ONA stories by Al Quack
My ONA and Other
by Al Quack
Al in ONA uniform 1966
Cockpit of ONA N864 DC-8-63
ONA DC-8-55F Contender at Travis AFB
Air Siam Flt Hawaii July 1971
FLAT MAIN TIRES
We heard two main tires blow, but
the Captain kept the aircraft straight.
Landing on two flat main
tires (empty airplane).
On Dec.13, 1972 we were doing pilot training
in Hawaii with ONA’s DC-8-61 (N867) aircraft.
We took-off from Honolulu airport and flew to
Hilo airport on the big island to do our training,
because they have much less traffic than Honolulu
On our last take-off from Hilo and heading back
to Honolulu, Hilo Tower called us and said they
found pieces of rubber tires on their runway.
What happens is when the brakes get too hot it
causes fuse plugs in the wheels to melt, so the
tires can deflate without exploding.
So we told Honolulu Tower we probably have some
flat tires that we are landing on and we would
like the emergency equipment standing by when we
land. Sure enough, as soon as we touched down we
heard two main tires blow, but the Captain kept
the aircraft straight in the middle of the runway
After we stopped he told me to go back to the
forward left main cabin door and look out to see
how bad the left main gear fire was, I told him
there was only hot burning ambers and no big flames.
All four main tires, wheels and most of their brakes
were gone. As we were all observing the aircraft
damage, this high-ranking military Officer drives up
and says to us, you have to get this aircraft off
my runway right away.
We told him it wasn’t going anywhere till it had some
new tires and wheels installed and who knew how long
before that would be.
They had to fly in a new left inboard flap. Took four
days to get the aircraft repaired and ready to fly