J.E. Fairchild, PhD
P.O. Box 435
Martindale, Texas 78655
Jan. 27, 1993
Cdr. R. Orton Rudd, Exec. Director
Flying Midshipmen Association
Dear Cdr. Rudd:
I have enclosed the application form as requested. I have found some copies of orders from my old Navy files for you use in building the data base of Aviation Midshipmen. Thank you for the copies of the articles about the organization and former Aviation Midshipmen.
I also enjoyed the old newsletters which you enclosed, particularly the Jan. 1992 issue where John Jenista almost got it right in describing a night-flying incident I was involved in. First of all, it was at Corry Field (not Saufley Field) on my first solo night flight. It occurred while taxing out for takeoff, not on a ground loop on landing. I was late in leaving the flight line due to a last minute aircraft change and thus had to taxi out alone, rather than follow the other aircraft being let by the instructor. I turned right to the runway one set of lights too soon and the landing gear ended up in a 3 foot (not 15) concrete ditch in the corner between the taxiway and the runway. The reason no one could find me was I had cut off the ignition and battery switches in case some damage had been done, thus the airplane lights and radio were out. It did take a while before they discovered me out in the black night. I recovered from this experience and now fondly remember punctuating those boring night solo flights with loops and barrel rolls around the moon. They didn’t see me then either.
I am now a retired Professor Emeritus of Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington and do aeronautical engineering consulting.