Project Police Strike Again..T-18 in the Sights

Gretchen Lund (aka NOCTURNE)

Originally published June 1996

Nearly every organization has an internal division whose individuals report to no one. Our govermnent has thousands....our chapter has two. This is their story.

0730, 1 Jun 96

EAA Muroc Chapter 1000 Super Secret Undercover Project Police (SSUPP) code names NOCTURNE and OTTER, depart WHP in their Project Police Super Secret Transport (PPSST) ingeniously disguised as a Mooney 201. At SNA, two unsuspecting passengers and their cargo board and all depart enroute to MOD under the clever guise of transporting artists to perform at a Masters of Harmony (MOH) Barbershop Chorus show. (Little does OTTER know, but he will actually be required to perform with MOH, along with the two artists, because NOCTURNE has finagled TDY to the Capuccino Bar once on station.)

After an uneventful flight during which NOCTURNE is pressed into service as OTTER's IFR safety pilot (OTTER loves his hood more than Rambo did his guns) they park the PPSST and acquire the free use of one of Sky Trek's crew cars (a white Cadillac...nothing like using someone else's equipment to accomplish the mission, eh' WEASEL?). Just as they depart MOD for billeting, they sight their intended Project Police target: a really neat blue and white Thorp T-18 blissfully taxiing in and desperately in need of inspection. Alas, the target will have to wait because the artists are demanding arrival at billeting before "tech check" time.

0730, 2 Jun 96

What is that ungodly ringing sound? NOCTURNE pokes OTTER in the side and orders him to investigate. (Rank and femininity both have their privileges.) OTTER mumbles something about last night's emergency orders to eat promptly by 0830 or become hypoglycemic. (OTTER isn't too sure who gave those orders since he kept his cover by performing with other artists until approximately 0330.) Later, they rendezvous with the two artists for departure from billeting to MOD. Once at MOD, the SSUPP scout the area once again for the unsuspecting T-18. No luck. It's not on the tarmac and the passengers are saying something like "when do we leave?" (Artists!) Fueled and boarded, the PPSST taxis out for runup and...oh no!...there's the T-18 right behind them. (NOCTURNE and OTTER quickly review the ground assault weapons a T-18 can carry while desperately repositioning to avoid having him get on their six!) "Mooney 201 Juliet X-Ray, cleared for takeoff, downwind departure approved." Hallelujah for co-conspirators in the tower. Probably SSUPP from another chapter. Wow, that was close. NOCTURNE and OTTER decide to return at a later date with reinforcements to ferret out the beautiful, elusive, and now (probably) armed and deadly T-18.

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Revised -- 2 March 1997