Dinner's Ready



Hal Maynard



We were on our way from Elmendorf AFB to Travis AFB, 41,000 feet, smooth as glass and trying to stay awake. Both pilots were in their seats and I was working on the per diem forms.

All of a sudden there was a loud explosion in the cargo compartment and a white fog formed in front of the flight deck entrance door. I called "Decompression!" over the intercom and we started an emergency descent. With oxygen mask on and throttles to idle, down we went ... but only for a few seconds.

The loadmaster came running to the flight deck door shouting and waving his arms to stop the descent. We leveled off at about 39,000 and the load said we had no decompression. It was something worse ... and it was caused by the co-pilot

A few minutes before, the co-pilot had placed a can of beef stew in the oven at 450 degrees, set the timer for 30 minutes and did not punch hole in the can. In short order the can exploded and blew open the latched oven door. The sides of the oven were bulging out and beef stew was all over the front end of the cargo compartment, including the sleeping auxiliary crew members.

What the oven looked like, (pre-stew)

Too bad this was the last leg of the mission because the CP would have been buying drinks the rest of the trip.....


Hal Maynard
C-141 Navigator


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