From Flying Among The Stars To Dancing With The Stars
AOPA has a write up with some unknown (at least to me) facts about the second man on the moon. He had “The Right Stuff”.
Buzz Aldrin has lived an extraordinary life. He graduated third in his class at West Point, downed two MiGs in Korea, got a Ph.D. in Astronautics from MIT, and completed what was at the time the longest spacewalk in history before Apollo 11. Here are some of his thoughts on flying.
Favorite aircraft… No hesitation—it was the F–86. But the T–28 was something that had a lot of promise. I tried a double Immelman and passed out on the way up. I woke up heading straight down for Texas with the throttle in one hand and a stick inanother. I didn’t do that again until I had a G-suit in an F–86.
Under stress… I was by myself after I saw the guy bail out of the MiG well north of the Yalu River. As a solo heading south, I didn’t have anyone protecting my rear end. The airplane wasn’t climbing as fast as I thought it should. I realized with great embarrassment that my speed brakes were out. I was trying to climb back home with full power and my speed brakes out. How stupid can you be? Experience as a pilot brings a successful pilot—the experience of knowing how to control your emotions by a real increased alertness.
Advice… Prudent expansive flying. Do things that are within the legality of flying but may not be normal run of the mill. Be aggressive but prudent at the same time. You gotta know your limits and the airplane’s limits.
Airplane emergencies… There was a test flight of an F-86 while I was at the Air Force Academy. I climbed up to high altitude and the inside pressure is increased when you turn the heat up. I got to altitude, turned the heat up, and all the sudden there was a horrendous explosion. I grabbed the [ejection] handles because there was fog in the cockpit. But the instruments all looked normal so I let go of the handles. The canopy had exploded, so I had to bring it down for a landing. But I’ve never had to really bail out, fortunately.
Fun in jets… The last flight I had in an F-86, I knew that. It was legal to do spins in that model. I had never done spins in a jet before. I learned more in that one flight about being together with an airplane where it was a part of me and I was a part of it after having done about 8 or 10 spins. I wish I had done that before going to Korea.
He went from flying among the stars to dancing with the Stars