Veteran Stories:
Arthur Byford

Air Force

  • Flight Lieutenant A.E. Glustien on a flight with No. 426 Squadron, RCAF in support of United Nations forces in Korea, 1950.

    A.E. Glustien
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"When I landed and stopped, my airspeed indicator still read 65 knots. If I’d tried to land on that main runway, I probably would have blown off the side, too. "

Transcript

Well, to my knowledge when I was there, there was one aircraft that went over the side. And when I say over the side, there was quite a drop. We weren’t too far from the water, the sea, the ocean. No one was hurt in that except the crosswinds were just terrible there. I mentioned the foggy conditions, so… when you cross the button,* in the runway, you’re on radar control, and suddenly you look out and your aircraft is running sideways or flying sideways, so that transition has to be almost immediate to kick it straight to control it. With that, the runway lights on this particular runway were set in quite a bit from the edges to give you a fair chance. These runway lights were raised a little bit, about two or three feet I guess, which is unusual. But these, apparently, had to be replaced almost completely, once a year sort of thing, from being sideswiped by aircraft sliding or trying to get control. So, it wasn’t great.

One quick example of - another example of Shemya.** The Japanese had this island, a very small island, during World War Two. They had a small triangle of runways that their fighters used. This triangle was located just below the one end of the long runway that I’ve spoken of. Twice I’ve had to land on these very short runways because of the crosswinds. On one occasion, ground control approach brought us down under the cloud, which was just cloud, not fog, at this time. We had visual conditions, about 300 feet. So, getting down to about 300 feet, I did an approach on this triangle of runways heading on a directly north runway. When I landed and stopped, my airspeed indicator still read 65 knots. If I’d tried to land on that main runway, I probably would have blown off the side, too. So, this was the sort of thing you had.

*Canadian term for the end of the runway

**Aleutian Islands, Alaska

 

Interview with Arthur Byford - FCWM Oral History Project

Accession Number CWM 20020121-158

George Metcalf Archival Collection

© Canadian War Museum

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