Monday, November 7, 2011

"You Better Puke Down Your Shirt"

This morning I flew on the firat of three flights set up for recent graduates of Basic Training. The young men and women and their recruiters get a thrill ride in a Blackhawk, and a pitch from us about why they would want to choose Aviation as an Army career path.

Before the flight, the crew chief does a safety briefing.

None of the 26 new soldiers had ever flown on a helicopter at all, let alone a Blackhawk.  The crew chief told the trainees how to enter and exit the helicopter, how to buckle the four-point harness in their seats, and what to do in an emergency.

Then he told them what to do if they feel sick.  "If you get sick do not puke in my aircraft.  You Better Puke Down Your Shirt, because if you get sick in my aircraft you are going to clean my aircraft."

I rode with the first group.  Everything was fine with the second.  But in the third group was a young man who probably ate way too much Army food for breakfast before a helicopter ride.  

On these rides we would climb and quickly dive.  On two of the flights, the crew chief did the pen in the air trick.  He lays the pen on his palm and in the moment of zero gravity pulls his hand away.  The pen floats in the air for the two seconds of zero gravity then falls in the crew chief's hand.  

Right after that roller coaster moment, the soldier looked ill then, as instructed, puked down his shirt.  The temperature was slightly below freezing at dawn and was no higher than 40 when the last flight touched down--so the soldier had to be more than a little uncomfortable until he could leave a field on the west end of the base and get a shower.  

But he can follow instructions!

2nd Group of Trainees Boards Blackhawk

Family Black Sheep Flies a MEDEVAC Blackhawk

Brooklyn-born Amira Talifi, (not her real name) is a helicopter pilot I served with in the Army National Guard. She is one of seven ch...