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Near Death


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#21 Lu Zuckerman

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 20:04

This happened before most of you were born and it wasn’t in a helicopter it was in a PBY.  I was awakened after about four hours sleep and told to go to the flight line where we serviced our P-Boat and took off for Buffalo, New York.  A tug had exploded and sank on lake Erie near Buffalo.  We were accompanied by an Air Force SAR B-17 from Selfridge Field, Michigan.  When we got on station it was totally obscured by fog but we kept on looking for any sign of the Satchem.  We were on station for about ten hours plus the four or five hours it took to get there.  I had been manning the flight engineers panel for the total time.  By that time the B-17 had returned to its’ base and we kept on searching.  We landed to refuel and I was replaced at the panel and I immediately hit the sack in one of the four bunks.

I was exhausted and completely oblivious to what transpired on the way back to the base.  We started to pick up ice and the wing and tail warmers were turned on but they were almost useless.  The props started to ice up and the anti icing pump was turned on.  About fifteen minutes later it caught fire and the APU gas tank was nearby. This took place about five feet away from my head. This pilot rang the bailout bell two times and with the third ring we would go over the side.  When the pump was turned off the ice started building up on the props knocking them out-of balance.  This caused large chunks of ice to break off and hit the fuselage and in the process it broke the navigators window letting in freezing air.  The heaters couldn’t keep up and everybody was freezing.  Meanwhile the wings were loading up with ice, as was the tail.

Luckily for all we made it back to the base.  I was awakened and told to get out and open the hangar doors and turn on the lights.  Instead of pulling the P-boat in backwards the pilots were going to taxi straight into the hangar.  When I turned on the lights I almost crapped.  Main antennae were hanging over the tail trailing the aircraft, the left side of the aircraft was severely pocked marked, and the aforementioned navigators’ window was broken out.  Inside the fire almost got to the APU fuel tank that had about 5 gallons of 115/145-octane gas.  The pilots told us that in another five minutes we would have crashed.  The wings and tail were covered in ice.

It is for that reason I can’t fall asleep an airplane


:unclesam:  ::2thumbsat:: This is Pierre.  He is back in Quebec City as is his geologist girl friend.

To maximize life, make it a point to breathe a little bit every day

#22 aquaman2000

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 22:29

<font color='#000000'>Nardoo,

This wouldn't happen to have been a gentleman with the initials SH in a place starting with a C, would it?  I saw the photos, he did do an amazing job getting it down as well as he did.</font>


can I see this picture

#23 Bell206Pilot

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 15:01

<font color='#000000'>Similar story....have a friend that was flying along doing some of his brand of law enforcement one night in a place somewhere south of Key West. He was about 800'AGL when he flew into a big kite at the end of some sport-fishing line. The kite was black and was put there by some fun loving chaps that drive very fast boats. Of course the line wrapped around the PC links and when the slack ran out it sqeezed breaking one off. He was in a 206 so about now he is fresh out of luck. Dont ask me how but he manages to get it down in some local back yard next to a clothesline (where he later hung his shorts after washing them) without hitting a thing.
My hats off to you old son.....</font>



Oh man do I know about kite lines...
Fishing line & Rotorhead
While flying a afternoon traffic watch the aircraft no doubt crossed the line and wrapped it up
(I always wonder what the person who was holding on to the line, did when the remainder spooled out at supersonic speeds)
any way after landing it became quite clear just how fortune truly was on our side that day


Years ago back when I was newly minted and thought I knew it all about flying a helo and the local area...
(newly minted = dumb enough to kill ones self quickly)

I took a friend up for a quick flight, it was his first time and thought we would have some fun too!
Cows were known to graze the local area and when you chase a cow in a helicopter they kinda panic and run along at full speed their tail vertical in the air (and often shitting themselves all the while too!)
Well even though I knew the area very well, it never factored that the local utility just might come out and string a line across any given area at any given time.

Low level and the bovine running at break neck speed suddenly I see this utility pole and the wire at the same moment, directly in front of me as it would just happen to be. Lotsa aft cyclic and even more collective and the seat cushion sucked between my cheeks I know I just missed that damn wire! and with unknown amounts of luck didn't kill my passenger nor myself.
Since then I never take a area of operations for granted...never & I don't chase cows anymore either!

P.S. Sorry no pics of the cows running and crapping

Edited by Bell206Pilot, 12 January 2008 - 15:21.


#24 spraypilot

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 21:01

I was spraying canal ditches in so. florida one winter with a bell 47. It was cold that morning, after wiping the dew off the bubble and ringing the rags out over and over, my hands were very cold.
I put out maby 3 loads, on the next, I got out and held my hands in front of the exhaust to warm them up.
Big mistake, When your body is cold, you dont warm it to fast.
My hands were numb, I went back out with the next load and when I pushed forward on the toggle switch, to turn the spray on, the cyclic left my hand.
I was suddenly pointed at the ground, blades maby 10 feet of the ground, my first thought was I am going to crash.
When I grabbed the cyclic, it was in front of my left knee.
I pulled back on the stick so fast it stalled the hyd. out, got very stiff like no power stearing, but got control, and level.
Went back and got another load, what a rush that was.
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#25 Goldy

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 23:03

206...great pix's. Very lucky indeed, a kite line took out a Huey last year and killed all on board.

Fly Safe !!

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#26 Me262

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 15:56

I once entered a cloud. Didn't paid attention to my altimeter and all of the sudden I'm 0kts losing altitude. Instead of instinctively rise collective, I lowered it, picked up some speed, and then rised it to get out. From 1500ft I was down to 400ft by the end, flying over a forest (so basically the clearance was 100-200 ft by the end)

I was still in school, and we didn't yet covered Ring Vortex State, yet for some reason I read about it ahead of time. And I think that saved me.

#27 far137oh58c

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 03:26

Hiller 12e. Dampener weight broke off, fell backwards & lodged behind the other dampener. Locked the controlls! It fell sideways across both for-aft & lateral. I could only go down & right. Lucky, I just took off from the truck. I felt the stick lock up. I did a run on landing in a potato field & at the last instant used the collective to arrest the decent to minimize the forward travel upon impact with the soft dirt. No damage. Flew it out of the field. Mechanic came to look it over & we ended leaving that broken dampener off, as it flew SMOOTHER with it off! Go figure! Its in my GOT LUCKY box at home.

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#28 SBuzzkill

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 20:07

The only scary moment I've had flying was on a fixed wing solo cross country flight in a C172. I was flying out to the coast in Washington and had been cruising for 20 minutes or so, out in the middle of nowhere at 6500 feet. I pulled my map out to start thinking about my descent and getting weather to determine how I wanted to maneuver for the 45. Got my plan together, started my descent and banked right to get my heading.

For some reason I decided to glance at my wingtip above me and maybe 500 feet above me, same course and descending was a Piper Cherokee. Had I stayed on course he would have descended right into me and neither of us would have known it.

#29 nightsta1ker

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 22:31

2006 between Camp Taji and Balad AB, Iraq. CH-47D with a cabin full of PAX, I'm on the left gun. Chilling, listening to the pilots talk. We hear an excited Blackhawk flight of two yelling about a near mid-air with a flight of two Apaches. The tangle of 4 aircraft was approximately a mile to our 2 oclock. They managed to untangle themselves and the Apaches flew a direction intersecting our flight path. We called them on the radio, they said they had us in sight, as they continue on a collision course. Our flight of two Chinooks slow waaaay back to let them go ahead of us. They cross in front and come into my sector. As we continue forward, the Apaches make a right 180 turn and head straight back for us again! I am calling their position to the pilots: "Their at our 9 0'clock 1/4 mile.... headed right for us... 1/8 mile... Start climbing Sir... Climb Sir...CLIMB CLIMB CLIMB!!!" At which point the pilots yank in the thrust and up we go! I could see the tubes of the Apache pilot's goggles as he looked up at me from just underneath our aircraft. I could have hit him with my damn piss bottle! Then they had the nerve to call us on the radio and thank us for our position call (sarcasm)! Meanwhile, we had over-temped both engines and possibly over-torqued two transmissions. It was a loooong night as we had to stay after school and fill out reports on the incident, do individual interviews with the S2, and pee and bleed for the doc. It was not my last near death encounter with Apaches.

#30 aeroscout

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:10

Not to rain on your parade, but the guy who thanked you sarcastically for the position report might not have been from the original flight of two that reported you in sight.

#31 nightsta1ker

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 13:35

Nope it was. We had their callsign and everything. And they had ours. Really not sure what was going on inside their cockpit but their flight lead was being a jerk. He was rude to the Blackhawks too. It was discussed that they had possibly done it on purpose, though I thought that was unlikely. They were climbing with us as we tried to evade, then they nosed over and ducked down beneath us. I remember it very vividly. I have several close call stories like that, but that's the one I still have nightmares about.

Our commander talked with their commander about the incident and they claimed they never even saw us. I KNOW that's not true. I made eye (goggle) contact with their pilot when they went beneath us.

Now what might have happened was they mixed us up with the Blackhawks at first when they called us in sight. That's definitely a possibility. Who knows for sure. All I know was it was as near a miss as I think is possible.

#32 aeroscout

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 17:00

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made with traffic is to assume one contact is the one you're looking for. Sounds like the apache guys made that one. It won't be the last time, that's why it's best to get a tally on your traffic, and check, double check, triple check.
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#33 Mikemv

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 17:28

Seems like a lifetime ago now but here I go. I was AC on a UH1 flying a night mission and returning to Dong Tam, RVN when the Infantry Major in the rear tells me that a fire support base is under attack and he needs to get dropped there and take command.

As we approach the base, the tracers are going in and out at a good rate of fire. Going outbound are the tracers from a twin 40mm and passing right over the heli pad. The Major in the back is screaming at me on the approach that we are going to get shot down by friendly fire!!!!!!

I tell him shut up. I had commo and as I flashed the position lights on-off the 40mm swings right, we touch down, the major jumps out and we are gone. So we low level out of there the same way we came in with the twin 40mm going right under us for protective fire, no lights and then start a cyclic full power climb towards 1,500'. The 40mm tracers looked like orange basketballs passing under us. Who was going to stick their heads up to shoot at us with that coming at them?

Here is the funny part!

During the climb there is a loud noise and a large dark spot (what I first thought was a hole in the windscreen) at face level. So now we fly crazy evasive action and as we level off the spot starts moving slowly down the windscreen and I note no wind in my face. We had hit a bird and the guts/remains were the spot. It is all kind of funny now, but scared the hell out of me and the Peter Pilot.

We circled back at altitude and put some marking fire on the incoming tracers and then the Cobras showed up. The Major got to spend the night. We took the Brigade commander out the next morning.

It was a lifetime ago but the memories do not leave.

Everyone be safe.

Mike
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#34 Francis Meyrick

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 00:05

I was very comfortable with dropping radio buoys from the tuna helo Hughes 500 C.  We dropped 'em all the time on floating logs that showed signs of bait fish and/or tuna. So the ship could find the log easily later on.

I had never seen a large vertically floating log. This one was huge, and must have weighed many tons.  I sort of thought, "well, that's different."  But I failed to recognize the danger. Unlike the usual horizontal floating log, which you can see easily, the vertical floater is much harder or impossible for you to see. Your observer, who has to drop/attach the buoy will hand guide you in, at which stage YOU can't see the log at all.

Well.,... this one nearly killed us both. I wrote the story up for the Tuna Manual, and several guys have since emailed with similar stories.  The scenario I'm sure explains some of the many, many missing tuna helicopters that were never heard from again.

 

Here's the link:   A Blip on the Radar (Part 8) "Eyes of Dead Man"

 

Not good.


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"Flying is a Privilege, and not a Right"

 

 

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


#35 Francis Meyrick

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 11:26

Hummm...

 

2 questions.... :o

 

1)  I notice I have the same effect in a Walmart check out queue.

     I join.

    The queue STOPS.

 

Was it something I said???   My alternate uniform shown above?  :wacko:

 

2)  How come when you mention "DEATH" in the title of a forum post, you get EIGHTEEN THOUSAND VIEWS...??

 

Ok, ok. Stupid question...

 

:rolleyes:


Edited by Francis Meyrick, 21 September 2014 - 21:58.

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"Flying is a Privilege, and not a Right"

 

 

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


#36 nightsta1ker

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 23:20

Hummm...

 

2 questions.... :o

 

1)  I notice I have the same effect in a Walmart check out queue.

     I join.

    The queue STOPS.

 

Was it something I said???   My alternate uniform shown above?  :wacko:

 

2)  How come when you mention "DEATH" in the title of a forum post, you get EIGHTEEN THOUSAND VIEWS...??

 

Ok, ok. Stupid question...

 

:rolleyes:

^This.  :lol:






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