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The Brake Swivel

Dave Kutulis, CMS (RET)

I believe it was early 1968 when 67-0011 departed Norton for Peterson Field to pick up the Air Force Academy Band to transport them to MCConnell AFB. The band was to be part of a ceremony that was sending off a Fighter Squadron to the war zone. The keynote speaker at the event was to be LBJ.

I was just getting settled in watching television when I received a call form the Job Control Senior Controller telling me that 0011 was broke down at McConnell with a hydraulic problem. I was to pack a bag and report ASAP since a C-130 from Travis was scheduled to arrive at 9 pm to pick me and a hydraulic specialist up. When I arrived at Job Control the hydraulic guy was there and I ask him if he knew what the problem was. He said that the aircraft had a leaking brake swivel. I told the Senior Controller that someone has to be joking, and he said it was gospel. The 130 got pushed back to 11 pm, then 1 am then about 08:30 a 141 out of Travis arrived and Transit Alert took us out to the end of the runway to meet it. We climbed on board and took a seat. The cargo bay was empty and we where the only passengers. A few minutes after takeoff the pilot wanted to see me so I went forward to talk to him. He wanted to know why he was taking us to MCConnell. I told him all I knew was that a brake swivel was leaking on 0011. It was a good thing he was strapped in or he would have gone through the fuselage. His words where 'you mean they (22 AF) launched the &$%(@#* alert bird for a %^$*�@ brake swivel leak. Told him I was just as upset as he was. Seems he was scheduled to get off alert one hour after they launched him and what really upset him was he missed his 9 am tee time. He dropped us off at the end of the runway then departed. His instructions where to go to another base (don't know which one) and sit until 0011 was in the air with the band. If 0011 was still broke then he was to return to pick up the band.

A Transit Alert truck picked us up and took us to the aircraft where we found out that a loose B nut caused the problem. After it was tightened we were good to go. At base ops it took me awhile to get a hold of the AC, then I told him that the 22AF Command Post wanted to talk to him NOW. Seems this guy had been hard to find. He wanted to know how long before 0011 was fixed and I told him is was then he wanted to know how long I had been at the base and the time it took to fix the problem. I told him it took longer to find him then fix the plane. About four hours latter the crew finally showed up. We cleared the write up by stating we had replaced the swivel even though we had not. Thought it would help the Captain out. The story I got from the Transit troops was that when he taxied in the scanner deplaned and headed strait to the left wheel well and shortly reentered the aircraft. A few minutes latter they shut down. After the band was unloaded they where supposed to depart and go to another base (guess the same one as the other guy) and wait. When the Captain notified Base Ops he was broke he was told that he would have to move the bird since he was parked in LBJ's spot. He refused to move and an O-6 showed up to tell him in no uncertain terms to move it. I'm told he wasn't a happy camper but he complied with the O-6's request.

After LBJ left we left with the band. I latter told him it would not be wise to let the Lt.Col from Travis know who he was because he was pissed. A few days latter I found out unofficially from one of the enlisted guy's that the Co-pilot wanted to spend a night at home with mom and dad.

Dave Kutulis CMS (Ret)
63rd MAW 67-71
58th WRS 71-74
62nd MAW 74-75
Lancaster Ca.

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