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Email: Fred@Teeter.info

 

The inside of a military air command (MAC) C-141 Starlifter taking me to Sondrestrom Air Force Base and the DEW Line for the first time in August 1976. This was an interesting flight. We departed McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey at approximately 2 a.m. About a third of the way to our destination, the cockpit windshield collapsed, causing the plane, which flew at high altitudes, to depressurize and forcing the pilots to dive. We turned around and landed under emergency conditions at the military air base in Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada. Eventually, we returned to McGuire. Several hours later, aboard another Starlifter loaded with gear from the original flight, we departed again. Believe it or not, I don’t remember the dive. I was sound asleep and the wax plugs in my ears, which every passenger wore to block the noise, also blocked the commotion around me.
Our C-141 on the tarmac at Sondrestomfjord (now Kangerlussuaq), Greenland. It was a big airplane with impressive technology. Pilots could insert a card into a cockpit reader that gave an on-board computer information for automatic take off, course maintenance and landing. Tragically, one of these monsters crashed and burned on the Sonde runway, killing everyone aboard, during my year in Greenland.

In my initial visit to Sonde, I enjoyed a long weekend exploring areas immediately adjacent to the base. Each summer, the nearby fjord was an active if modest port, through which fishing boats plied arctic waters for shrimp and fish. Military landing craft also used the docks. For another view of Sonde today, and an informative visual tour of Greenland, go to:

www.greenland-guide.dk/kangerlussuaq/info/

Another view of the fjord. The air base was situated at the eastern terminus of this very long inlet.
Mirror Lake, near Sonde.
Sondrestrom was headquarters for the Greenland operations of Felec Services Inc., my employer. Here, FSI employees Mimi Simmons and Dick Corkery grin for the camera. A big European guy by the name of Sven, whose last name I forget, was DYE Sector Chief.
The military barracks and support buildings of Sondrestrom Air Force Base.

The workhorse of the DEW Line, a DeHaviland Twin Otter turbo prop. These flew me to and from my DYE Sector assignments.

Danish pilots map a course from Sonde to DYE 4 and back aboard the hardy Twin Otter.


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