23 July 2009

CH 46 Down...cont (they'll never make a movie out of this)




From the Soldier side: OK, I realized that before I can tell this story, I have to help you understand what it was like flying in a CH 46. First of all, they ARE NOT a CH 47. The CH47 is a newer and bigger craft. The CH 46 was built in the 60's. The Marines, being very Conservative, don't waste a thing...they keep rebuilding them over and over and keep flying them.
The ones I flew on in Iraq were set up for hauling troops and some cargo. They had a .50 cal machine sticking out the window---kind of reminded me of the B-17s in "12 O'clock High".
To duplicate the effect of riding in one of these things, try this at home:
Take two old style washing machine--not the new quiet front loaders, but one of the old Maytag top loaders. Load it with bricks, and nuts and bolts...make sure it's out of balance. You need to have two of these machines, because the CH 46 has a rotor in the front and back.
Make sure both washing machines are out of balance, to help this, remove one of the legs. Now, strap an old lawn chair on top, with a seat belt.
Set both washing machines on "SPIN" cycle, but at different times, so they are not spinning at the same speed.
Now, have a friend of family member start dropping old engine parts from the garage on the ground. At some point, this contraption should start lifting off the ground. OH. You say it shouldn't fly. No shit...helicopters are not supposed to fly. But, some how this POS gets off the ground...and shaking like Elvis with a hangover.
The entire time you're in the air, the machines will be rattling, and thrashing, trying to tear themselves apart.
When you eventually land, the crew chief will get out, look around and wonder how the POS keeps flying. He'll shine his flash light at some things, then get back in and tell the guys flying the POS that it looks OK.
Now, add to this...they stop and pick up some TCN's (Third Country Nationals) who've never flown on a chopper before. As the POS lifts off, one of the TCNs sitting next to you lets go with his bladder and pees all over the seat and floor. You will say: "Wow, I didn't know a human could hold that much pee!"
Then you get up and move to another seat and let the TCN sit in his pee. The expression of: "It scared the piss out of him" is true.
Now, add to this excitement....the Marines like to fly at night! Are you scared of the dark? Then don't fly with the Marines. That's how they rolled.
Now that you sort of got the feeling, I'll get on with the story....later.

14 comments:

~J said...

You are entirely too funny. Oh man...
I love to fly...but I think that flight mighta got to me.
I guess night is better though...you can't see how fast the ground's coming up. Yeah?

Ok..Mr.Suspense...tell us the rest. pleezzzzze?

Opus #6 said...

The prospect of a chopper breaking in midair is enough to scare anyone. No going back. No gliding gently to ground.

When I was in college, a dorm elevator broke 3 out of 4 cables and plummeted suddenly 5 floors as I was waiting for it. There was a girl inside who almost lost her life. That last one cable saved her between the first floor and the basement. Needless to say, I developed a new staircase exercise program.

Citizen Soldier said...

That was HILARIOUS.

Red said...

Hilarious!! This sounds awesomely funny in the re-telling but I'm sure that at the time you were flying with these Marines it was maybe not so fun for you

CI-Roller Dude said...

...they claim when a helicopter looses power that they can do something called "auto rotate" to slow the crash speed.
We just called it "Auto Crash" like a washing machine in the air that's stopped it's "spin" cycle...nothing to keep it from it's fight with gravity.
Gravity always wins in the battle of flying...
'But wait...it gets funnier...the broken elevator cable will make sense for part III.

coffeypot said...

I think things like that are more exciting than scary. But if it's so dark, how do you know you are falling (other than you pant legs are up around your knees and you stomach is right behind your eyeballs?)

CI-Roller Dude said...

The best thing to do was pray to your cross you wore around your neck with your dog tags...or the Star of David, or the crescent moon or whatever.
At times like these, everyone started to pray to some God.

coffeypot said...

I guess I was too young and stupid to be afraid. I once rode out a typhoon just South of Taiwan and it was a blast. There was always a chance we could take on a rogue wave and capsize, but to me it was like one giant rollercoaster ride…until I looked around and saw my chief with a chalk white face and eyes as big as cake plates. We had just taken a hard roll to port (left) and she was slow to recover herself. Then I thought maybe I should be more concerned. Youth!

CI-Roller Dude said...

OK, I don't think I said this before...but I was the oldest guy in the "regular" unit I was assigned to in Iraq... I turned 49 years old during my deployment. But that time in my life, I had been to 2 world fairs, several county fairs, a few bar fights, lots of car chases...
but that was the craziest shit I had ever seen in my life.

CI-Roller Dude said...

OH no...the National Guard just came up with something that they need me to go do...so I may not be able to end this story for another week or so....darn it...

coffeypot said...

The Roller Dude is on duty...I'll sleep better tonight knowing all the mess kits are in superb working order. See ya when you get back.

Hope said...

rats!! Ihate when you do that!!!! lol...be safe, Roller. Traveling mercies, friend.

bob said...

flying in a ch-46 was a the greatest time of my life. I was a door gunner in the marines and loved that aircraft. Its old, lound, shakey, and got the job done. I felt honored flying in an aircraft that also served in vietnam. All these little army girls are used to aircraft that dont have to land on a carrier. When an army craft can do half of what any marine craft can do hell will freeze over.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Bob,
The Marines get the job done...not by the equipmnent, but by just getting it done.
However, if you look back on history, you'll see some incidents that were dumb service ideas that got troops killed...
Like Urgent Fury: Case- Army chopper needed to land on carrier to have badly wounded treated- Navy asked if they were carrier qualified--nope...Navy told them to go somewhere else.
Jesus...it's a chopper you can land it on a VW. Troops ended up dying.