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Close Calls/Frightening Moments


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#1 LJS1993

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 18:26

Okay gentlemen what was your closest call or most frightening moment you've had in your helicopters?  Was there ever a moment when you thought your time just might be up?  



#2 SBuzzkill

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 18:36

Most frightening moment was a pitch black night with no moon over a dry lakebed, following a flight of Apaches.  They turned back into us and I lost sight of the lead ship.  The 64D model has very poor lighting for following with NVGs to begin with, and we were converging on each other without knowing it.  Their lights were hidden from me by the engine nacelles, and I was hidden behind their cockpit pillars.

 

Anyways, I saw them at the last second by seeing the lights reflecting off the rotor blades.  Threw the bird over, then ended up in an unusual attitude over the lakebed at 200AGL with the nose pointed very down.  Skettttccchhhyyyy.  For about 10 seconds I was flying but also just sorta waiting for the BANG!

 

My worst moment flying helicopters was also at NTC following a couple Apaches in the middle of the night.  Taking off to catch up with them as they went over the hill, all of the sudden the sky lit up as if someone shot a flare over the top of us.  That's when I got the mayday call from their sister ship.  We flew over the ravine and saw just a bunch of wreckage and fire burning so bright it was reflecting off our windshield, and there was nothing we could do but fly and coordinate to get first responders out there.  Miserable night.


Edited by SBuzzkill, 08 July 2018 - 18:37.

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#3 LJS1993

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 15:15

No one else?  Damn guys..........  That bad eh?



#4 TailEndCharlie

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 20:28

No one else?  Damn guys..........  That bad eh?


Just curious...what is your background? Are you a pilot or aspiring to be one?
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#5 LJS1993

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 21:24

Just curious...what is your background? Are you a pilot or aspiring to be one?

Aspiring and exploring the idea.



#6 helonorth

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 09:44

I went inadvertent about 10 years ago in a 206B while turning around. It's a scary feeling knowing if you dick this up, you're dead. 


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#7 Wally

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 16:17

No one else?  Damn guys..........  That bad eh?


Here's the thing after 48 years of flying- I really, really don't want to look the fool by telling everybody how my poor judgement got me into 'interesting situations'.

Here are a couple that don't make look a total prat:

I did half my Vietnam tour flying night 'missions'. My Cobra company only had two "Slicks", but the mission requirement continued even when they were "Red X-ed" (unseviceable) so I wouod be assigned another company's aircraft. I was once assigned one that was just barely flyable. The lending unit couldn't, or woukdn't send the assigned aircraft crew chief, so I got a spare crew chief, gunner and 'Peter Pilot' as well. The crw chief compalined or the aircraft condition, gunked up with Agent White, everything that held fluid was leaking too. When pressed as to whether it was flyable, he wouldn't down it, so...

Off we go into the wild blue yonder as the sun sets.

We're to fly South until we reach the last more or less secure airstrip in Vietnam at Camau City- 50 nautical West of the South China Sea, 50 East of the Gulf of Siam, nothing significant South until one reaches the USN's Sea Float moored in the mangroves and the South China Sea and Gulf of Siam meet.

We're to fly the illumation aircraft to various targets, trouble spots, whatever the Snakes get called out for, drop aerial flares from 5000' AGL (approximate) so the Cobras can see and shoot bad guys on the ground.

A couple uneventful sorties, the guns refueling and rearming, I'm off into the dark in my Rent-a-slick, climbing to altitude when I get a main XMSN oil pressure light. I'm turning back as the crew chief announces he can't see the main transmission oil level sight gauge because there is oil everywhere, a regular fountain in there. That gets my attention for sure-land now in definite indian country or try to get back to the airstrip?
Reduce power and load on the xmsn, I discover could autorotate back to strip from flare dropping altitude, so that's what we do- counting the seconds until the skids touch down or the XMSN runs dry and fails...

Spoiler- I survive. The now furious crew chief starts working in a gunky, now oily hell hole, finds a repairable leak, refills it. And we fly it home- the next morning. I suspect there were emotional words exchanged between tb two crew chiefs...
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Just a pilot (retired, so I have a LOT of time)...


#8 mike0331

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 23:11

I've had the good fortune of having met a few pilots who flew in Vietnam. You guys all have amazing stories... even the "mundane" ones.

Not sure if you've read Not a Good Day to Die (about operation Anaconda in Afghanistan in 2002), but apparently Apaches can fly for like 30 minutes with no xsmn fluid.

Mike
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#9 TailEndCharlie

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 23:46

Aspiring and exploring the idea.


I hope you get to go for it.😉👍🚁
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#10 TomPPL

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 02:37

Here's the thing after 48 years of flying- I really, really don't want to look the fool by telling everybody how my poor judgement got me into 'interesting situations'.

Here are a couple that don't make look a total prat:

......

 

This was a great post Wally, had me on the edge of my seat - thanks for posting..!


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