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572547 Departs 87th to AMARC-2

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'Sammy' 57-2547 the day of its departure to the boneyard 15 Aug 85 [Sammy Hager collection]
57-2547 departs the 87th FIS for AMARC 15 Aug 1985 [Sra Thomas "Sammy" Hager collection] submitted by Sammy Jun 2003

Sammy's story about the departure:
"This set of pictures was taken in the morning of Aug 15 1985....the day I launched my jet to the boneyard. I had spent all night at work getting her ready for departure. Not that she needed it but, I wanted to put a fresh coat of wax on her for the last time, new gear pin streamers, white letter the tires after some armor all was used. It seemed when the other jets were leaving for DM, a lot of aircraft washes were getting pencil whipped. "Hey, its going to sit in the desert...what's the big deal?" When my jet taxied out I wanted all to say or think "man, what a waste to send a beautiful jet on a one way trip". 3 weeks prior to her departure I was able to roll the engine (That weekend duty crew picture that I sent you) and eliminate 2, 781K write ups. That put her on a black letter initial. That was the status that I sent her out to DM. The pilot was Capt Jesse Pitts and the 1Lt in the back seat was going on a permissive TDY (house hunting). I was trying to swing getting a ride down to the AMARC facility, the DCM was for it...but this 1Lt got his wish granted. He was a T-33 pilot, don't remember his name. Just about everyone came out to see 547 leave that morning and to see if I'd break down into tears. She looked like she came right off the showroom floor. Kiddingly, someone gave me a tissue ... and I loaded it up (think I was coming down with something). They all thought I was hamming it up...It was literally tearing me up inside to see this jet off for the last time. As 547 was taking the runway, I jumped into Delta 1 and drove out to as close as I could get without crossing the Hold short line. She had lined up and was preparing to take off (away from my position), however a wind change occurred and they changed departures. 547 taxied down the runway, did a 180 and was now accelerating towards me. I got a nice profile shot as she passed by me. The man upstairs did me a favor with a little wind, causing a runway change." Thomas "Sammy" Hager

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