Fifty Thousand Feet & Nothing Running but My Watch Episode 52

Slaf and a friend in flight suits standing in front of a red 1952 Buick convertible at NAS Pensacola

This week enjoy a thrilling journey with Slaf (Sr.), NavCad, Marine Corps Aviator who flew the SNJ, T-28 Trojan, TV-2 (t-33) SeaStar, F9F2 Panther, F2H4 Banshee, F9F8 Cougar, F-84F Thunderstreak throughout his career.

You may remember Slaf from episode 50 who talked about his father being a Marine aviator. Well, he graciously joins us this week and next. Slaf takes us through his training days, where he flew the SNJ and T-28, and shares his experiences flying the Panther with VMFA-533 and F-84s with the Indiana Air Guard.

But that’s not all! Slaf deployed with the 6th Fleet on the last cruise of the USS Lake Champlain, the last straight deck carrier in service in the US Navy. He describes the differences between flying aboard a straight deck carrier versus a modern angle-deck carrier; in a word, terrifying!

Slaf also shares a harrowing tale of a lost pilot in his flight and how they narrowly avoided losing more planes as a result. However, this week’s episode title comes from a heart-stopping story he tells about taking his jet to 50,000 feet and flaming out both engines! Whoops!

As a special treat, we also get to wish Slaf Sr. a happy 89th birthday! This great American had a wonderful Marine Corps aviation career, and we are honored to have him share his experiences with us.