ROBERT G. HINKEL (1907 - 1953)
"Bob", "Pop" or "Pappy"
(CNAC July 1943 - 1949)
(Captain - ???)
(Hump Flights ???)
Robert came from TWA.
His wife's name was Nellie R. Hinkel
From Gene Banning's list of 8/31/00:
"... July, 1943; landed plane #86 at Kunming after an oxygen tank exploded, blew hole in fuselage, 6/14/44."
Bob was on the Pilots Flying Time list, September, 1947.
From the last roster of CNAC pilots, 2 April 1949:
996 Hugjao Road, Apt. 2
From a 1960's CNAC address list - Bob's widow:
Hinkle, Nellie (misspelled, should be Hinkel)
7025 Van Dyke St.
(Nillie passed June 22, 1960)
April 9, 2006
Dad (Don McBride) remembers Hinkel. They called him "Pop." "Pop Hinkel." He was an older pilot who came from an airline backlground . . . . . TWA, Dad thinks. Hinke had at least one unusual experience on one of his flights. On one occasion, he had a loald of Chinese soldiers on board when he had mechanical problems (Dad recalled it was an engine failure.) There were no parachutes on board so he couldn't unload his passengers. He had to fly through the dark over the Patcai Range of mountains on instruments. He couldn't see anything and he had to fly over these mountains, which many of those mountains rise about 8000 ft. high. He was flying below 8000 ft. for that whole time over the Patcai Range, and remarkably he made it back safely with his passengers. A real feat . . . . . and no one knows how he did it. Very fortunate.
Dad also said that Hinkel went back and flew the same route again later and tried to do it at the elevation that he flew the night of his engine problems. He couldn't do it in the daylight with a fully functional airplane. He wondered how he avoided flying into a mountain the night he had a load full of passengers.
Dad says that Pop made it back to the U.S. . . . . . he thinks he left China before the end of the war. Dad doesn't remember seeing him at subsequent reunions.
Eileen McBride (Don's daughter)
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