Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

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garyedolan
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Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by garyedolan »

EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW IN LIFE I LEARNED AS A HELICOPTER PILOT IN VIETNAM. (Author Unknown)

a.. Once you are in the fight, it is way too late to wonder if this is a
good idea.

b.. It is a fact that helicopter tail rotors are instinctively drawn toward
trees, stumps, rocks, etc. While it may be possible to ward off this natural
event some of the time, it cannot, despite the best efforts of the crew,
always be prevented. It's just what they do.

c.. NEVER get into a fight without more ammunition than the other guy.

d.. The engine RPM and the rotor RPM must BOTH be kept in the GREEN. Failure
to heed this commandment can affect the morale of the crew.

e.. Cover your Buddy, so he can be around to cover for you.

f.. Decisions made by someone above you in the chain-of-command will seldom
be in your best interest.

g.. The terms Protective Armor and Helicopter are mutually exclusive.

h.. Sometimes, being good and lucky still is not enough.

i.. "Chicken Plates" are not something you order in a restaurant

.j.. If everything is as clear as a bell, and everything is going exactly as
planned, you're about to be surprised.

k.. Loud, sudden noises in a helicopter WILL get your undivided attention.

l.. The BSR (Bang Stare Red) Theory states that the louder the sudden bang
in the helicopter, the quicker your eyes will be drawn to the gauges. The
longer you stare at the gauges the less time it takes them to move from
green to red.

m.. No matter what you do, the bullet with your name on it will get you. So,
too, can the ones addressed "To Whom It May Concern".

n.. If the rear echelon troops are really happy, the front line troops
probably do not have what they need.

o.. If you are wearing body armor, they will probably miss that part.

p.. Happiness is a belt-fed weapon.

q.. Having all your body parts intact and functioning at the end of the day
beats the alternative.

r.. If you are allergic to lead, it is best to avoid a war zone.

s.. It is a bad thing to run out of airspeed, altitude, and ideas all at the
same time.

t.. Hot garrison chow is better than hot C-rations which, in turn, is better
than cold C-rations which, in turn, is better than no food at all. All of
these, however, are preferable to cold rice balls, even if they do have the
little pieces of fish in them.

u.. Everybody's a hero ... on the ground ... in the club ... after the
fourth drink.

v.. A free fire zone has nothing to do with economics.

w.. The further you fly into the mountains, the louder the strange engine
noises become.

x.. Medals are OK, but having your body and all your friends in one piece at
the end of the day is better.

y.. Being shot hurts.

z.. "Pucker Factor" is the formal name of the equation that states the more
hairy the situation is, the more of the seat cushion will be sucked up your
butt .

It can be expressed in its mathematical formula of S (suction) + H (height)
above ground) + I (interest in staying alive) + T (# of tracers coming your
way)

aa..Thus the term 'SHIT!' can also be used to denote a situation where high
Pucker Factor is being encountered.

ab.. Thousands of Vietnam Veterans earned medals for bravery every day. A
few were even awarded.

ac.. Running out of pedal, fore or aft cyclic, or collective are all bad
ideas. Any combination of these can be deadly.

ad.. There is only one rule in war: When you win, you get to make up the
rules.

ae.. C-4 can make a dull day fun.

af.. There is no such thing as a fair fight-only ones where you win or lose.

ag.. If you win the battle you are entitled to the spoils. If you lose you
don't care.

ah.. Nobody cares what you did yesterday or what you are going to do
tomorrow. What is important is what you are doing-NOW-to solve our problem.

ai.. Always make sure someone has a P-38.

aj.. Prayer may not help . . . but it can't hurt.

ak.. Flying is better than walking. Walking is better than running. Running
is better than crawling. All of these, however, are better than extraction
by Medivac, even if it is technically, a form of flying.

al.. If everyone does not come home, none of the rest of us can ever fully
come home either.

am.. Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is
far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR.

an.. A grunt is the true reason for the existence of the helicopter. Every
helicopter flying in Vietnam had one real purpose: To help the grunt. It is
unfortunate that many helicopters never had the opportunity to fulfill their
one true mission in life, simply because someone forgot this fact.
My Blonde Moment : Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences
Gary "28"
Co C (RGR), 75 Inf (ABN) '70-'71
USMA 69; RGR 4-70; RHOF-2011
http://oftheirownaccord.com

"Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be." Douglas MacArthur

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colt1rgr
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by colt1rgr »

Wow, so many of these should be daily life SOPs. Words to live by FO SHO! :wink:
1st Ranger Bn 86-92, C Co, HHC, Bn COLT, RHQ 94-95 Ranger Class 14-87 MFF 05 May 88

"Life is like a drop zone, sometimes you just miss the whole damn thing!"

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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by Jim »

Helicopters do not fly. They beat the air into submission.
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by Steadfast »

Helos coming seem to be heaven sent when shit hits the fan.

Helicopter pilots/crews are some of the bravest persons I ever saw coming to our aid & I'd like to add FAC pilots also.
RLTW
Steadfast

4/325 82d DIV 68-69
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by Slowpoke »

We used to throw parties for whirlybird guys after each operation. Barbequed chicken and free beer can't express how much we thought of our airborne saviors, but I'm sure it was appreciated.
I never wore a cape, but I still have my dog tags.

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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by CatFish Driver »

A couple Christmases ago, my father (a Vietnam helicopter pilot) and I decided to get into some scotch. After a couple hours, he told me some stories I had never heard. One particular one he told me about going into Laos to get a team of guys (unit I'm not sure of). After I got over the initial shock I asked him why he did it, knowing he faced certain danger. His response with a shrug of his shoulders "They needed a ride".

A tip of the beret to all you Vietnam-era vets. How you managed to have the balls to do the things you did over there without the support back home my generation will never be able to fathom. You guys are true heroes in every sense of the word.
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colt1rgr
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by colt1rgr »

CatFish Driver wrote:A couple Christmases ago, my father (a Vietnam helicopter pilot) and I decided to get into some scotch. After a couple hours, he told me some stories I had never heard. One particular one he told me about going into Laos to get a team of guys (unit I'm not sure of). After I got over the initial shock I asked him why he did it, knowing he faced certain danger. His response with a shrug of his shoulders "They needed a ride".

A tip of the beret to all you Vietnam-era vets. How you managed to have the balls to do the things you did over there without the support back home my generation will never be able to fathom. You guys are true heroes in every sense of the word.
X2 on all you said! And my best wishes to your "Old Man". :wink:
1st Ranger Bn 86-92, C Co, HHC, Bn COLT, RHQ 94-95 Ranger Class 14-87 MFF 05 May 88

"Life is like a drop zone, sometimes you just miss the whole damn thing!"

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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by Richard Cranium »

Jim wrote:Helicopters do not fly. They beat the air into submission.

Kinda like how I run. Its not that I'm that fast, I just beat the ground into submission with my Clydesdale running style! :lol:


By my count, from the books I've read, and stories I've heard, those helo pilots in VN were some of the ballsiest SOB's to ever walk on this planet!
"The way of the warrior is in training" ~Sun Tzu

Practice honesty, Fear nothing!




Done a few years in Light, Mech, and Airborne Infantry.

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Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by CharlieRanger1FFV »

I can't count the number of times those guys pulled our bacon out of the fire. We would hit an element and it turned out to be bigger than we thought. We would be running for our lives and calling for the birds on the run. Those guys would come in to a HOT LZ no questions asked. We who were there can't thank them enough . . .heres a cold one to men of the choppers.


RLTW!!!
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C co (Ranger) 75th (Abn) Inf, II Corps Rangers, 70 - 71 Viet Nam
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Jim
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by Jim »

CharlieRanger1FFV wrote:I can't count the number of times those guys pulled our bacon out of the fire. We would hit an element and it turned out to be bigger than we thought. We would be running for our lives and calling for the birds on the run. Those guys would come in to a HOT LZ no questions asked. We who were there can't thank them enough . . .heres a cold one to men of the choppers.


RLTW!!!
A single malt, neat is called for, Gary! I('ll join you in one! They saved my ass more than once.
Ranger Class 13-71
Advisor, VN 66-68 69-70
42d Vn Ranger Battalion 1969-1970
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by Steadfast »

CatFish Driver wrote:A couple Christmases ago, my father (a Vietnam helicopter pilot) and I decided to get into some scotch. After a couple hours, he told me some stories I had never heard. One particular one he told me about going into Laos to get a team of guys (unit I'm not sure of). After I got over the initial shock I asked him why he did it, knowing he faced certain danger. His response with a shrug of his shoulders "They needed a ride".

A tip of the beret to all you Vietnam-era vets. How you managed to have the balls to do the things you did over there without the support back home my generation will never be able to fathom. You guys are true heroes in every sense of the word.
Well Catfish Driver, you, Vossman, KW Driver (& others I may have missed - sorry) are still carrying on the tradition & are brave heroes yourselves. I can hear an oncoming helo or one banking/turning in the distance turning elsewhere that you are needed. Thank you for carrying on a worthy tradition.

~S~

Good post gary.
RLTW
Steadfast

4/325 82d DIV 68-69
2nd Bde HHC (LRRP), 4 ID
K Co (Rgr), 75th Inf (Abn), 4 ID
69-70
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by al_2ndWolfhounds »

Slowpoke wrote:We used to throw parties for whirlybird guys after each operation. Barbequed chicken and free beer can't express how much we thought of our airborne saviors, but I'm sure it was appreciated.
I still get a chill down my spine everytime I hear a chopper overhead.

We didn't have the availability of partying with the aircrews but we did send our air support units every Communist Bloc pistol we captured, they loved those things, they could take them home as souvenirs.

My depest respect for those who covered and carried us.
RLTW

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2/27 Inf 25th Inf Div Vietnam 01/69-01/70

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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by RangerX »

I'm adding ae to my sig-line.....
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by rgrpuck »

The Kiowa Pilots in A-stan uphold the tradition every day.....I have sen them go "winchester" and "Bingo" multipul times covering our fights in the ARV. My guys could communicate with them based on the sound of their voice.
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by Jim »

rgrpuck wrote:The Kiowa Pilots in A-stan uphold the tradition every day.....I have sen them go "winchester" and "Bingo" multipul times covering our fights in the ARV. My guys could communicate with them based on the sound of their voice.
Bert, One of my good friends who has the DSC has brain turmo (stage 4 cancer) I've been acting as POC for a lot of our mutual friends. Most of us worked with the Vietnamese. As you know, I spent 17 months with a Vietnamese Ranger Battalion as an advisor. I was never worried about one of my troops shooting me. To a man, all my friends have commented that the blue on green events in A-stan trouble them.
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