‘Curious, I grabbed his G-suit off the rack. Sure enough, there was a Sony Walkman (tape, this is 1983) in one of the pockets…,’ Pat Markwell, former A-10 Warthog Life Support Technician in the US Air Force.
Fighter pilots are not allowed to carry electronic devices with them. That includes music players. The chances of a gadget interfering with onboard avionics are rather slim, but it could happen.
‘As a novice Life Support tech I was doing a post flight inspection of one of our more Sierra Hotel A-10 pilots helmet. This usually involved swabbing spit out of the oxygen mask, cleaning the visor and a quick once over.
‘Then I noticed a very non Milspec cord taped to the comm line that ran from the helmet, along the hose, and dangling next to the CRU-60 quick disconnects. Curious, I grabbed his G-suit off the rack. Sure enough, there was a Sony Walkman (tape, this is 1983) in one of the pockets.
‘A few minutes later, 1st Lieutenant B strolls through the LS section. Now, this is one of the coolest individuals I have ever met. So, showtime:
‘Me, holding his helmet “Uh, Lt B? What’s with the Walkman? I’m not sure that I can allow this to be considered suitable for flight (comm loss and post ejection flailing, etc).”
‘Lt B “It will be fine. I just like to listen to The Doors when I strafe“.
‘Me “Let me get this straight, Sir. They pay you big bucks, let you strap on a multi-million-dollar aircraft, and you get to listen to The Doors as you blow s**t up?”
‘Lt B, now sporting the biggest shit eating grin I’ve ever seen “That’s right, Airman. It’s kinda like getting paid to f**k”’
‘And that is when I realized that fighter pilots are different than you and I…’
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force