Thursday, September 15, 2011

Helo Flight!

Well, today I had my first flight in a Huey. It was a Twin Huey, in excellent condition, and we flew with both doors open so we wouldn't have any windows impeding our photography.
Now I haven't flown in an aircraft with the door(s) off in about 30 years, so it was quite an experience. The other photographer is an old pro at this, and has flown in the back seat of various chase planes for numerous aircraft tests, and done more than his share of hanging out of helos snapping pictures.
As long as I kept my eye glued to the viewfinder, and kept the job-at-hand firmly in mind, I was OK.
The first time I dropped the viewfinder down so I could orient myself with the ships, I about lost my lunch.
I was two feet from the open door (SOLIDLY hooked up in my harness!), and we were in about a 30* bank to get a better angle for the other photog, at about 500' ASL.
Caught me totally off-guard, and I popped the camera back up to my eye again.
And we get to do it again next week when the launch vehicle is erect on the pad.
I think I'll skip lunch that day.............

5 comments:

  1. Military helo pilots make moves that commercial pilots won't consider, this side of an emergency. Can be fun, and can take a year off your life. Good stuff.

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  2. Two of the three pilots we have are ex-miltary, and extremely professional. They understand fully what's involved with our operations, and are very careful and capable.
    It was fun flying with them today, as we both had headsets on so we could direct them to point the helo where we needed it to be.

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  3. LOL- Loss of SA is easy when you are concentrating on 'something' you are doing :-) Gunner's belts ARE your friend when the door is open!

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  4. I'll have to look in to getting a "Gunner's belt", but I'm not sure if they'll let me use it unless it's been approved/provided by the flight crew.
    I just kept tugging on my straps until I cut off the circulation! :-)

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Keep it civil, please....