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strikeeagle801

Hookdriver heading to work

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I've had the great opportunity to spend the past several days down at the Yakima airport watching a detachment of the 4th Battalion, 160th SOAR(A) from Joint Base Lewis-McChord conduct training drills, and also was able to personally meet Dave (Hookdriver here on ARC) as well. Here's a shot I got of him taking off for a mission today. The weather has not been the best, which is typical for mid-December in Central Washington, but it was still great seeing someone you actually know at the controls of such a cool aircraft.

Aaron

IMG_0114_zps6407e410.jpg

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How cool is that. Thanks to Aaron for posting all the pics over on the Helo Forum and to Hookdriver and his guys for their outstanding service!

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How cool is that. Thanks to Aaron for posting all the pics over on the Helo Forum and to Hookdriver and his guys for their outstanding service!

when I saw that, I got a chill and a shot of pain all across my chest!

I was the hook up man in my unit, because I got caught standing around and I knew how to rig before the Army snatched me in the middle of the night. My first hook up was on LZ Ross at about eight in the morning. There were about twelve loads. Six 155 Howitzers, and six loads of ammo and a few gun parts that had to be stripped. The first chopper rolls in, and I climb atop the first gun to hit the hook. I'm there with the "D ring" in my hands guiding the guy looking thru the window in the floor. He gets within a foot and a half, and I reach forward to hit the ring. A bolt of electricity the size of my thumb tags me hard, and literally blew me about eight feet off the top of the gun. I thought I was dead! First Sargent is rolling around on the ground laughing. I saw nothing funny as I'm hurting all over! The First Sargent waves the chopper off and tells them to give us ten minutes. He shows me how to throw the "D ring" onto the hook and gets me a pair of gloves and goggles. The rest of the loads were a breeze, and I was on the ground when we unloaded them. Top was the only guy there when it happened, but word travels fast. Heard about it for six months. I must have hooked a hundred loads or more, but that one always stood out!

gary

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In all my time crewing -47s (about 12 years out of 15 in uniform), I've only seen one guy get zapped, one guy get knocked off the top of the load (broken arm, not cool), and had to punch off one load in flight.

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What's the protocol to prevent getting "arced" (other than have someone else do it)?

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We were taught when doing SL ops, that right before the load got hooked, we keyed our ICS mike to blow the built up static charge. I guess it worked, I saw no one ever get blown off the load including me one day SL'ing a water trailer.

Tim

Edited by hawkwrench

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Hrmmm, operations seem to be expanding:

http://www.nbcrightnow.com/story/27645262/just-ask-shane-why-are-military-helicopters-flying-around-hanford

Watched a few of them flying near Ft. Lewis/McChord and Snoqualmie Pass over the weekend.

They're doing mid-air refueling over that area as well.

Aaron

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In all my time crewing -47s (about 12 years out of 15 in uniform), I've only seen one guy get zapped, one guy get knocked off the top of the load (broken arm, not cool), and had to punch off one load in flight.

I saw one drop a 155 howitzer while flying over Chu Lai in 68. Probably 1000 feet off the ground. We watch the guy flying over us wondering who the gun belonged to. It got past us about two hundred yards, and they dropped it! We stood there watching it go barrel first into the ground! It landed right out front of the Ordnance Repair building, and that was where they were headed. Always wondered who go to pay for it as the chopper just continued on as if nothing happened!!! I saw another bringing in a load of 155 rounds, and dropped them into the back of a five ton truck from about fifteen feet above it. Needless to say the bed was shot and the frame didn't look too good either. I was hitching a ride in one hauling a 6,000lb. load of 30 caliber ammo (a lot of ammo!). I thought they were flying way too low and told the crew chief to be expecting 50 cal. at any minute. Less than a minute later the shot up the T bar console up front. Pilot got some small pieces of shrapnel in his leg and panicked when they lost steering. The crew chief dumped the load about a klick west of where they caught the rounds (the chopper was not loosing power and was aimed perfectly to land on a gravel air strip about five minutes out). When we landed, the First Sargent and a team were waiting with Huey to go back and blow the ammo. No happy faces! I was the guy that knew where it landed. Blew it with an NVA platoon about 400 yards out. Went down in a couple others, but always managed to walk away.

gary

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What's the protocol to prevent getting "arced" (other than have someone else do it)?

there is supposed to be some kind of a grounding rod, but never saw one in the flesh. I've heard that Hueys do the samething, but never hooked anything under them that I can remember. I did a Jolly Green once, and that was really bad. The down forced from the blades throwing gravel and sand really hurts. They later came out with a heavy lift Chinook, and that made life easier with the loads (didn't have to strip the guns). Plus they can seriously haul ammo.

gary

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In -47's, its normal for the hookup team to have a grounding cable. It can be as plain as a wooden handle with a metal probe with a small diameter flexible cable (normally the exact same stuff used to make grounding cables for the ramp and in the hanger) connected to a stake driven into the ground. The grounding cable guy touches the hook to be used, dissipating the static charge. He jumps off the load & runs clear while the hookup man puts the apex on the hook. The last few years I was crewing, non-metallic reach pendants were used, so there was no longer a need for the grounding cable guy.

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Dave (Hookdriver) was in Deltas before he went into the 160th, and we were actually talking to an "old-timer" about this exact thing the other day. The old-timer said he saw one guy get blown off of a container, and he couldn't feel his arm for a good three hours afterwards after not getting the static discharged properly.

Aaron

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I saw one drop a 155 howitzer while flying over Chu Lai in 68. Probably 1000 feet off the ground. We watch the guy flying over us wondering who the gun belonged to. It got past us about two hundred yards, and they dropped it! We stood there watching it go barrel first into the ground! It landed right out front of the Ordnance Repair building, and that was where they were headed. Always wondered who go to pay for it as the chopper just continued on as if nothing happened!!! I saw another bringing in a load of 155 rounds, and dropped them into the back of a five ton truck from about fifteen feet above it. Needless to say the bed was shot and the frame didn't look too good either. I was hitching a ride in one hauling a 6,000lb. load of 30 caliber ammo (a lot of ammo!). I thought they were flying way too low and told the crew chief to be expecting 50 cal. at any minute. Less than a minute later the shot up the T bar console up front. Pilot got some small pieces of shrapnel in his leg and panicked when they lost steering. The crew chief dumped the load about a klick west of where they caught the rounds (the chopper was not loosing power and was aimed perfectly to land on a gravel air strip about five minutes out). When we landed, the First Sargent and a team were waiting with Huey to go back and blow the ammo. No happy faces! I was the guy that knew where it landed. Blew it with an NVA platoon about 400 yards out. Went down in a couple others, but always managed to walk away.

gary

This is why my friend who parties with arty gets nervous when he even sees pictures of aircraft hauling 155s. In the Marines at least, helicopter is a last resort LOL

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On the subject of sling loads, my wife works in the environmental field and responded to a fuel spill caused when a Chinook had to jettison a HUMVEE it was carrying as a sling load. Apparently the truck became unstable and was punched off at about 500'. It came down in some woods, made a 4' deep hole in the ground. I think she still has some pics of the HUMVEE, I'll try to dig them up and post them.

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We were extracting some Kentucky State Police troopers from a marijuana grow during Operation Greengray one day via the SPIES method and as we were flying over a lake, we (the pilot's idea, got to pass off the blame mind you!) decided to descend and, well get the guys a little wet as we drug them across the top of the water.

Pretty funny to watch for us, but they didn't find it funny!

Got to have fun somehow!!!

Oh, how crewing hawks was so boring!😀

Tim

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This is why my friend who parties with arty gets nervous when he even sees pictures of aircraft hauling 155s. In the Marines at least, helicopter is a last resort LOL

most everybody thinks they move howitzers by truck, and they often do. But line units in the deepest places use choppers. Faster, and actually safer. Just that sometimes things go bad. Experienced crews knew to fly high, and to never follow the map of the earth. With Hueys it's the other way around. You hug the ground! You learn that door gunners can't hit much of anything, and set ontop your flak jacket and anything else laying around. I went down five or six times in choppers, and you learn the hard way sometimes. After the first time I went down, I traveled with the standard 21 mag load and two canteens. Other guys traveled with the minimum, and often paid dearly for it.

gary

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In Vietnam, a friend of my dad, who was a CH-47 pilot, rode a Chinook down the side of a hill as it rolled like a log.

Edited by Horrido

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