Helicopter-related pictures

Page 1

NOTE:  With a couple exceptions, the pictures on these pages
are my personal property and cannot be used without permission.


This is a CH-34 sitting on the LZ in April/May of 1967 (the LZ had not yet been blacktopped).  During this time, the CH-46s were grounded for some sort of safety check and we had to resort to using the "34" to take us out to the bush.  Actually, it wasn't a bad aircraft but, in order to get off the ground, the pilot had to power up the rotors, then reduce power several times, getting the whole bird bouncing on the landing gear, before actually breaking ground and taking off.  The other drawback was that it was powered by a huge WW-II era radial aircraft engine.  It had one huge exhaust pipe that stuck out the left side of the nose and it was god-awful loud and anyone within 10 miles knew you were coming.  



Here we are practicing rappelling from one of the "34s" on the dirt LZ.  Actually, the CH-34 was easier to rappel from then the CH-46.  With the CH-46, you had to rappel through a hatch in the center of the cabin floor and, if you were carrying a lot off gear, you ran the risk of getting hung up.  With the CH-34, you just stepped to the edge of the large side door and dropped off.  All in all, a piece of cake! 





Here a CH-46 is landing on the old dirt LZ (that's the end of a sandbag up close that's partially obscuring the shot).  The crew chief can be seen leaning out, guiding the pilot because the LZ had a section that dropped off about 2 feet lower than the rest of the LZ where an old rice paddy had once been.  If the bird landed with one wheel over the droop-off, bad things would happen!







Unfortunately, this picture is way dark.  It's inside one of the CH-46s on the way back from a hot Recon Extraction in  Antenna Valley.  If you look very closely, you can see just a tiny sliver of the Plexiglas window remaining at the very top of the opening.  As was the case on this extraction, these port holes were often punched out my the Recon Marines in order to bring their personal weapons to bear on the enemy before landing or after taking off from a hot LZ.  .  




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