Monday, December 28, 2009

For Nigel--Blackhawk Banking Left


Yesterday I was on an all-day flight that lasted into the night. It was the first time I flew in a Blackhawk at night. I flew in a Chinook at night, but I was up inside the fuselage and could not see out very much except through the tail door.
I was sitting right behind the door gunner on the Blackhawk and could see all the countryside on the final leg of our trip. The desert is prettier at night than in the brown dusty day. The shallowest ripples look deep in the dark and trace out shapes that are much more interesting than simple sand ripples and ditches.
The trip went from here to Kalsu for hot fuel (with the engines running and rotors turning) then to Baghdad and a visit to one of Saddam's bombed out palaces. I'll try to put a few more photos up soon.
After Baghdad we flew up to Joint Base Balad, where we should have gone back when we got here. It's a beautiful base. Oh well.
Then Back to Kalsu in the fading light, then back to Tallil in the dark. I was not told till the night before I had to go. I had a lot of work to do the next day and asked the commander if he really wanted to me to go. He said, "This is a war Gussman. You're going." So I went.