This chapter is accompanied by a video recording of the actual "Heads Up Display (HUD)" tape made during the events described below. To see the following video clip, you must have RealPlayer installed on your computer system. Click here to download this player for free.
This video clip is best viewed after reading the actual chapter in Keith Rosenkranz's book, as he describes in great detail the sounds and sights you are about to see and hear. If you do not have a copy of his book yet, you can order one here and save 30% off the list price.
Click here to view the Chapter 26 HUD Tape.
"Okay, let's go twenty-mile scope," I say to myself. "Gain down a bit." I'm only seventeen miles from the target. I check to make sure my master arm switch is in Arm. My airspeed is 420 knots, and I'm
passing through 25,000 feet. As I continue to descend, I realize the entire area is covered with a solid deck of clouds. It looks like I'll have to pickle on my diamond again.
Five miles from the target, I roll inverted and begin my attack. As soon as I roll upright again, I reach down and switch my VTR from left MFD to HUD. Passing through 20,000 feet, I switch from CCRP to CCIP and place my bombfall line directly over the diamond. As the pipper tracks
upward, I ready my thumb above the pickle button. I pull my throttle back just a little bit to keep my airspeed in check. My dive angle is a little shallower than I would like, but there's nothing I can do about it now. I hit the pickle button, passing 17,100 feet, and the aircraft shudders slightly as the MK-84s release. I pull back on my stick and begin to climb. As soon as the nose of my aircraft reaches the horizon, I roll into eighty degrees of bank and pull hard to the left. My RWR is still quiet, and there's no sign of any AAA.
"Alpo seven … bombs away ... off left," I radio.
All of a sudden, the sky below me lights up with a burst of white light.
The flash is gratifying. I continue to turn and eventually roll out on a 195-degree heading. As soon as I place my master arm switch to Simulate, I call up my air-to-air radar and begin to search for Jabba and Skippy. Passing through 23,000 feet, Cuda calls out: "Alpo eight's off ... bombs away."
I reach toward my up-front control and call up the exit point. I know
Cuda will be looking for me, so I key my mike and radio my position.
"Seven's on the zero-six-zero for twenty-six off of seven."
"Alpo eight copies."
Before long, the train of Vipers is back in line at 34,000 feet over the Persian Gulf. After we fence out, I engage my autopilot and relax the rest of the way home. The mission was a cakewalk compared to the nuke run. Unfortunately, clouds in the target area prevented us from
seeing any secondary fires or explosions. But at least we didn't get shot at.