halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

Landing In Baghdad

Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:05 pm

Don't know if this is accurate - it has been forwarded many times. Anyone still on active duty care to comment?

This is from a colorful writer from the 1st Marine Air Wing based at MCAS Miramar.

________________________________________________________________

There I was at six thousand feet over central Iraq, two hundred eighty knots and we're dropping faster than Paris Hilton's panties. It's a typical September evening in the Persian Gulf; hotter than a rectal thermometer and I'm sweating like a priest at a Cub Scout meeting. But that's neither here nor there. The night is moonless over Baghdad tonight, and blacker than a Steven King novel. But it's 2006, folks, and I'm sporting the latest in night-combat technology - namely, hand-me-down night vision goggles (NVGs) thrown out by the fighter boys. Additionally, my 1962 Lockheed C-130E Hercules is equipped with an obsolete, yet, semi-effective missile warning system (MWS). The MWS conveniently makes a nice soothing tone in your headset just before the missile explodes into your airplane. Who says you can't polish a turd?

At any rate, the NVGs are illuminating Baghdad International Airport like the Las Vegas Strip during a Mike Tyson fight. These NVGs are the cat's ass. But I've digressed. The preferred method of approach tonight is the random shallow. This tactical maneuver allows the pilot to ingress the landing zone in an unpredictable manner, thus exploiting the supposedly secured perimeter of the airfield in an attempt to avoid enemy surface-to-air missiles and small arms fire.

Personally, I wouldn't bet my pink ass on that theory but the approach is fun as hell and that's the real reason we fly it. We get a visual on the runway at three miles out, drop down to one thousand feet above the ground, still maintaining two hundred eighty knots. Now the fun starts. It's pilot appreciation time as I descend the mighty Herc to six hundred feet and smoothly, yet very deliberately, yank into a sixty degree left bank, turning the aircraft ninety degrees offset from runway heading. As soon as we roll out of the turn, I reverse turn to the right a full two hundred seventy degrees in order to roll out aligned with the runway. Some aeronautical genius coined this maneuver the "Ninety/Two-Seventy."

Chopping the power during the turn, I pull back on the yoke just to the point my nether regions start to sag, bleeding off energy in order to configure the pig for landing.

"Flaps Fifty!; landing Gear Down!; Before Landing Checklist!" I look over at the copilot and he's shaking like a cat shitting on a sheet of ice. Looking further back at the navigator, and even through the Nags, I can clearly see the wet spot spreading around his crotch. Finally, I glance at my steely-eyed flight engineer. His eyebrows rise in unison as a grin forms on his face. I can tell he's thinking the same thing I am .... "Where do we find such fine young men?"

"Flaps One Hundred!" I bark at the shaking cat. Now it's all aim-point and airspeed. Aviation 101, with the exception there are no lights, I'm on NVGs, it's Baghdad, and now tracers are starting to crisscross the black sky. Naturally, and not at all surprisingly, I grease the Goodyear's on brick-one of runway 33 left, bring the throttles to ground idle and then force the props to full reverse pitch. Tonight, the sound of freedom is my four Hamilton Standard propellers chewing through the thick, putrid, Baghdad air. The huge, one hundred thirty thousand pound, lum bering whisper pig comes to a lurching stop in less than two thousand feet.

Let's see a Viper do that!

We exit the runway to a welcoming committee of government issued Army grunts. It's time to download their beans and bullets and letters from their sweethearts, look for war booty, and of course, urinate on Saddam's home. Walking down the crew entry steps with my lowest-bidder, Beretta 92F 9 millimeter strapped smartly to my side, look around and thank God, not Allah, I'm an American and I'm on the winning team. Then I thank God I'm not in the Army.

Knowing once again I've cheated death, I ask myself, "What in the hell am I doing in this mess?" Is it Duty, Honor, and Country?

You bet your ass.

Or could it possibly be for the glory, the swag, and not to mention, chicks dig the Air Medal. There's probably some truth there too. But now is not the time to derive the complexities of the superior, cerebral properties of the human portion of the aviator-man-machine model. It is however, time to get out of this shit-hole. "Hey copilot, clean yourself up! And how's 'bout the Before Starting Engines Checklist."

God, I love this job!
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
N1641
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu May 18, 2000 2:10 pm

RE: Landing In Baghdad

Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:55 pm

Would you where NVG's into a fully lit up city and airport?
 
checksixx
Posts: 1148
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

RE: Landing In Baghdad

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:28 pm

There's a lot of strange things in this article...maybe he's trying to hype it up a bit.

-Check
 
wannabe
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 1999 3:37 am

RE: Landing In Baghdad

Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:13 pm

I don't think he has found an analogy he doesn't like. I hope he flies better than he writes.
 
djw030468
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:39 am

RE: Landing In Baghdad

Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:33 am

Quoting Wannabe (Reply 3):

Remain as your screen name suggests, a wannabe. I've flown into Baggers on C130's, UH-60's, UH-47's, Airbus 330's and a scary white Fokker. The approaches are all the same, fast, scary and thrilling at the same time. The pilots are all excellent from the brits, americans and the south afrikans that fly the fokkers. Until you've been there, just appreciate their skill as pilots and leave the rest alone.
 
Rotorimage
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:31 am

RE: Landing In Baghdad

Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:08 am

This is unquestionably a joke.

It's standard practice in most squadrons nowadays that if you find a guy has left his computer without logging out or locking his screen, you're free to take full advantage of his email address to send out some less-than-self-complimentary messages. In this case, the message in question just has managed to get forwarded ad nauseum. On top of that, most of the salient details about operations there are way out of whack.

Take it from one who knows B-Dad by heart (that the tower there is on 118.3/275.8, for example) that this is a [reasonably funny, from a certain point of view] load of crap.

Open to comments/off-line responses.

[Edited 2006-10-19 20:22:36]
 
Venus6971
Posts: 1415
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:55 pm

RE: Landing In Baghdad

Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:46 am

Ive read Mickey Spillane, I've met Mickey Spillane, this guy is not Mickey Spillane. Big grin
I would help you but it is not in the contract
 
TedTAce
Posts: 9098
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:31 am

RE: Landing In Baghdad

Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:42 pm

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 2):
maybe he's trying to hype it up a bit.

You think?  Wink

Maybe RotorImages is right, maybe this is a bunch of  redflag . But here are two things the writing accomplished. It made me laugh, and it gave me an appreciation for how serious ops are in that part of the world. While I doubt it's anywhere nearly as dramatic as protrayed, I can't begin to believe that it's a totally 'normal' experience.

Good job to whoever wrote it; it was funny.
This space intentionally left blank
 
Rotorimage
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:31 am

RE: Landing In Baghdad

Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:52 am

Quote:
While I doubt it's anywhere nearly as dramatic as protrayed, I can't begin to believe that it's a totally 'normal' experience

Agreed...
 
LongbowPilot
Posts: 526
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:16 am

RE: Landing In Baghdad

Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:48 am

Quoting Halls120 (Thread starter):
Or could it possibly be for the glory, the swag, and not to mention, chicks dig the Air Medal

Guess I'm glad I'm in the Army, we earn Air Medals with V's and DFC because we are looking for the guys shooting at you on short final, and taking care of our infantry brothers. Guess you Cargo Jocks don't get that glory.

Good article, but arrogant Chair Force Jock
 
miamiair
Posts: 4249
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:42 pm

RE: Landing In Baghdad

Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:30 am

Quoting LongbowPilot (Reply 9):
Guess I'm glad I'm in the Army, we earn Air Medals with V's and DFC because we are looking for the guys shooting at you on short final, and taking care of our infantry brothers. Guess you Cargo Jocks don't get that glory.

Amen...

I think he's a jarhead. I think the Air Force did away with all their "E" models and the only thing flying the '62 vintage would be a B-52.
Molon Labe - Proud member of SMASH
 
f4wso
Posts: 942
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: Landing In Baghdad

Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:46 pm

My guess is boredom induced satire.

Quoting Miamiair (Reply 10):
I think the Air Force did away with all their "E" models and the only thing flying the '62 vintage would be a B-52.

There are still Actve and Guard E models flying but the numbers are dwindling.

Gary
Cottage Grove, MN, USA
Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
 
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Ryan h
Posts: 1609
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2001 7:11 pm

RE: Landing In Baghdad

Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:23 pm

Correct me if I am wrong, I thought most of the C130Es were grounded with fatigue problems and the ones still flying were on severely restricted duties.
South Australian Spotter www.ryanhothersall.net
 
f4wso
Posts: 942
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: Landing In Baghdad

Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:09 pm

There are some recent C-130E images from the Little Rock Open House. The numbers are dwindling but still a lot of airframes flying at Little Rock, Pope, Ramstein, Selfridge, Boise. The Base Realignment and Closure implementation will enable more E model retirements. The AFRC is moving into Pope with C-130Hs. Selfridge is due to convert to KC-135s
Gary
Cottage Grove, MN, USA
Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work

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