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RIP Sled Driver

Discussion in 'General' started by Senna, May 23, 2023.

  1. auminer

    auminer Renaissance Redneck

    It was kinda funny to tell the missus that the compass display on the rear view mirror mount in our rental vehicle was displaying the postal code of the state we were in.

    The story fell apart when the road curved 47 miles later.
    Ducman851 and pickled egg like this.
  2. CharlieY

    CharlieY Well-Known Member

    RIP to a great aviator.......he literally flew a time machine. That still blows me away when I think about it.

    That story is priceless. I've also read it several times and had no problem reading it again.
  3. zamboiv

    zamboiv Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting. Found the pdf online and sent to my father and saved for reading later tonight.

    I saw the SR71 at Dulles when it landed before going into to the shed long before they built the museum. Totally wild seeing it in person, I still remember that day.

    My dad has a photo with it because he was in the tower when it landed and got to go see it and meet the pilot on the tarmac.
    Senna likes this.
  4. prm

    prm Well-Known Member

    RIP. Those boys cruised at 3.0. Very impressive!! The ol' Tom was fast for a fighter but still only dash a little over 2.0. Not even close to the SR71.
  5. CBRRRRR999

    CBRRRRR999 Well-Known Member

    Bright spot in my Airforce brat childhood were airshows.
    Nothing was as impressive as the SR71s.
    Not Buffs, C5s or any of the aerobatic teams.
    Only thing I ever saw that was more of a spectacle was the space shuttle on a 747
  6. mastermind

    mastermind camping in turn 2....

    Senna likes this.
  7. Zoomie

    Zoomie Active Member

    Brian Schul did a great job of demystifying and humanizing an incredibly secretive and complex operation.
    I served at Kadena AFB alongside the Habu detachment during the 70s.
    3 years of almost daily operations, and it never got old.
    Watching the last take off before I returned stateside was as thrilling as seeing the first.
    Godspeed Sir
    Yzasserina, Smilodon and YamahaRick like this.
  8. merle4

    merle4 Menace to sobriety

    Thank you for the pdf link. My printer is now on fire, but ive wanted a copy of this forever and would never spend the dough. It'll be going with me to europe in a couple weeks.
    Senna and Yzasserina like this.
  9. SteveThompson

    SteveThompson Banned by amafan

    I met Brian a number of times at aviation events over the years. The last one was just a couple of years ago. I left our interactions feeling sad. It was depressing for me to watch him tell the same story over and over and then sit at a little table autographing books and selling challenge coins. It felt like an American hero deserved better. He didn’t seem like he liked much either.
  10. SundaySocial

    SundaySocial Blue & Gold

    Brian also has a video from Lawrence Livermore labs, on You Toob
  11. Waldo Pepper

    Waldo Pepper Member

    His book, along with the one by Ben Rich, cemented the SR as my all time favorite. RIP Air Warrior.
  12. diggy

    diggy Well-Known Member

  13. MGM

    MGM Well-Known Member

    Possible, when I met him some quick back of the napkin math showed he grossed North of 225k for one night of work. I suspect he slept well at night:)
  14. SundaySocial

    SundaySocial Blue & Gold

    - I thought you were talking about this crash...
    Shul served as a Foreign Air Advisor in the Vietnam War, flying 212 close air support missions in conjunction with Air America. Near the end of hostilities in 1973, his T-28 Trojan aircraft was shot down in the vicinity of the Cambodian border. Unable to eject from the aircraft, Shul was forced to crash land into the jungle. Surviving the initial impact of the crash, he suffered severe burns in the ensuing fireball. Crawling from the burning wreckage and surviving in hostile territory with extensive wounds for more than a day, he was able to find a secure location to camouflage and hide himself. Enemy patrols were still close and looking for him, with soldiers walking to within a few yards distance, although he was unsure of his judgment and thought they were hallucinations.

    The rescue mission did not start immediately due to his precise location being unknown in addition to having a high number of enemy soldiers nearby and heavy jungle cover overhead. Using a combination of resources, the general area he was in was later identified and it was confirmed that no body was present at the crash site. Shul activated his radio and confirmed his identity and his general location, and an aerial search was initiated. He did not know his precise location, but he did know the approximate grid he was located within, so the search continued until his exact location was determined by him being able to see American aircraft. The only practical way to recover the injured Shul would be by helicopter; and as it would likely be under fire from the enemy, Air Force Special Operations Command Pararescue teams were selected for the operation. Although the original plan was to extract Shul quietly without the enemy noticing, the operation quickly turned into an openly hostile mission. Nearby enemy patrols were driven back by the rescue teams using small arms, while larger groups of enemies or search parties were handled with heavy weapon outfitted operators or operators acting as forward air control. Once Shul was located, the team provided immediate medical treatment to ensure that the extraction would not result in further wounds or make his existing wounds worse. Medical treatment continued aboard the evacuation helicopter and at a nearby American base. No American casualties occurred in the operation.

    Once he arrived at the military hospital in Okinawa, doctors believed he would not survive his burns. Following two months of intensive care, he flew to the Institute of Surgical Research at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. During the following year, he underwent 15 major operations. Physicians told him he'd never fly again. Months of physical therapy followed, enabling Shul to eventually pass a flight physical and return to active flying duty.

    GM GIXXER Well-Known Member

    Senna likes this.
  16. ClemsonsR6

    ClemsonsR6 Well-Known Member

    Thank you! Seriously....I do not read books. ADD kicks in and I just gloss over, same with POD cast and audio books; but this........I have read most of the book in two days and I'm constantly trying to pick it up and read another chapter. Thank you!
    Senna likes this.
  17. Senna

    Senna Well-Known Member

    Haha you're welcome. I've not even started it yet. I really should finish The Right Stuff and then move on to Sled Driver.
  18. Spang308

    Spang308 Well-Known Member

    I read half of it on the plane ride to FL yesterday. Great so far. Thanks for posting the PDF.
  19. HookieRooker

    HookieRooker Active Member

    Thank you, Senna for the link! Been wanting to read this for years, just read it all the way through. Great story by an even greater man. R.I.P. Brian Shul. If you like aviation books you may want to add Bury Us Upside Down to your list. Thanks again, much appreciated!
  20. IrocRob

    IrocRob Well-Known Member

    Another good link for the Blackbird - www.sr-71.org

    All versions of these planes lost: www.sr-71.org/blackbird/losses.php

    You can actually read the flight manual for the SR-71 here, well, almost all of it. It says some pages are STILL classified.
    Triple X likes this.

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