This section contains Air Force helicopter related human interest stories
GREAT NEPHEW OF FLYING TIGER'S FOUNDER
IS MOODY CREW CHIEF
THE "BANANA" FLIES AGAIN
AIR FORCE UNIT CAPTURES RECORD
This section contains some of the many actions Helicopter people took to get the job done "not exactly by the book"
Refueling a B-25 after a night flight, & then stick the fuel hose under the cowling on the engines to wash them down. (Ron Smitham)
While sitting strip alert using the APU on the CH-3E to warm "C" rations to make them palatable. (Jim Moore)
This happened at DaNang in 69. I was ask if I could recover a CH-3 with an Army Sikorsky Sky Crane. I said it could be done with the right crew and equipment. We checked with the Army for availability and a pilot with heavy lift experience. We were lucky because we had a heavy lift sling that attached to the rotor head. I had a top qualified crew of six men. We also had a squad of Marines that secured the area while we worked. The first job was getting the blades off and loaded into the cargo bay and tied down. Then we attached the sling and checked that the rotor brake was locked and tied the tail rotor to the pylon. We had a prelift check and it all looked good. In-flight the CH-3 trailed under the crane good with no rotation. Off they went with us flying chase. We kept the Army pilot in contact giving him updates and they made it back with no mishaps, set it on the ramp and released the sling. Sounds easy but to the best of my knowledge it was never done again. Even after it was written up in detail and sent to the depot to be included in the maintenance manual. (Otto Kroger)
We traded parts with the South Korean Air Force for specialist support for our H-43s because host support took to long or wasn't available at Taegue AB South Korea. (Bob Runninger)
Trading out parts that would fit our deployed UH-1Fs at Kontum and Ban Me Thuot with the Army unit at Pleiku because they were not available or were back ordered from AF supply at Nha Trang, causing AF supply types to pull their hair out trying to track serial numbered parts. (Jim Burns)
Back in 1961, at Eglin in the 48th ARS we had an H-19 that busted the upper mount bracket for the nose gear. After some thought I told the pilot just hover and I will get him on the ground. I went and got a saw horse, and using the long cord talked him down to a landing on it. That was the easy part. We then had to stabilize the bird while he shut down, (no rotor brake please) the rest is history. (Harvey Meltzer)
When I was at Nha Trang in 67, I got word from a Army Colonel, Engineer type, who we used to haul around to some of the bases on training missions??, that the USA was surplusing some of their VHF radios (About 20 sets). This time I called Saigon and asked permission! My boss Col down there was a old field type and said, "Hell yess! Take all of them!" So our 43's had Army radios and we sent the rest to him at Saigon for other units!
Our using barrels interconnected internally for range extension at NKP was not kosher either, but they worked fine until we got the internal F model bladders.
Our guys at NKP got F model hoist drums and cables changed them out, so we had 250 ft. That wasn't put in the books!
Neither is changing an H-3 engine in the field by throwing a rope over the rotor blades and using 20 Laotions.
Also Reuban Hardy, the Sikorsky Tech Rep, got Jeep fan belts from Bangkok for the H-3 transmission oil cooler. Just shortened the inspection time.
Nor when we were very-very short of 43 rotor blades, finding the only set left in a container full of water. Tom Curtis spending several hours on the ramp running a shaking bird until it smoothed out getting the water out of them.
And lastly in 76, when I was in Africa with Evergreen Helicopters dropping chemicals for the World Health, with a Bell 206, loosing 10-12 percent power and finding that the bleed valve for the cabin heater was broken and stuck open. Being 1000 miles from base camp, flying single pilot, and having a small tool kit-basically enuf to pull the chip plugs and check for metal, I used a coke can for repair. Coke cans were metal, not aluminum there. Stomped one flat, punched holes in it with a screwdriver (Not good tool usage either), fit it in between, tightened it up and got my power back. Enuf to finish my job. Sure as hell didn't need the heater where we were. (Joe Ballinger)