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Have you ever had anything go "Klunk!" in Flight?

that Mama! moment Aviator Professionalism Instant Religious awakening

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#1 Francis Meyrick

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 04:58

Have you ever had anything go "Klunk!" in flight?    :unsure:

 

 

Have you ever had something unexpectedly go "Klunk!" in Flight? Or even "Klunkety-Klunk-BANG!" Or something suddenly set up the Rattle from Hell? An unexpected series of explosive pops?  Have you ever coolly exercised the heights of your aviator professionalism, with the correct Pilot Responding Etiquette?  
To wit, the correct cockpit interrogative questioning? CRM, and all that?  You know. Like:
    Dude! What the Fu-fu-fu… was THAT…!?

 

 

Tell us about it!

 

Here's mine

 

 

 


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#2 Gomer Pylot

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:56

Critter in the back seat of a 206B intentionally dropped his hard hat on the floor from the ceiling, right behind me.  We had words.

 

Bang in the dark in a 412, couldn't find anything wrong.  Hovering to the ramp after landing, the lights from the hangar showed blood, guts, and feathers on the windshield directly in front of my face.


Edited by Gomer Pylot, 12 March 2014 - 07:58.

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Best Regards,

Gomer

#3 WolftalonID

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:29

Well on the bright side there were feathers!!!
Sometimes we think we know it all....only later to discover we only knew all we had learned. Never stop learning.

#4 Wally

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:40

If it wakes me up but I don't find anything else amiss- smoke, smell, screaming, gauges- I go back to sleep. I might be jaded...


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Just a pilot (retired, so I have a LOT of time)...


#5 Mikemv

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:39

One night in 1968, in a UH1H West of Dong Tam, a fire support base comes under attack by VC.

 

I have a Lt. Col. in the back seat and he is told to go in and take over the FSB. So as I am on approach to the heli-pad (PSP outside the perimeter) he starts shouting at me that the twin 40MMs are going to shoot us down. My crew chief tells him to sit still, be ready to un-ass the helo and shut up.

 

On short final the 40mm shuts off at the right time, we plop in, he gets out and off we go outbound with the line of fire of the 40mm just below our flight path to keep VC heads down.

 

Adren. is still flowing and we are climbing  out as a loud whack on the left side window which I

mistakenly perceive as  a hole from ground fire. I take the controls and begin evasive flight until I notice the hole in the wind shield moving downward and realize there is no in flow of air. The bird guts become recognizable and we level off and start to laugh like hell at the situation.

 

Another night during an ammo resupply mission i land and during the off loading of ammo hear a loud "Bang, Bang, Bang' and think we are taking enemy fire. I tell the door gunner and crew chief to lay down some suppressing fire with their M60's. They start laughing at me and ask me if they should shoot the Nippa palm bushes that the MR is chopping away at?

 

The wind came up after I landed and during the unloading blew the palm branches into the rotor system. They were soft and no real damage.

 

Life is strange even if it now seems like a lifetime ago but some things you never forget..

 

Mike


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#6 Wally

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 13:49

Not exactly a 'go klunk' story, but MikeMV started the Vietnam story stuff...

 

Flying a "Firefly" Huey on the perimeter one quiet night in 1969. All the good bad guys were dead after Tet '68, or most of them, anyhow. Quiet now.

 

(A Firefly has a "Bug light", 7 big fixed wing landing lights on stalk in the cabin, pointed out the open side door. Gunner sighting generally out that way. In case. Guys in back operate the light, direct it around, turn on and off, and even focus it somewhat. I like it because it spills a lot of light, so you can work really low if you want, unlike the xenon spots which are very, very sharply focused beams, One goes out to sweep the area, tonight especially approaching the perimeter, and some parts of the wire that are not readily visible if somebody thinks they hear something. Or the theoretically anti-personnel radar indicates...

Did I mention there's a Cobra overhead all night?)

 

Anyhow, nothing happening, so on a fuel break I go to the platoon fridge for a Coke.

 

"Hey, could you fly these (two) docs back to the 3rd Surg?" which is a couple minutes up the river, next to the Air Force base, whose wire I also check. If you're in the Air Force, you need a note from home to stay up all night, I guess.

 

Did I mention the platoon and these docs were really, really drunk. So, I missed another party...

 

"Yeah, sure, I'll finish this while you load them up" and off we go.

 

The 3rd Surg shares a runway with Navy Binh Thuy, a really short runway between the buildings in the compound and the wire, abutting the Air Force wire. The Air Force has six or seven thousand feet of paved runway, hot water and air conditioning. Why the 3rd Surg wasn't in Air Force Binh Thuy, I don't know. Because pukey Army Dustoffs were also based with the 3rd Surg?

 

I never have to sweep Navy Binh Thuy's wire. I think they have Marines who go out and drag bad guys into the wire at night.

 

I turn final to this short runway on a base I've never been to and ask the crew chief if our happy passengers could tell us which hooch was theirs? I'm decelling and there is a lot- LOTS! of hollering and cussing in back, a big flare to a landing, my crewchief and gunner are hollering "He jumped out! Sh-t! He jumped out"

 

"Who jumped out? What (by golly) happened?"

 

"They were asleep. I woke one up to ask him where he wanted to go, he unbuckled and he slid out the door..."

 

Oh, this is bad.

 

I pick up to a hover, do a 180, and look around with my searchlight. Yep. doctor size OD heap 20, 30 yards back, I hover nearer and set down again.

 

Both gunners, crewchief and other doc run over to the body, which rolls over and tries to get up as they near. Still very, very drunk and jolly, but unhurt. He didn't know why he was on the runway...

 

Sounds like an HEMS flight in reverse, don't it?

 

Wally, f/k/a Goldie.


Edited by Wally, 12 March 2014 - 14:34.

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Just a pilot (retired, so I have a LOT of time)...


#7 aeroscout

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 14:13

Plenty of birdstrikes over the years from small to buzzard size, in fixed and rotary.

An aircraft that I flew once had a problem that I was glad not to have.

 A fellow squadron mate went out in a flight and for some reason somewhere towards the end decided to do a "FOD sweep"

Roll inverted, unload a bit, and them pick up anything that collects in the canopy.

When he did the crew heard a clunk, and the controls got stiff.

When maintenance got ahold of it they discovered a crack along the top part of the fuselage behind the wing. All the controls for the stabilizer and rudders ran along that section and were binding.

A bit more abuse and the whole tail would have come off in flight.


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#8 Wally

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 16:35

Early 1970, Mekong Delta, sun setting on a couple Cobras at an ammo point, front seat stuffing rockets as their crew chiefs lay in linked 7.62 for the mini-guns and we refuel the Flare Slick. Guns drink first, we’ve done one strike already.

 

“Goldie, how soon can your team get to (such and such)? Contact, could use help.” Camau on the PRC 99.

 

“I can be there in 10, the Snakes should be about the same.”

 

“Go!” Jump in, I crank as the crew chief, gunner, and the Peter Pilot belt up. Nameless, because I don’t remember whose aircraft it was, mine’s in the hangar. The aircraft that other companies lend us are sometimes kinda, uh- humble. No reflection on the crews, there’s only so much a couple guys can steal from the senior, very jealous crews. Seen it almost come to blows.

 

Get contact info as we climb toward the engagement, going for sky to chuck flares, into the gathering dark. Through 3000, climbing, make the calls, and the guns come up with an ETA.

 

I think I notice the main transmission pressure gauge flicker, huh? Yep, definitely trending down, crew chief confirms what mere pilots claim, then peers through the plexiglass witness hole at the tranny bay.

 

“Cheese and crackers, there’s oil everywhere in there. I can’t see where it’s coming from.”

 

Now, I don’t know what school of thought you subscribe to: keep the power on and everything turning; or reduce the load, but landing pretty soon is a good idea in this case, either way. Except it’s really dark down now and it’s a bad neighborhood. I’m in the turn and got the power down, trying to time the descent to hit the PSP strip we just left, and no more!

 

The fully functioning, beautiful Cobra lights flash past as I pick out the JP4 flares on the strip. A caution panel segment illuminates as I start to decelerate an approach to the ground, skids down, and chop. The crew chief has the access plate off before the throttle hits the stop.

 

It’s hot, humid and there’s zillions of mosquitoes in the Delta. I think we flew it again that night.


Edited by Wally, 13 March 2014 - 16:41.

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#9 Francis Meyrick

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 09:59

Great stories. History. When some of you guys pass on to the eternal play ground, this really is unique stuff that ought not to be forgotten.  I'd like it if you considered writing more, and also posting on www.chopperstories.com          (nothing to do with the notorious Mark Reed)  :rolleyes:

 

If you come and visit sometime, scroll a ways down the page, and you come to "Untold stories of Vietnam". There's only two stories there so far. I'd love to see a lot more. You can also insert photos and Youtube videos. Even smilies. To really drag the tone down. 

 

If anybody else reading this isn't comfortable with their prose, talk to me with the essential gist of the story. Not saying mine is dazzling, but I can scribble it up, and you can critique/add corrections.   That's we did with the two already posted. The one story, "Chance Encounters" is HIS story, just my grimy fingers clacking on the keyboard. He first told me the story, and it struck a chord. When I showed him my write up, he was pretty emotional. Got something out on paper that he wanted out for years, but couldn't.

 

Here's the link:

 

Chance Encounters

 

 

 

:huh:


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#10 Little Bird

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 10:57

This story starts with, "There I was, low and fast over the rice fields of Cambodia…". Only, it wasn't in the 60s, it was 3 years ago!

Checking out the floating villages of the Tonle Sap with a couple of tourists on board and suddenly, BANG!

Nope, not a bird strike. And nope, no village kids nearby throwing their usual pebbles at me...

BANG, BANG… I look at my passenger in the front, he looks at me, then back forward again. The tiny girlfriend in the back seat doesn't seem to be aware, she's busy looking at the green waters & taking selfies with her huge iPad.

SHUDDER, BANG.

WTF I'm thinking?

Then the hydraulics go.

What?

BANG, BANG.

Yep, no hydraulics, but that's weird, because I didn't hear any of these noises in my training! Haha BANG, BANG, SHUDDER.

Right, well, I've had enough of this. Let's set it down somewhere, somewhere close, because I have NO idea what the, BANG, BANG, is...

There's no roads around and I'm not feeling good, well, lucky it's not wet season because then I'd be dealing with 9 foot deep water. I make a wide turn and bring back the speed, pulling in some collective and SPLASH, into the paddy.

BANG! What the heck?

"Sorry about that", I confess to the front passenger, "F^&k. I don't think those sounds were normal".

"Pffft", the guy offers, "I'm a North Sea tug Captain, I've seen s&*t that you'd never imagine in your wildest nightmares out there!".

I shut down, BANG! Another one. For good measure I guess.

I hop out, there's fuel leaking down into the calf deep water, "Uh-oh, that's not gonna be good for the crop", I'm thinking.

Pop open the cowls, whoops! Looks like old Frank Robinson's ELT has decided to take a vacation and go visit his friends the hydraulics and fuel tanks before getting well acquainted with the flex coupling family.

Well, to end the story, we got the Company on the line, got a air-lift out of there and back on the apron, the grizzly Sea-Captain said to me, "Well, when are we continuing that flight? I wanna check out that waterfall!"

His girl-friend, she was already in the bus! Hahaha


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#11 aeroscout

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 15:12

Remind me to tell you the story of another aircraft that I flew, but not on that fateful day. That fateful day my buddy "Beads" was flying it. That wasn't my same squadron buddy who broke the back of his aircraft. I also flew that one. That was "Slammer".


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#12 SBuzzkill

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:49

What aircraft did you fly aeroscout?

 

So far my career has been pretty boring.  A few chip lights here...  A failed computer there...  Some explosions on the ground and a few bullets in the air...  Nothing that ever raised the pucker factor.  Thank God. 

 

I did lose ~2000ft and hit airspeeds higher than our gauge goes while learning about mushing in Colorado.  That was a definite eye opener and completely self induced. 



#13 Francis Meyrick

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 11:26

@ aeroscout

 

Hey! Yoo-HOO!  Just to REMIND YOU to write that story...!    :P

 

I got one off this morning, in between a shower and a sh...coffee.  All about de-flowering virgins. I'm an expert at that. Do it all the time. Not exactly "Klunk!" I suppose, but at least "it's in flight". 

 

(I'm gonna get banned, I'm gonna get banned...)

 

Here you go...

 

On VIRGINS


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#14 aeroscout

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 12:04

We had a mechanic in our squadron who lost a wrench somewhere in the aircraft while working on it. He thought he lost it up in the nose wheel well of the mighty intruder. He did the right thing and told maintenance control. A FOD sweep was conducted and the wrench wasn't found. The mechanic insisted the wrench did not drop out of the aircraft onto the cat, but by now the MO (TB) was involved and reported to the ship that the wrench was dropped over the cat where the aircraft was spotted.

 

That left the ship with no alternative but to disassemble the cat track. The wrench wasn't found. The mechanic was then pressured by the MO to claim that he dropped the wrench in the catwalk. But the mechanic again did the right thing, and refused. The MO papered over the whole thing, and warranted that the wrench was not in the aircraft.

 

Subsequently my squadron mate (Beads) flew the same aircraft one night over NAS east, heard a loud bang, got fire lights with secondaries, saw flames coming out of the engine, and ejected. He and his B/N rode the silk while watching the aircraft I once flew with the once missing wrench now found, arc into the Atlantic just offshore of downtown.

 

I don't know how they do it, but lost tools eventually worm their way around inside an aircraft until they can find their way into an engine inlet.

 

In retrospect the aircraft should never have been signed off as airworthy until it was stripped down far enough to find that wrench. But that's just me.


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#15 gary-mike

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 02:27

You are right aeroscout, any aircraft that the mechanic has touched since checking out the tool box is to be impounded until the tool is either found or all possibilities have been eliminated. I've spent countless hours searching for lost tools an parts. What I love about your story is that the mechanic had the integrity and the balls to report it imediatly and stand his ground on the issue. My experience tells me he received a lot of crap for it, but he didn't give in. That puts it on the MO as far as responsibility for putting the crew in danger.
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#16 aeroscout

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 03:43

You are right aeroscout, any aircraft that the mechanic has touched since checking out the tool box is to be impounded until the tool is either found or all possibilities have been eliminated. I've spent countless hours searching for lost tools an parts. What I love about your story is that the mechanic had the integrity and the balls to report it imediatly and stand his ground on the issue. My experience tells me he received a lot of crap for it, but he didn't give in. That puts it on the MO as far as responsibility for putting the crew in danger.

I'll take that as a like ! Needless to say I also enjoyed your post.


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#17 Francis Meyrick

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    For my aviation scribbles see www.chopperstories.com.... enjoy!

Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:07

I love our mechanics. Not just good and dedicated, but approachable and funny. The boys who keep me alive, and look for the tiny, incipient, hairline crack signs of trouble.  They are a big part of happiness in the sky. You'll only fully appreciate good maintenance when you have (in prior employment) experienced... (another story perhaps). (remember Johnny?)

 

Anyway, one foggy morning, Dark and cold, I was pre-flighting in the light of my flash light. Yawn. Look. Yawn. Look. Yawn... (fuc!)   There was a wire brush, left.... I don't even want to tell you where. Where it shouldn't be. Put it that way. Things that go round fast. And where there would be one hell of a bunch of trouble if I reported it. It would guaranteed, go all the way up to the top. Somebody would get reamed. What to do? (aw, shucks!)

 

I walked into the mechanics room. Half a dozen guys sitting watching TV. "Errr....guys?". Heads turned. "Guys... I just STARTED my pre-flight... but I think I'll go have another cup of coffee... and then I think I'll come back down in ten minutes.... Yes... I think that's exactly what I'm going to do..."  Astonished looks. I walked out. A minute later, coffee in hand, I was amused to see every single mechanic in the place double step, quick-marching in the direction of my baby. The object was located in one third of a baby nano second, and the posse then went through everything else with alacrity.

A few minutes later, I started the OFFICIAL pre-flight.

I never, ever brought it up. They never did.

But I seem to always get a warm welcome, when I turn up at that base.

 

Technically, I did flat out wrong. I totally admit it. Not even an argument. But I honestly think these guys learned a TON right there, that cold, dark, foggy morning.

And I got a giggle out of it too.

 

Give your mechanic a hug today.


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#18 Fliesbecauseracecar

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 13:50

Just a couple quickies if you will indulge me.

 

Good mechanic and lost tool story first:

 

Jalalabad, Afghanistan 2011.  I am a maintenance test pilot by trade, so work with our mechanics everyday. 

 

One of my best guys knocks on my hooch door about 2300, I have been in bed for about 2 hours.

 

"Sir, I can't find my stubby screwdriver."

 

"When did you last have it?"

 

"Well I was working up on the left EFAB."  (In close proximity to all the bell cranks for the flight controls and the engine inlet)

 

"Thanks for telling me, let's get started on a 100% FOD check on the aircrafr." (No anger for doing the right thing)

 

Day and a half later with a mostly dissassembled aircraft and no screwdriver, the mechanic returns with his laundry.  And the screwdriver.

 

 

Second actually involves the Klunk in the thread title, and smoke and fire, and what are allegedly soiled pants. . .

 

This is in Iraq 2009.

 

Flying a VIP escort for some general or the other on a 10 minute flight from Basra Palace to Basra Airfield proper.

 

Flew out to pick up escort on our 60s, of course the VIP is late with whatever it is he is doing, so we are loitering over the palace, doing general recon, getting the constant invatation from Iranian ATC to come land at their airport across the river.  Hawks are finally ready to go and we fall in trail.

 

Almost immediately there is a loud pop, and 30 seconds later a cockpit full of white smoke.  No windows to open in the Apache, and nothing but city below full of people who don't like me, and an entire country that is less than friendly across the river.

 

Make a call to my wingman and ask if he sees fire or smoke, since I am having no odd readings and no fire lights.  Continuously scanning for a flat, denfensible landing spot.  Wingman reports a small streamer of thin smoke on the left side.  As I start the approach to the field, the smoke starts to clear and wing reports no smoke.

 

By the time I land direct to our parking and emergency shutdown, no more visible smoke, but my eyes are still watering.

 

Crew chiefs start looking for fire damage and say they can't find anything, tell me I am cleared to take back off. . .

 

Obviously I refuse, grab another aircraft and complete the mission.

 

When I return, they have found the source of the problem, the transformer rectifier has a bullet in it and caught fire, small 7.62 sized hole in one side and a fire created hole on the other.

 

The crew chief had nice hot chow waiting, refused any help with tying down the aircraft, and apologized to me for about 3 days.


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#19 Francis Meyrick

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  • Location:TEXAS, USA !!
  • Interests:Fixed Wing and Helo trucker. I enjoy being a chopper jockey, and trying to figure the world, people and belief systems out. I'm not very good at it, so it keeps me real busy. I scribble, blog, run a website, (www.writersharbor.org) run rental houses, ride motorbikes, and read as much as I can. I went solo 44 years ago, and I like to say I'm gonna get me a real job one day. When I grow up. ("but not just yet, Lord, not just yet")
    For my aviation scribbles see www.chopperstories.com.... enjoy!

Posted 27 March 2014 - 18:49

Hilarious! Very well written.  more!     :D  


"Flying is a Privilege, and not a Right"

 

 

fa9f27a0-98d0-48ed-9687-6953eb7f9fca_zps


#20 akscott60

akscott60

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  • Company working for:CH47F Instructor Pilot.

Posted 09 April 2014 - 04:38

This is more funny to me than anything, but first flight in the CH47D back in Jan of this year. We take off out of Knox and head to Goldberg. I am shooting just a regular old VMC approach to the ground for the first time. It was going ok (bit of a jump from a Kiowa to a Hook), and we touch down all 4 mains. 

 

Right then this big white cloud of smoke goes by the cockpit and into the cockpit (Im in the right seat). Tower says there is smoke coming out of our aircraft. I was uneasy.

 

I am probably as white as the smoke. IPs (Two on board) laugh, and say the heater blew out.

 

Well, now I know  :D


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