Uh, I don't think so. Anybody that flew the "Duece" had a pair.
Oh Puhleez Bearman-the Air National Guard is like driving a checkered Cab-he ducked his Duty Lad simple as that! Sleddy-when the Guy got you in the headlock you cudda phoned BashCroft he wouda put the the guy in Gitmo for re-orientation!
“The F-102 was underpowered and, unlike modern fighters, had a split front view through the canopy. It literally had a bar down the center, so you’d have one eye on each side of the bar. It also had a built in altimeter error of up to 500 feet, which made it interesting when you were at 500 feet out over the ocean at night.” Flying and training in the ‘102 was a dangerous job that required a lot of smarts and flying skill.
It was dangerous duty. Harmon said that a couple of pilots were killed in F-102 accidents while Bush was there.
There were five guys that served in the Texas Guard who were contemporaries of George Bush, who didn’t make it to their 30th birthday because they were lost in F-102 accidents and incidents. So to say that somehow this service to the country of air defense is less important, I don’t think is respectful of the Guard and the mission that they have served for so long.
They say that Bush "took the easy way out" by "using his connections" to fly in the Texas Air National Guard. My childhood best friend, John Robert Kelley also took this "easy way out." They had his memorial service in Albuquerque in July 1972 after he died in a training accident, flying a fighter jet in the New Mexico Air National Guard (the "Tacos"). Yep, that was the easy way out! John loved life. He was a fun guy, always with a prank or two, athletic and very intelligent. The last time I saw him, he was scheming how to get me a ride in his jet. Oh, and John didn't use any connections to get into the ANG, because it wasn't necessary. Every time I hear Bush slandered, I sadly remember this loss, and wonder at the lack of respect for the military so common on the left.
Even in peacetime conditions, F-102 pilots risked their lives on every flight. Only highly-qualified pilot candidates were accepted for Delta Dagger training because it was such a challenging aircraft to fly and left little room for mistakes. According to the Air Force Safety Center , the lifetime Class A accident rate for the F-102 was 13.69 mishaps per 100,000 flight hours, much higher than the average for today's combat aircraft. For example, the F-16 has an accident rate of 4.14, the S-3 is at 2.6, the F-15 at 2.47, the F-18 at 4.9, and the F-117 at 4.07. Even the AV-8B, regarded as the most dangerous aircraft in service today, has an accident rate of only 11.05 mishaps per 100,000 flight hours. The F-102 claimed the lives of many pilots, including a number stationed at Ellington during Bush's tenure. Of the 875 F-102A production models that entered service, 259 were lost in accidents that killed 70 Air Force and ANG pilots.