Thursday, October 22, 2009

500 Feet Above the Ziggurat of Ur

Today I will upload images from flying above the Ziggurat of Ur on Thursday afternoon. This area, Ur, is the hometown of Abraham. People call this place the birthplace of civilization. If civilization was born here, it has had a very complete change of address. Jared Diamond's most recent book Collapse chronicles other places on our planet which are on the way to becoming arid ruins.

Two Helicopter Rides Today

This afternoon I flew on a short mission on Blackhawk helicopter. A film crew was in to shoot pictures for a documentary on the Ziggurat of Ur, just north of our Base. They had an open seat and, better yet, left the side doors of the Blackhawk open so we could see out and down much better. It was also cool to be able to stick my left foot out at 500 feet and hang it out the door opening. I will post pictures tomorrow. They are on a different computer, but I have some good shots of the Ziggurat. That flight was at 2pm.

At 7pm the Brigade photographer (a real photographer), brought video camera for a 3-hour (in the air) round trip to Kuwait on a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. On the way down we had 25 soldiers who were going on leave in the plane, so they were a happy group. On the way back we had five guys returning from leave--a more subdued group.

I had never ridden in a Chinook before last night so it was very exciting for me to ride 200 miles and into another country on my first trip on the Army's Heavy Lift helicopter. The Chinooks only fly at night, because they are big, slow compared to an airplane, and make tempting targets in the day time.

Military Pilots Really Have "The Right Stuff"

Tammie Jo Shults, F-18 Fighter Pilot Today I listened to the audio of pilot Tammie Jo Shults calmly speakin...