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Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:31 PM

Drone Pilot Ejects From Office Chair

FARGO, ND (The Global Edition)–When an electrical fire disabled Colonel Doyle VanWatermulen’s Predator drone, the 65-year old veteran pilot exclaimed “Mayday! Mayday! We’re going down! We’re going down!” while sitting at his cubicle, sources close to his office confirmed.
Witnesses stated VanWatermulen began violently pulling and pushing the various ergonomic levers under his seat in an apparent attempt to “eject” himself. Unable to trigger an ejection, the pilot called out ”Jammed! I’m outta here!” and rolled from his chair.

“Oh, right,” he said after hitting the concrete floor at the North Dakota Air National Guard Station in Fargo, ND. His then un-piloted drone, armed with two Hellfire missiles, reportedly crashed into an Afghanistan hillside some 6,741 miles away.

Meanwhile Air Force officials have been at a loss to explain the pilot’s bizarre behavior. However, one drone crew member, who wished to remain anonymous, said there were some early warning signs, “We should have suspected a problem when he [VanWatermulen] showed up for the mission in a lambskin leather bomber jacket and helmet.”

The Air Force later issued a statement admitting that VanWatermulen was part of a new program dubbed “Balding Eagle,” utilizing seasoned military airmen to fill the government’s growing need for drone pilots.

The program has come under intense scrutiny following the incident. Concern has mounted that similar events might occur with other aging pilots.

Defenders of the program argue this isolated case must not be used to bar all older pilots from flying unmanned drones. In an article appearing in next month’s AARP Magazine titled “The Baby Boom Bombers,” author Christine Timmel argues that “With key accommodations such as post-it note reminders and fun brain teasers, aging pilots can continue leading successful Predator drone attacks.”

VanWatermulen is currently being treated for a broken right hip. No word yet from the Air Force as to when VanWatermulen will return to work.

By TGE correspondent Jess McLain

11 replies, 4122 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Drone Pilot Ejects From Office Chair (Original post)
trof Dec 2012 OP
siligut Dec 2012 #1
trof Dec 2012 #7
siligut Dec 2012 #8
siligut Dec 2012 #9
taterguy Dec 2012 #2
siligut Dec 2012 #6
cliffordu Dec 2012 #3
Turbineguy Dec 2012 #4
kayakjohnny Dec 2012 #5
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #10
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #11

Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:34 PM

1. Only a broken hip after crashing into a hillside?

The guy is lucky.

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Response to siligut (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:58 PM

7. Uh...he was piloting a DRONE?

Remotely?
From somewhere near Las Vegas?
jeez

It's satire.

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Response to trof (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:08 PM

8. Have you seen the movie Toys with Robin Williams?

I believe it was somewhat of a premonition. My brother consulted on the Phantom project here at Boeing and I worked with them through their health insurance program. A good amount of paranoia floating around there back in the mid-nineties.

This is a beautiful and timely video showing scenes from the film.

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Response to trof (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:20 PM

9. Oh, and trof, I am onto you bud

Ever since I first visited the Lounge and you requested my Frito Pie recipe.

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Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:42 PM

2. GD is where they like to argue about the drone program

You should repost this there.

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Response to taterguy (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:57 PM

6. Only if it hit some children when it crashed

And what do you have against trof? Telling him to post in GD

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Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:46 PM

3. Please tell me this is an article from the Onion....

PLEASE.....

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Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:56 PM

4. Inspector Clouseau

"I was know as the Pavlova of the parallels"

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Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:56 PM

5. Relax everyone... just a spoof piece like all their other stuff...

http://www.theglobaledition.com/

They are like The Onion ... and also like one of my old faves from years ago....

http://ironictimes.com/

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Response to trof (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:16 AM

10. One too many of our cold winters!

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Response to trof (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:32 PM

11. Best post about drones ...ever!

rec

and
*giggling*

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