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#1 D. A. Ratcliff  2017-11-16 20:04
This was my first assigned fighter at Holloman AFB, 49th TFW, 8th Sqn, A-Flight, in 1982 as a C/C. Not six months after crewing her, she went in the hanger for a McDonald Douglas mod (RWR?) for nearly two weeks. When she came back out and got fired up for the first time: the #2 engine, upon reaching 55% rpm at start-up, would then "auto-accelerat e" to 80% (while cycling the EEC as well) for 10 seconds and then power back down to idle with no further problems. We tore into this bird for the next three months trying to find the fault, but never did and soon 77-0135 became a "long-term" hanger queen on the flightline. I was shortly reassigned to crew 77-0125 and then, four months later, also 77-0114 (I worked night duty.) After nearly a year, I was told to start putting my old bird 77-0135 back together to FMC status, which I and others, did. Never got a straight answer as to how they came to this decision from higher-up, but I always thought it was because someone finally realized the aircraft only malfunctioned for ten seconds at each and every start-up, but never afterwards as proved on successive sound suppressor runs. When 77-0135 started up after being gutted for over a year, the #2 engine, upon reaching 55% rpm at start-up, auto-accelerate d to 80%, held it for 10 seconds, then came back down to idle, as she always did, while being observed by the test pilot who was going to fly her back into FMC status upon his release. After 77-0135's release, the aircraft's form 781A had to have this Red X entry made after every shutdown of the #2 engine to this effect: Acft. #2 eng. upon start-up WILL auto accelerate to 80% for 10 seconds then to idle. Chocks must be double laced and emergency brakes MUST be used upon start-up. 77-0135 flew many sorties after this release and always stood out on the flightline during mission starts with her distinctive #2 engine roar of 10 seconds or during night time maintenance runs. She stayed this way until I left Holloman in 1984 to go to Bitburg AB, AR&R shop. Anyone know if this bird did this auto acceleration right up until the scrape heap? I'd like to know...

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