Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Flying for our Uncle

I was over at Flying Flo’s Forum this morning. She was talking about Ch-47’s. I used to be in a ‘Hook company. I was much younger and had a great time with it. I was a Crash Rescue type attached to the heavy lift company. I served with a bunch of people with more character than Winston Bloody Churchill. Most of that lot was a little crazy and prone to foolishness. I had a Mexican crew chief with a death wish, and a pothead on the roof turret; I was the driver/operator. A 530C crash truck is marginal at best for rough terrain aircraft crash firefighting, and if the aircraft is armed, good luck. Our mission was recovery and little else.

The rest of the company was involved in trying to keep the airplanes flying, and taxiing the 82nd around. We were forever fluttering off to haul some artillery battery, or take some sneaky Pete's and dump them out in the woods.

The real fun was watching the crews try to keep themselves amused. When the flight warrants were getting in hours, sometimes we would go along for the ride. In the summer we would open all the doors, drop the tail ramp, and enjoy the breeze. The crew chief and flight engineer would wear fall protection and walk around the cargo area. When in the field they all wore a survival vest, one component in the vest was a switch blade knife.

A couple of the loony’s were standing in the back of the airplane, tailgate down, toes hanging over the edge. The altitude was about twelve hundred feet. They were both hooked into the center cable, just standing around. One of the idiots looked at the other and stepped out the door! Now the moron was hanging under the airplane about 10 feet or so, swinging in the wind at about 75 knots. The thing is, as he swung, on the forward arc he would smack into the bottom of the ‘Hook. He starts yelling, “Pull me up!” The other loony pulls his switch blade out and opens it.

Panic ensues!

The first loony KNOWS the second will cut him loose and explain it as a tragic accident!
The nut case at the end of the strap came over the edge of the ramp like someone had kicked him.

Motivation, is a powerful force. He never did that again, learned the first time.

1 comment:

Flo said...

"Most of that lot was a little crazy and prone to foolishness." Surely you jest! Not anyone associated with Army Aviation?!

We sure had fun, though, didn't we?

It looks like you're going to be another of my daily reads. I'll be adding you to the list over at my blog if you don't mind.