15 January 2009

Crew Coordination Tip of the Day

The moral of this story apparently is that I'm a woman flier.

Basically, I have a few lessons learned from a flight a little while back. Around 2230 (or 10:30 PM) I found out that I was flying the next day. At five in the morning. Great.

It didn't help that, around midnight, I got a knock on my quarters door from someone reminding me that I had the aforementioned flight the next morning. (Yes, thanks, that's why I was asleep just now). Brain frazzling doesn't exactly make for a great flight.

This played a factor into our landing at a landing zone somewhere in Iraq. Like nearly every single area in this country, it was ringed with all sorts of hazards (wires, towers, etc), not to mention the fact that it's in Iraq and therefore potentially hostile. I was also further surprised to see that there were quite a few helicopters in this landing zone.

My brain processed that I was surprised to see the large number of aircraft in this particular area, which I hadn't expected to see. The brain sent a message to my mouth in an attempt to express this particular sentiment. Unfortunately, after little sleep, it came out like this:

"Holy Shit"

Verily, short final into a landing zone in a hostile country is probaly not one of those occasions on which you would like to utter "holy shit" lightly. Although, truth be told, there are very subtle variations on the term "holy shit", which can express surprise at anything from imminent danger, to the taste of a really good sandwich. Apparently, I failed to communicate the more subtle nuances of the phrase "holy shit", as the other pilot started frantically scanning the ground around him.


He swung his head side to side, scanning for threats: Perhaps this particular permutation of the phrase "holy shit" translated into someone with an RPG, or maybe a set of wires straight ahead of us.

That's when I realized my crew coordination error. "Uh, just kidding. Not really. Never mind", I said.

We touched down and set the brakes.

"What was it?"

"Oh, nothing really, there were just a lot of helicopters here. I wasn't expecting that big of a crowd"

"Jesus Christ, you're just like my wife. Every time I go driving, she'll scream 'Holy Shit' because she left the damn dryer open or something."

"Well, at least I learned something new today."


SJ said...

Oh that's just hilarious. Then again, I'm not too surprised given that you're flying a vehicle that my professor, a retired Marine colonel, always referred to as "violating the laws of physics", "shouldn't be able to fly in the first place", "disaster waiting to happen", and other such utterances of love and admiration of rotorcraft of all types.

Bag Blog said...

That is funny. I was thinking that the military is much like a wife - waking you up to remind you of something you already knew.