Air supremacy via the trash hauler - at least we have Beretta M9's!


May 5, 2004, 10:39 PM
From a fellow crew-dog in the thick of it:

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 2003, 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 Herk 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 *****ting on a sheet of
ice. Looking further back at the navigator, and even through the NVGs, 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 aimpoint and airspeed. Aviation 101,
with the exception there's 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, lumbering
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, I 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 *****-hole. "Hey copilot clean yourself up! And how's 'bout the
'Before Starting Engines Checklist."

God, I love this job!


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May 5, 2004, 10:52 PM

May 5, 2004, 11:26 PM
Gotta love it :D :D :D

Jim March
May 6, 2004, 12:05 AM
That is brilliantly awful writing!


May 6, 2004, 12:31 AM
That read like a "Dear Hustler Forum" letter. Jeesh.

R.H. Lee
May 6, 2004, 12:34 AM

May 6, 2004, 01:54 AM
and Phantoms Phorever too.

Sounds and smells of FREEDOM!

May 6, 2004, 02:00 AM
Like Mickey Spillane without all the talent getting in the way. :neener:

May 6, 2004, 02:25 AM
Worst line in a novel: "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times."

Second worst: "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."

May 6, 2004, 08:41 AM
Night fell like a fat woman off a diving board...

May 6, 2004, 09:48 AM
He's wasting his talent flying a Herc when he should be writing all the trashy novels my wife reads!:p There's nothing like a similie! Sounds like a typical Herc pilot, trying to make a run "flying rubber dog s*** out of Hong Kong" sound exciting! (I always wanted to use that quote from the AirBoss in 'Top Gun'!:evil: )

May 7, 2004, 01:46 AM
Hypothetical conversation:


"When's the next flight to Kuwait?"

"Five minutes, but it's a flyover. UXO's in the runway two days ago."

"How about the one after that?"

"Two hours, but it' a flyover, too, to Mosul."

"Any planes taking off or landing here tonight?"

"Yep. Al Udeid."

"Where is Al Udeid?"


"Any flights to the States out of Al Udeid?"


Al Udeid -

"Wnat have you got going to the States?"

"R&R in an hour, want a seat?"

"You bet."

Ticket passed. New guy comes out. "R&R to BWI cancelled. Plane broke. 24 hour parts hold, plus repair time."

"Got any thing to BIAP?"

"Twelve hours, maybe."

Two days RTR BIAP-Al Udeid, a 1.5 hour flight, one way.

It is the Air (non) Mobility Command. Nothing going anywhere, anytime soon, so have a seat, and enjoy your MRE. Oh, wait, we're fresh out of MRE's.

(This is only somewhat tongue in cheek, I have to call 'em like I see 'em).

May 7, 2004, 02:04 AM
Writing that bad has to be deliberate. Besides, this is OT.

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