P-120, and all servo's are JR, no gyro. Transmitter is a DX-18, which I absolutely LOVE. Small follow-up to the story: Following my second cruise to the Tonkin Gulf (it had been scheduled for 6 months, but lasted 12) my wife told me that my life would be complete if I could fall in love with that "Darn" airplane. She never understood that we were all in love with our airplanes. Mine brought me home following three cruises, and we ultimately divorced. I feel for servicemen and women today and their many lengthy deployments., I marvel, and tip my hat, to those who are able to hold their marriages together.
Chris
FLY NAVY

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Old 10-17-2014, 06:51 PM
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Not many years left in this old body; but when I die I’ll go where retired fighter pilots go. It doesn’t need to be heaven because I flew the Phantom and now I fly its model. Bless this wonderful addiction we call Model Jets.
This made my day, and likely many to come. Thanks!
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