Monday, April 16, 2012

Days Like These are Why I Want to Stay In!!!!

Friday night I got a text message from our operations officer:
0730 at west field for first CH movement.
That was all the info I had.

I drove to West Field arriving at 0720. When I arrived two Chinooks sat in the middle of a large field.  Along the north edge in front of the tree line were more than 200 soldiers lining up in groups getting ready to fly to hill tops on the ridges on the north side of Fort Indiantown Gap.

As the infantry lined up, Chief Witmer put me on the second aircraft so I could take a picture of the first aircraft landing and the troops running off. The plan did not work out--at least for pictures.  The first aircraft was so fast it was flying away from the landing zone before we arrived.

So I did not get the pictures, but for the first time I had the experience of landing on top of a cliff in a Chinook with the tail wheels on the cliff and the nose wheels off the edge while 30 infantrymen ran out the back of the aircraft.  The landing was very smooth and so was the hover while the infantrymen ran down the ramp and off the aircraft, but I could look out the forward door gunner's window and down the side of the cliff.

It was very cool.

The two Chinooks flew several more sorties ferrying tropps up to Media Ridge.  I recently exchanged my cracked Blackberry for an iPhone so I took movies of some of the landings and takeoffs.  I will post them later this week.  I climbed on the last flight returning from Medina Ridge.  The troop exercise was over by 11 am.  But the days excitement wasn't over.