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Posted: 2/14/2013 2:49:12 PM EDT
So, during my last deployment in Iraq, we had a night that weather was kinda iffy, but the mission we were scheduled to fly was pretty important. We briefed weather as a crew, and pilot pulled us outside. We knew it was shit, but he asked if he decided to go anyway, if any of us would be unhappy with the decision. We all said we would be happy to try and get the mission done.

We took off (C-23 Sherpa with 2 pilots, 2 Flight Engineers), and got about 20 minutes into the flight, and a huge storm came up on the radar headed our way. We went to nearly 0 visibility and pretty bad turbulence. We at this point decided to turn back and try an beat the storm back to the airfield. As we got close in the storm caught up with us. We were held up by a Predator trying to land, and had to circle a few miles away while they got landed. At this point vis was complete shit and we had to do a semi-below minimums ILS to get down. Whole crew was sweating bullets. We landed and taxied into the ramp and shut down.

As we were planning on being gone all night, and the the other FE and I had been sleeping all day, we decided to go mess around on the flight line with one of the Gators we used to haul run bags, water, and guns back and forth to the aircraft. We climbed on and went tooling around. The ramp next to ours was the Air Force UAV guys. We ended up over there, and sat and watched the Maint guys do a runup on a Predator. When they shut down we went over to talk to them. They gave us an overview of the thing, and we were asking questions about the engine, and airframe.

At this point some 20ish looking AF Captain in a flight suit shows up and helps to answer out questions. Come to find out he was a UAV pilot. After about 20 minutes of show and tell, he asked Nate and I if we would like to see one of the control rooms. We said sure and off we went to his "Command Connex. It was nice. AC, two comfy chairs with a screen and keyboard in front of each, with a panel of switches in between. He kind of covers what everything does, then shows us his "invention" he was obviously very proud of. It was a 3 foot long 1/4 inch wooden dowel with an eraser glued to the end. He used it to hit switches in the center area, so he did not have to lean over, or get up. I looked at Nate, and he looked at me, kind of rolling his eyes.

What happened next, was so hilarious, I had to try hard to keep from busting out laughing. He starts talking about the "mission" he had "Flown" that night. Told us how shitty the weather was, and said quote... "I had to shoot an ILS to get back in here. I was pretty sure a couple of times, I was not gonna make it! Nate and I just looked at each other in amazement. This guy was probably the dude who held our approach up with his Predator and caused us to land in even shittier conditions. And here he sat talking about "almost not making it". He then commenced to talking about how the week before, he had pinched his finger trying to adjust his seat height.

By then, Nate and I were barely able to contain ourselves. We thanked him and walked back out to the Gator and headed back to our ramp. It was actually a very interesting hour or so, and we learned a lot. We also learned that at least some of the UAV pilots fit pretty well into the stereotype that a lot of people talk about.

Aviator
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 2:51:38 PM EDT
Just wait til you see his medals.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 2:53:25 PM EDT
Did any of the Pilots (can't help hit to laugh at that) have the new UAV medal?
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 2:54:14 PM EDT
Wait, a Sherpa has two flight engineers? WTH? It's a small plane.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 2:54:28 PM EDT
HAHAHAHA holy shit....
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 2:57:16 PM EDT
Drink the fucking bottle man, there's nothing else to do..
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 2:57:25 PM EDT

I wonder if a horse drawn supply clerk had a similar conversation with a tanker durring WWI.

I'm just say'in.

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 2:57:50 PM EDT
Sherpa must be slow if that storm caught you.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 2:57:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Harvster:
Just wait til you see his medals.


Ouch.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 2:58:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Frank_The_Tank:
Sherpa must be slow if that storm caught you.


With a name like Sherpa, how fast could it be?
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 2:59:53 PM EDT
Oh and Preds don't shoot the ILS.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:00:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Harvster:
Just wait til you see his medals.


Zing!
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:00:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 3:03:07 PM EDT by shotdown]
Originally Posted By Harvster:
Just wait til you see his medals.


Bazinga!

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:01:09 PM EDT
LOL

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:01:36 PM EDT
he was obviously very proud of. It was a 3 foot long 1/4 inch wooden dowel with an eraser glued to the end. He used it to hit switches in the center area, so he did not have to lean over, or get up



Mother Necessity where would we be.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:02:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shotdown:
Wait, a Sherpa has two flight engineers? WTH? It's a small plane.


Several reasons for this. We were attached to some high speed folks, and did not have manifests and shit. We were unable to do any weight and balance planning between stops. We had very very short turns when we landed. one FE was loading and unloading people and stuff, and calling locations and weights to the other FE who was hand jamming a weight and balance on the fly. So, we needed a paperwork bitch and a bag bitch. Second is more eyes looking for shit like small arms and RPGs on landings and take offs.

Aviator

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:03:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Shung:
Drink the fucking bottle man, there's nothing else to do..


Love the Dos Gringos...

Aviator
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:03:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shotdown:
Wait, a Sherpa has two flight engineers? WTH? It's a small plane.


Try jumping one. Definitely an interesting jump.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:05:18 PM EDT
You should see at Ellington Field in Houston where they fly UAVs out of... they have a pilot's lounge and everything for the pilots.

- AG
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:05:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:07:04 PM EDT
I might have had to punch him
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:07:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 3:07:36 PM EDT by shotdown]
Originally Posted By Aviator:
Originally Posted By shotdown:
Wait, a Sherpa has two flight engineers? WTH? It's a small plane.


Several reasons for this. We were attached to some high speed folks, and did not have manifests and shit. We were unable to do any weight and balance planning between stops. We had very very short turns when we landed. one FE was loading and unloading people and stuff, and calling locations and weights to the other FE who was hand jamming a weight and balance on the fly. So, we needed a paperwork bitch and a bag bitch. Second is more eyes looking for shit like small arms and RPGs on landings and take offs.

Aviator



I see. Reason I stated that is because I see C-130s with one FE.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:08:48 PM EDT
Did ya still have your paper bags on your heads?

I only ask because there's no way I'd fly a Sherpa without wearing a paper bag on my head.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:09:38 PM EDT
Ask him if the dirt from the floor gets in his hair and eyes when he does a roll...
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:11:20 PM EDT
Sherpa is a beautiful plane. If I won the lottery I'd buy one and learn to fly, use it like a semi-bush plane.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:13:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Frank_The_Tank:
Sherpa must be slow if that storm caught you.


They pretty much suck. We were supposed to get C 27s to replace them till the AF jacked them from us..





Aviator
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:14:38 PM EDT
I'm not a pilot and know very little about flying, buy I gotta admit that, that is a funny story. I would have fallen on the ground laughing until I was shot if that happened to me. It's to bad he didn't ask what you two had been doing that evening.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:14:56 PM EDT
One of the craziest rides I ever took was in a Sherpa in Iraq...and I thought the R/W boys were insane.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:16:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Harvster:
Just wait til you see his medals.


Batta-bing!

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:17:18 PM EDT
I'd paint mine like this. Beautiful, just beautiful!

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:18:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 3:20:38 PM EDT by Aviator]
Originally Posted By shotdown:
Originally Posted By Aviator:
Originally Posted By shotdown:
Wait, a Sherpa has two flight engineers? WTH? It's a small plane.


Several reasons for this. We were attached to some high speed folks, and did not have manifests and shit. We were unable to do any weight and balance planning between stops. We had very very short turns when we landed. one FE was loading and unloading people and stuff, and calling locations and weights to the other FE who was hand jamming a weight and balance on the fly. So, we needed a paperwork bitch and a bag bitch. Second is more eyes looking for shit like small arms and RPGs on landings and take offs.

Aviator



I see. Reason I stated that is because I see C-130s with one FE.


Yeah, we were on the ground usually less than 5 minutes per stop. Usually did not even shut one engine down, unless we needed to use the left front cargo door. Those C-130 guys (air force) Usually already have a computer generated 365F telling them where each person and pallet should go. And, they have a ground crew full of load people to push boxes. Thats why downrange, if you need it there now, you go to the Army. Air Force requires 72 hours notice to move anything usually.

Aviator

ETA... Out CG window on those things was 18 inches. If it fell outside that range, then it was a forward or aft CG!
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:21:02 PM EDT
Don't laugh, I know, I saw my son white knuckle his Xbox controller so hard one time I thought I was going to lose him.

It was hard for me to watch, but he was able to complete the mission, walk away and ride off on his bicycle as if whole thing was just a game.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:22:23 PM EDT
There's been a bunch of studies done on the UAV guys sitting in the trailers ref stress. As far as I understand it they experience very similar physiological signs as a live flight and consider the bird "their" aircraft. Heart rate jumps through the roof when there's problems, etc...

Remember they now have an ascot, at least the USAF drivers do. and didn't they just issue some type of unmanned medal the other day?

How's the cabin?
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:22:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:
You should see at Ellington Field in Houston where they fly UAVs out of... they have a pilot's lounge and everything for the pilots.

- AG

It just won't be the same at the O'Club without the whole two hand demonstration of how they shot down their watch.

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:26:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 3:27:26 PM EDT by fsjdw2]
Originally Posted By VACaver:
Did ya still have your paper bags on your heads?

I only ask because there's no way I'd fly a Sherpa without wearing a paper bag on my head.


They are dang handy haul tons of crap just about anywhere... but in a beauty contest... well lets just say even Hellen Keller voted against them...

you should read some Af blues, guy has tons of jokes about predator pilots not being pilots...
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:27:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 3:38:23 PM EDT by Aviator]
Here is a deployment video I made for the guys to send home to their families. Not a "shoot em up, kill em all type,"... sorry

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2tzHZb-zbA




Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:31:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By PlaneJane:
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:
You should see at Ellington Field in Houston where they fly UAVs out of... they have a pilot's lounge and everything for the pilots.

- AG

It just won't be the same at the O'Club without the whole two hand demonstration of how they shot down their watch.



Now that's some funny shit Jane...

Aviator
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:33:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Aviator:
Originally Posted By shotdown:
Wait, a Sherpa has two flight engineers? WTH? It's a small plane.


Several reasons for this. We were attached to some high speed folks, and did not have manifests and shit. We were unable to do any weight and balance planning between stops. We had very very short turns when we landed. one FE was loading and unloading people and stuff, and calling locations and weights to the other FE who was hand jamming a weight and balance on the fly. So, we needed a paperwork bitch and a bag bitch. Second is more eyes looking for shit like small arms and RPGs on landings and take offs.

Aviator


Between multiple deployments in AF and IZ while in uniform and as a contractor, I had the opportunity to travel on all sorts of airframes. The space-A trips I made in IZ on Sherpas in '11 were awesome - they left on time, landed you where you expected to land, and got there earlier than forecasted. I'm a huge fan of Sherpas.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:37:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Aviator:
Originally Posted By Shung:
Drink the fucking bottle man, there's nothing else to do..


Love the Dos Gringos...

Aviator


So do I :) I bought all their CDs since the first one came out
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:44:50 PM EDT
As a controller, I'm very surprised the UAV wasn't made #2 behind a manned aircraft. Makes me scratch my head.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:50:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SharpCharge:
As a controller, I'm very surprised the UAV wasn't made #2 behind a manned aircraft. Makes me scratch my head.


Those Air Force guys are always declaring "Emergency". Such as the dreaded C-130 3 engine landing.


Aviator
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:50:39 PM EDT
Man, you USAF guys had it rough over there.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:52:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Aviator:
Originally Posted By Frank_The_Tank:
Sherpa must be slow if that storm caught you.


They pretty much suck. We were supposed to get C 27s to replace them till the AF jacked them from us..

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ-Swsf4WfRZdPICZ-MGvJdFr7A_ERk-MbCpHQ6XIaqFX3Oki4u

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQpZJT5WLbjt7ouPK_mlTcFCWrA20mN4nZj0xvs-E80YoK8M8qb

Aviator


Aviator:
Is the the same type of plane I saw landing at Ramstein Air Base in the 1980s? I remember a similar U.S. Aircraft painted in woodland camo on the ramps with our other cargo aircraft. I never thought to ask about it at the time.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:53:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Durka-Durka:
Man, you USAF guys had it rough over there.


C-23 Sherpas are Army...

Aviator
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:53:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Aviator:
Originally Posted By SharpCharge:
As a controller, I'm very surprised the UAV wasn't made #2 behind a manned aircraft. Makes me scratch my head.


Those Air Force guys are always declaring "Emergency". Such as the dreaded C-130 3 engine landing.


Aviator

That's all good and well, but the safety of a manned aircraft rates higher than one where the driver's sitting next door with his junk in his hand. haha
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 3:59:51 PM EDT
Laugh it up. You know how bad a smashed finger hurts? I got a paper cut from a file today. That shit ain't no joke!


Link Posted: 2/14/2013 4:00:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2013 8:41:55 AM EDT by mac130]
I was invited to take a tour of the UAV area several years ago in Balad Iraq, after pulling my fourth crashed Predator out of the desert.

I was caught up on why they wore flightsuits. I even asked if they were Nomex, which started to piss them off. Like the booth would burst into flames if the UAV went down.

They finally kicked me out, when I asked if I would look funny wearing a spacesuit while watching a shuttle launch on TV.



Link Posted: 2/14/2013 4:01:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By txsgar15a2:
Originally Posted By Aviator:
Originally Posted By Frank_The_Tank:
Sherpa must be slow if that storm caught you.


They pretty much suck. We were supposed to get C 27s to replace them till the AF jacked them from us..

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ-Swsf4WfRZdPICZ-MGvJdFr7A_ERk-MbCpHQ6XIaqFX3Oki4u

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQpZJT5WLbjt7ouPK_mlTcFCWrA20mN4nZj0xvs-E80YoK8M8qb

Aviator


Aviator:
Is the the same type of plane I saw landing at Ramstein Air Base in the 1980s? I remember a similar U.S. Aircraft painted in woodland camo on the ramps with our other cargo aircraft. I never thought to ask about it at the time.


Most likely...

Aviator
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 4:02:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 4:04:13 PM EDT by esa17]
I pissed a guy I work with off the other day without knowing it. He was talking about UAV pilots and I told him we were operators, not pilots. He got all kinds of butt-hurt over it and since then he doesn't talk to me. I've been a pilot but right now I'm an operator.

Of course, this is the same guy who wears a flight jacket with his "wings" on it. Fucker talks about his "wings" all the damn time.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 4:04:04 PM EDT
Fucking Love Sherpa's.... Hauled a lot of shit in them, almost as ugly as a skyvan.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 4:04:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mac130:
I was invited to take a tour of the UAV area several years ago in Balad Iraq, after pulling my fourth crashed Pedator out of the desert.

I was caught up on why they wore flightsuits. I even asked if they were Nomex, which started to piss them off. Like the booth would burst into flames if the UAV went down.

They finally kicked me out, when I asked if I would look funny wearing a spacesuit while watching a shuttle launch on TV.





Same folks

Aviator
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