Got this in an e-mail from my dad...dunno if it's true, but it's funny as hell.
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 2004, 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
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 shitting 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 shit-hole . "Hey copilot clean
yourself up! And how's 'bout the 'Before Starting Engines Checklist."
God, I love this job!
got to ride along on somnthing similar- 130 and a "combat landing"
That guy needs to write a book. His cheap-detective-style prose is priceless!
"lumbering whisper pig"
Sounds liek my landing at Balad. Only ours was during the day.
Them Herkys will make your ass pucker when the driver starts with that "Pilot shit" on an approach to an...... interesting....landing strip.When they are empty I have found...........the hard way.......that them fellows driving them like to have a good time and make the airframe creak.
I just forwarded this to my buddy. He's at Cherry Point learning to pilot C-130s for the USMC.