UH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2280 times:
So it's been like over a month since I posted on A.net. Last time I posted, I was down in Qatar for a little R&R. I gotta say... that country is really awesome. Maybe it's because I've been living in Iraq for so long, but I really enjoyed Qatar. It was awesome to just walk around in civilian clothing all day, go out to restaurants, go swimming and drink beer!!! I wasn't all that mad to come back to Iraq, though. Many of you might remember I was separated from my mother unit and attached to a national guard unit new to Iraq. After I got back from Qatar, I was able to rejoin my home unit and start working with them again.
The national guard unit I was with was pretty chewed up when they first got in country, but they turned out to be pretty descent by the end. The people turned out to be pretty cool, as well. (Well... as cool as any west coaster can be!!! Everything is always "cool" and "oh that's chill.")
In the helicopter world, I had my first significant EP (emergency procedure). It was my last mission with the guard unit before I rotated back in to my home unit. I was on a QRF (quick reaction force) mission, I was 2nd seat flying with a CPT, it was at night and we were using NODs. We just dropped some grunts off in a courtyard, I was off the controls, and as we were extracting from the LZ, when the cockpit went crazy with caution lights and the loud audio warning horn. Almost all of our number two engine instrument indications cut out, the #2 eng out[/b] caution light appeared accompanied by the eng out audio horn. The CPT, who is at the controls, immediately calls outs "We've got a #2 engine failure." and he proceeds to launch into the EP for single engine failure. And I hesitated for a moment, looked at the gauges and realized it wasn't an engine failure, but an alternator failure. The engine alternator does many things, including supplying power to the ECU (they're still flying the old alpha models). The ECU gives us cockpit signals regarding engine functions. And when the alternator quits, the lack of signals makes it think the engine died. But if you stop for a second and read what the other instruments are telling you... you'll see that the engine is actually running just fine, you're just not getting any instrument signals and a few other problems which lead into increasing RPM%R. (whole other EP). So yeah.... that was my big lesson: stop, think, troubleshoot the problem. As a CW4 told me later that night: [i]"A superior pilot is one who stays out of trouble by using superior judgment to avoid situations which might require the use of superior skill."
In other news: it's bloody hot. I'm talking 120-130 every day. The skin of the aircraft is so hot you cannot touch it with bare hands, or you will burn yourself. Sitting in the the cockpit prior to engine start is so hot, it's hard to breathe. And the water we carry with us heats up to the air temperature. It's like being in a hot shower, and trying to drink that water.
I went to my first USO show. 6 months and I had never been to any kind of Army sponsored function - I even missed the guy who plays the "Stewie" character on MadTv. I guess he did the "Persian Tow-Truck Guy" and it was a huge success. Anyway - the one I went to had a few country music singers and a comic.
And lastly - I was injured. I suppose I could be like "Oh yeah I was in a pitched battle and I barely came away with my life." But the truth is, all that happened was a mortar tore open a wall of a building I was in. No gun battles, no fixed bayonets... just a random mortar. Funny thing is... they brought me to the hospital and while any soldier is in treatment, they let you call home. And not being one to pass up a free chance to talk to the folks and the wife, I took them up on it. So I talked to the wife first, and didn't mention I was hurt or in a hospital and the conversation went well. Next was the the folks: so I am talking to my mom and she overhears the intercom in the background - and asks me what that was, and I let it slip out, [i]"Oh just the hospital intercom." Yeah the cat was out of the bag and she just about completely lost it. All I got were a few stitches and bruises, and she was crying like I just lost my legs or something. And then of course, my wife found out. So it was a HUGE thing for something so little.
Anyway enough of my boring ramblings, here's the good stuff: pictures.
UH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2280 times:
These are very famous ruins in... ummm... Babylon or Ur. I can't remember.. But we're talking the dawn of civilization! isn't that incredible!?
Another famous landmark, and forgive me, but I forget if that is Ur or Babylon.
This photo shows me reaching for the engine PCL (power lever). It also shows the CDU (central display unit) in the the middle of the panel with the vertical green bars. That was what basically went dead when I had that EP. It's kinda cool to look back and realize when all of that stuff started to go wrong, I just fell back on my training without forethought or panic.
My gunner took this picture. It's from the left gunner's window looking forward. Common misconception among people is that large bar in the forefront is NOT a handle for the pilots to use to get into the cockpit. Nope, that is our fox mike (FM) antenna.
Relieving some stress:
Live rounds. Makes it hit home that this isn't a game:
A guy in my unit - from Mississippi - saw this and said, "God damn! It's hot enough to breed sheep." I STILL don't know what that means!
The OH-58D Kiowa. This was my second choice if I didn't get to fly 'hawks. It's a bad ass little helicopter.
"If you ain't Cav, you ain't shit." Pfff.... whatever. Air Assault is what separates the men from the boys.
UH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2258 times:
Ok... now for the good stuff. The mortar attack. Three of us were inside a supply building, when the alarm sounded telling us that we were getting incoming. This is VERY common in Iraq, but you still need to follow SOP and go to the concrete shelters. We heard the alarm, grabbed our Kevlar helmets. We weren't moving all that fast when a mortar round hit really close outside. We hesitated to go out and that's when the second round (60mm) hit about 6 feet outside the building. The wall didn't just disintegrate like the photo shows. When it immediately happened just the top part imploded and sent shrapnel flying. I hit the ground (that's how I got the black eye and cut on my nose). I got stitches in my nose, left hand, left thigh and a few other minor cuts and scrapes. The base was hit pretty hard that day by a well coordinated mortar attack.
The crater outside the building:
Another building on the FOB:
Even a -47 out on the line got hit:
And because I am not graceful and can't properly hit the deck:
My buddy, also in the building at the time, had this taken out of his shoulder:
Without getting too technical or going into classified info... it refracts light in a very intense pattern, that "blinds" the incoming IR missile. Best way to describe it is: Imagine you're in a dimly lit room, running towards an open door. As you approach the door someone steps out and shines a flashlight in your eyes. Chances are you'll run into the wall!
KaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12242 posts, RR: 35
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2207 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW FORUM MODERATOR
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 9): Without getting too technical or going into classified info... it refracts light in a very intense pattern, that "blinds" the incoming IR missile. Best way to describe it is: Imagine you're in a dimly lit room, running towards an open door. As you approach the door someone steps out and shines a flashlight in your eyes. Chances are you'll run into the wall!
Thanks. That's the kind of explanation I was looking for. I probably wouldn't have understood the actual function anyways
UH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2195 times:
This is what it looks like to be screaming over the Iraqi landscape. Notice at the very beginning of the video, flares are deployed. It is a common misconception that the enemy only fire RPGs at us, when the truth is, they've got an impressive cache of manpads. Scary shit. Anyway, house-top level at a 150kts is an incredible rush! Good I love this job:
Ok, I will let the next video speak for itself:
And before all of you start shaking your heads and joke how stupid they can be... well Americans aren't that much better:
Why do we wear our body armor, boys and girls? Because it works!!!
Interesting note on this video. The soldier who was shot was a field medic. Seconds after this video, these two snipers were spotted and shot. When the Americans came upon the two snipers, they were still alive, and the field medic... who they just shot... gave them life saving medical treatment. THIS is what seperates us from them.
I like that, I might have to start using it. I don't know what it means either. I have a friend that always says "thats how the hog ate the cabbage" An example of how he would use it would be; he just shot up a bunch of old fruit with his M1919 and would say "thats how the hog ate the cabbage!"
I love expressions like that
Great pictures too. My dad has some cool chopper photos he took in Vietnam, your photos reminded me of them, along with the commentery.