The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois on November 23, 1978 · Page 65
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The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois · Page 65

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Bloomington, Illinois
Issue Date:
Thursday, November 23, 1978
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Page 65
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Pantagraph D-1S Bloomlngfon-Normal, III. Thuri., Nov. 23, .1971 He keeps 'em fly in' 7 I; ( ;C?v ski WW ma a4d Watson takes navigational readings with (extent in the cockpit of a KC-135 for ne p0, gl ne maneuvers Into position on a refueling run. refueled planes in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, is the distance and closing rate of the plane being refueled, "The big thing you have to watch for is how fast he'll be able to come into you," he said. Mailer Sgt. Larry Watson, stationed at finnmor McConnell Air Force Base In Wichita, DUUmGl Kan., stands behind a KC-135 tanker plane that is the filling station for long- range U.S. Air Force planes. The flying boom, or refueling line, that he operates is shown locked against the rear of the tanker's fuselage. WICHITA. Kan. (AP) - The B-52 bomber and KC-135 tanker are speeding five miles above Texas at 450 miles an hour, but the giant aircraft seem suspended as they close for refueling. "Wyatt 16 stabilized pre-contact," says Capt. Joseph Rizzotti Jr., bomber from Carswell Air Force Base, Tex. "Roger, 16, you're cleared to contact position, Lupus 62 is ready," replies the tanker's boom operator, Master Sgt. Larry Watson. Watson is lying facedown in front of controls that regulate the position of the 20-foot flying boom that can be extended an additional 18 feet. When the tip of the boom is maneuvered into an opening in the top of the bomber's cockpit, jet fuel rushes into the bomber's tanks. In 15 minutes, 40.000 pounds of fuel has been transferred. Watson, a member of the 384th Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, has been refueling planes for seven of his 18 years in the Air Force. "You have to be alert to anything that could cause a problem and separation of the aircraft," he says. "You're the only guy who knows how close you are in the aircraft." As one of about 1,000 active-duty boom operators in the Strategic Air Command, Watson has refueled B-52s. fighters and the giant C-5 Galaxy transport plane which he says is the most difficult to refuel because of the air disturbance Its size creates. Watson talks by radio with his pilot and Rizzotti to keep the planes in position, and he is aided by a series of OohVor LOLKc -iU JV iri r --; v Pkth v4L ...7 Ah A Vj m Looking down from the tanker, Watson i lies face down in order to see out VOnrrO6r windows in back of the tanker as he controls the movement of the 20-foot only 15 minutes to transfer 40,000 pounds of jet fuel. Watson is a member of the 384th Air Refueling Wing at McConnell ' AFB. (AP Laserphotos) Yrirrtr r I lUViyulUI 12 lights beneath the tanker that let the bomber pilot know where to move. The flying boom can move about 30 feet in any direction to keep in contact with the bomber. What's critical, says Watson, who Looking down from the tanker, Watson docks the flying boom with a B-52 bomber somewhere over Texas. Once the tip of the boom is in position, it takes The 42-year-old adventurer is sure to see a lot of real estate on his trip and about every climatic condition in the Americas. "When I leave Point Barrow I'll go across the Arctic Sea to Prudhoe Bay (the start of the Alaskan oil pipeline). I picked December because that's the coldest time and the sea should be easier to cross then. "I'll have a couple of Eskimos on snowmobiles to serve as guides and to watch out for protruding icicles," he said. Taking into account the chill factor created by the cold winds, Barriere figures the temperature will be the equivalent of 70 below zero. "That's so cold that even with the engine running, the antifreeze n the radiator would freeze." To counter that problem, hot air will be blown by a fan onto the radiator. No heater But, he said, he won't run the heater inside the car. "That would cause condensation inside the Jeep, and as soon as I'd open the door it would freeze. Then it would be all over, finished." Barriere will simply wear parkas, saving the heater for "warmer" temperatures of around zero. Once he reaches Fairbanks, it will be basically all downhill on the Alcan Highway to' Vancouver and from there to Seattle, Sacramento,. Palm Springs, Tucson, Hermosille, Guaymas and Mexico City. Then the adventure begins, to hear him tell it. "I've already got the support of Gen. Omar Torrijos (president of Panama), who said the national guard will help me get through the jungles of the Darien Gap." There are no roads through the jungle and the vegetation is so thick, he said, that with the help of the national dventurer readying for 2-continent trek 13,700 miles south. The trip, he said, has been accomplished only once by a British expeditionary force of 80 men, 30 of whom came down with malaria and yellow fever while crossing the jungles of Central America. Barriere will do it alone, however, figuring that the fewer people, the fewer complications. Logistics nightmare "The logistics of setting it up has still been a nightmare," he said, "and I've got about 200 people along the way to help me." Barriere, a resident of Alaska who is part owner of a small nursery near Escondido, Calif., has purchased a custom Jeep for his adventure. rhe Los Angeles Times II Barriere has things just about ! up for his vacation. 1 has the route planned (with the of a couple of Eskimo guides and Janama national guard) and his car uipped with some essentials six Ties, a 100-gallon gas tank and a h. s the kind of stuff you need to drive self into the record book, rriere hopes to become the first n to travel alone from the north-lost point of North America Point 9W in Alaska to the southernmost of South America Ushuaia, ntina. plans to leave on Christmas Day irrive about a year later, give or a couple of days, at his destination flying boom that transfers fuel from the KC-135 to the craft being refueled. The boom has an 18-foot extension, enabling Watson to extend its length to 38 feet. The 1971-model vehicle was built in La Jolla, Calif., for a man who had planned to make a trip from London to Singapore. But the man's partner died just before the start and the owner ran out of money. So the excursion was scuttled and Barriere bought the vehicle. Except for its basic outward appearance, the vehicle is hardly a Jeep. The 258-cubic-inch, high torque, four-barrel, six-cylinder engine was custom designed even to the degree that if Barriere should be involved in a head-on collision, the engine would ram forward, not backward into his lap. There are two sets of shocks on each axle (plus air shocks to raise the car when its gas tank is full), the roll bar is solid rather than tubular, the chassis has a double frame ("Once I hit a bridge Vovakes, Janet, Pontiac Wrightam, Harley, Pontiac Petropoul, George, Pontiac Dismissed Brill, John, Pontiac Ingold, Edward, Chenoa Lee, Melinda, Pontiac Hill, Thomas, Glen Ellyn Lighty, Connie, Saunemin DeYoung, Martha, Pontiac Lee, Stella, Odell Ulright, Ruth, Cabrey Bentley, Ruth, Pontiac Kindelberger, Louis, Pontiac Gibson, James, Pontiac Arnolts, Jeannie, Pontiac Drach, Patricia and baby boy, Em-ington Sibley Mr. and Mrs. John Ritter, Whispering Pines, N.C., left Tuesday after spending 10 days with her father, Guy Amacher. Hospital Notes beam doing 65 miles an hour, I damaged my oil pan and the bridge was destroyed") and the whole car is sealed to keep it buoyant. "I guess there really isn't anything stock on it any more,' he said with a smile. The original owner had both doors sealed shut, "to help protect him from aborigines in Australia," Barriere said. But he had the driver's door put back on hinges so, in case of fire, he has a quick escape route. No sponsors The vehicle cost him $27,000; the total bill for the trip is expected to approach $100,000, with no help from sponsors. "I wouldn't mind having some, but I'll manage," said Barriere, who got his money "from gambling in real estate." Lincoln man to be ordained CLINTON (PNS) An ordination service for Harold Horn Jr., Lincoln, will be at 7 p.m. Sunday at First Christian Church. James Strauss, Lincoln Christian College-Seminary faculty, will speak. Elders and ministers of First Christian Church will take part in the ordination service. Horn received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Illinois State University and has taught high school chemistry at Green Valley. He is a deacon at Lincoln Christian Church and a member of the Board of Christian Campus Ministries for ISU and Illinois Wesleyan University. Horn is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Horn Sr., 615 N. Quincy St. Horn and his wife, Judith, live at 5 Sycamore Lane, Lincoln. guardsmen he will literally pull the Jeep through the growth with the winch. "When I get to that point I'll dis: assemble the car so all that's left will be the wheels, chassis, motor and gas tank," he said., "We've got to cut down on the weight." Like quicksand The jungles are primeval "with growth so soft and thick that you can literally sink in it. The British actually lost a vehicle that sank into the vege tation like it was quicksand," he said.' Driving through the thicket will be only half the problem, he adds. Throughout the trip he'll be camping beside his Jeep in Panama. That means sleeping with 30-foot boa constrictors, footrwide spiders and inch-long ants "that get beneath your skin." Once past Central America he'll go through still more jungle before crossing the Andes at an elevation of 12,000 feet: "I'll take the Pan American Highway-through South America if, depending on rain, there is a highway. At some points the road is only one lane wide and if I run into a sheepherder I may have to back up 10 miles till they pass by. You can't argue with thousands of sheep." By trip's end Barriere will have traveled through 14 countries. Most have already pledged their cooperation in one form or another, thanks to trips Barriere has made to South and Central America to set up arrangements. So why, it has to be asked, is Barriere making the trip? "I love driving. It is a form of relaxation. "This trip is a combination of driving and adventure. I'm simply an adventurer and I love to travel. And my trip will be something people can relate to. How can you relate to walking on the moon? "But everybody can relate to being behind the wheel." GIBSON COMMUNITY Gibson City Admitted bertson, William, Gibson City wnlee, Everett, Gibson City Dismissed well, Thelma, Gibson City well, Elmer, Gibson City . 'is, Laura, Gibson City thers, Evelyn, Gibson City liams, Robert, Gibson City er, Bonita, Buckley ris, Telly, Paxton 'er, Anna, LeRoy ion, Elmer Jr., Saybrook d, Francis, Melvin DR. JOHN WARNER Clinton Admitted mon, Robbie, Clinton Dismissed ;r, Steve, Clinton onymus, Lois, Clinton FAIRBURY Admitted Kemnetz, Karen, Strawn . Hulse, Darlene, Pontiac Zimmerman, Jon, Fairbury Dismissed McKee, Wilfred T., Piper City Weeks, Roger, Bloomington Carter, Albert, Gilman Hott, Gregory, Forrest Beck, Ruth, Fairbury Hazdra, Josephine, Strawn Potter, Jeffrey, Fairbury Lange, Dorothy and baby girl, Piper City Rexroad, Jerusha, Cornell Bailey, Modenia, Fairbury Hack, Ronald, Cullom Brown, Renee, Forrest ST. JAMES Pontiac Admitted Deffenbaugh, Rachel, Pontiac

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