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Hot Start - A little helicopter humor........

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Author: Klank


Hot Start – A humorous (fictitious) account of a hot start from the perspective of a male EMS Pilot. Men are pigs.


A modulated start can be a very simple procedure or royal pain in the ass; on one fine day it was the latter. Having gotten a different aircraft at the base due to maintenance issues was not an uncommon accordance and all our aircraft are pretty much the same. I complete my preflight and am satisfied with the machine I have been assigned.


Back inside I make small talk with the two little med babes I call my crew today. “We have a PR in about an hour,” Med Babe 1 informs me as I complete my first scan of the viewing options available to me on the tube.


Having absorbed the information I calculate that a dog and pony show will fulfill a few basic needs and therefore be a good thing. Food is the first of basics that will work to my advantage, potential for eye candy is another basic element required to sustain life on this planet, and I will get a chance to fly this new ship, yes a PR is just the ticket.


Well it’s “Go Time” as we ease out to the ship with no sense of urgency. Situational awareness is paramount in a professional pilots life I think as I scan the area looking for any hazards that might “Sweet Mother of, look at the body on that one” my focus shifted to the other side of the street. The locals have observed that when all three of us come out at the same time it normally means we are going to fly, and tend to gather, as we are a curiosity or momentary distraction that they have come to except.


Climbing in Med Babe 2 asks if I want the APU, I glance up and see that if I use it, her standing there could block the view of the Goddess that has stopped to observe my perfect liftoff. “Naaahh, that’s ok, I want to see how good the battery is” I pull right out my ass as I observe another scantily dressed hard body join the pack. Taking one last good look as the crew gets in I see the body language and make out more details, “Jail Bait, Damn”…..STOP, must focus…….. twenty years (in the slammer) is a long time but maybe it would be worth….focus…… ok lets get this show on the road.


Battery on, fuel on, throttle closed, few more quick checks, CLEAR, lets light this pig. Push the button, all the normal sounds, gauges responding, crack the throttle, we’re lit, temp coming up, I glance up to see the blades as they start to rotate and Oh My God! She is jumping up and down and clapping her hands…..now distracted…..must focus…… Hot, Hot, back off the throttle “Damn…. Damn”, I say as I see the little red light on the TOT gauge mocking me. With the start aborted, med babe 1 having heard me cursing, calmly asks, “What’s up?” “Hot start, we’re down” I reply in a humble meek voice. Knowing I screwed up they get out of the ship and walk back into the quarters leaving me to wallow in anguish as I pull out my phone and make the appropriate phone calls.


Sitting at the desk staring at the logbook, I’m trying to make the entry in let’s say a better light than “As the pilot is a dumb ass and” I briefly write “During start TOT overtemp light illuminated” and wait for he mechanic to show up.


Time passes slowly when you’re down for maintenance and it’s your fault, after about an endless hour and a half, I see the truck pull up on the pad next to our sick bird and two mechanics get out. I walk out to the pad and hand one of them the book. Briefly looking at the write up he say’s that they are going to check the gauge as I see the other mechanic opening the engine cowling and hooking up some wires from a little box they brought with them. The gauge, yea it’s the gauge that would be an easy out, I can’t be held responsible for the gauge I’m thinking. The mechanic says “Go on inside and we will be in shortly” Standing upright a little bit more than just a minute before I proceed into the crew house thinking I might have just dodged the bullet, I sit at the table and inform the crew of the developments.


Ten minutes later the door opens and in walks both mechanics, they don’t look happy I observe as I feel my shoulders slouching as I sit in the chair. They take up position to my left and right, one holding the logbook and the other holding the maintenance manual. “The gauge checked out fine” the one to my right says as the one to my left states abruptly “Not a damn thing wrong with it” As I sit there in a hard wooden chair with my hands on the table looking at these two it seems the only thing missing is the bright light shining in my face. “Your write up is a little vague” my now interrogator to the right states, “Damn vague if you ask me” the one on the left blurts out.


It’s starting to take shape here, they got the good mechanic, bad mechanic theme going here and I’m the perp in the middle. I’m half expecting one of them to offer me a cigarette.


The interrogation continues:


“Did you use the APU?” Not allowing me to finish talking “What percent N1 did you light off at?” “How hot did it get?” “How long?” “When did the blades start turning?” “Are you really a pilot?” and on and on. Bad mechanic on the left gets up and announces that he needs to use the can and leaves the room, good mechanic moves in “We really need to know how hot this thing got and for how long, it’s ok either we do a hot end inspection or we change the turbine depending on how hot it got” I almost thought that I heard something about going easy on me if I just confess.


As I explain the entire sequence over again, I say something about 900 degrees or so just as bad mechanic returns to the room. “Is that “or so” like 890 0r more like say 926” he chimes into the conversation. Good mechanic leans back in his chair and looks at his partner “I need to go, is it safe?” “It’s fine,” he says in a different tone of voice as he takes his position at the interrogation table. He sits there looking at me as good mechanic leaves the room, it’s almost like he’s waiting for the only witness to leave the future crime scene. “You Rotten Bastard” we here from down the hall as I see a smirk on the face of bad mechanic. Now he leans forward on the table and continues with the drill.


As he talks my mind wanders slightly as I hear things like “We have ways of making you talk” and I feel like the sleep deprivation is starting to kick in. Good mechanic returns after some time and the two get together to compare stories. They would look at the book, look at me, talk some more and then look back at me.


They approach, good mechanic looks at me and says “ We have all we need for now, we are going to perform an inspection that should take about two hours” they walk outside and I felt like the only thing they left out was not to leave the state any time soon.


The inspection went well and we were returned to service, the mechanics had left and I was close to the time my relief would show up. What a lousy day I think as I lean back on the bed in the pilot room, not much else can go wrong now as the vision of those two massive bouncing hooters creep back in to my mind. “Phone call,” Med Babe 2 yells down the hall “It’s the Chief Pilot” Maybe twenty years isn’t that long after all.

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