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Saturdays training flight with the XO...

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(C/229) Fang
(HHC/229) flyer
(A/229) BBall
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Post by (A/229) BBall Tue 31 Dec 2013, 00:14

Hey gents,

A few pics from Saturdays training mission with Flyer.

Flyer, Skullz, Luke, Koozie and yours truly were present at the Batumi AAF, and it started when the XO arrived on scene as we were testing out Skullz brand spanking new sound mod (btw, if you don’t have it installed, then you’re TRULY missing something).  The afternoon began with Skullz doing an uber low fly by to let Flyer and me revel in the sheer beauty that is his new mod…until he violated the “uber low fly by hard-deck” and tore off two UH-1H main rotor masts (with associated rotor blades). After the mess was policed up (and the laughing stopped), we got down to business.

The shots:

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Saturdays training flight with the XO... Formationtrng1

Here we see Luke flying a “1 rotor disc” separation from Skullz. Now Luke, I know that you’re young, “bulletproof” and will live forever, BUT, me thinks that your definition of 1 rotor disc, and MY definition are two different things (ah…to be young again…lol).  

Just an FYI, Field Manual “FM 3-04.203”, Chapter 6, Section 1 [Formation Flight, Horizontal Distance], defines 2 discs as “TIGHT”, 3 to 5 as “CLOSE”, 6 to 10 as “LOOSE” and 10+ as “EXTENDED”… (link to FM3-04.203: https://rdl.train.army.mil/catalog/view/100.ATSC/124A2C90-72CD-4B05-AB8B-ABC8718F9760-1274574464617/3-04.203/chap6.htm#_Toc147118407)

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Saturdays training flight with the XO... Formationtrng2

Flyer demonstrating the “2 rotor disc” separation. The old fart in me likes this much mo’ better.

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Saturdays training flight with the XO... Formationtrng3

Flyer, Skullz and Luke demonstrating the perfect “TRAIL” formation. Two rotor disc width and stepped up (again, referencing Field Manual “FM 3-04.203”, Chapter 6, Section 1 [Formation Flight, Vertical Separation]  states that CHALK 2 should be stepped up 1-10 feet from LEAD, CHALK 3 stepped up 1-10 feet from CHALK 2, etc.)

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Saturdays training flight with the XO... Formationtrng4

The Chalk flew around while I was testing something back at the airfield, and they were kind enough to take a break on a local road until I caught up. I eventually joined up, and “the beatings began”…lol.

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Saturdays training flight with the XO... Formationtrng5

(If you don’t think that Skullz new sound mod wasn’t rockin’ “Schloss Ball” about now….then you need to have yourself checked)

Notes from Flyer (that I remember):
- Only LEAD has red anti-collision beacon on
- All comms from LEAD are acknowledged by “2” (CHALK 2), “3” (CHALK 3), etc..
- If a member of the chalk gets “catty whompus” (out of position) in the formation, they are to displace to the side, slow and reform into the TRAIL (last) position in the CHALK. Important point to this is that each bird must pay attention to where they now fit into the formation, for their number may have changed. This was good info, for it happened to our CHALK a few times in our training mission.
- When LEAD announces “lift in 5” and you begin your silent counting, at “3” you begin to pull pitch, HOPEFULLY all lifting at the same moment.
- When desired formation has been achieved, the TRAIL position announces to LEAD that formation has been made (don’t remember the exact radio call).

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Saturdays training flight with the XO... Formationtrng7

One of the group got “pear shaped” in the formation somewhere along the journey, displaced to TRAIL (my original position), and now I’m “CHALK 4” of 5. Note: a very cool thing that our beloved (read “masochistic”) XO IP did to us was to randomly pick LZs for us to shoot approaches into. We flew around in TRAIL formation making turns, etc, whereby he would find an LZ big enough for the gaggle, and talk us through the approach . This is LZ number one…

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Saturdays training flight with the XO... Formationtrng6
CHALK 2 had a maintenance issue in the first LZ (self inflicted), so we got to practice our re-numbering drill. I’m now CHALK 4 of 5 (started as TRAIL of 5)… can you see how if you’re “arthimatically challenged” this might get interesting? BTW, note from Flyer…when a ship is down in the LZ, LEAD will assign a ship to pick them up. Once TRAIL announces that the downed crew is safe, then LEAD begins the process of getting the group OUT of the LZ.

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Saturdays training flight with the XO... Formationtrng9

How does he do that you say? NON-VERBAL communications! LEAD will position his ship 90 degrees to the CHALK, see that all the birds are ready to launch, then pick up, pedal turn to align with the CHALK, and when he sits back down that will be the signal that the “lift in 5” process has begun! Cool, eh?

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Saturdays training flight with the XO... Formationtrng11

Notice we’re at 70 KIAS? Note from Flyer…when low (nap of the Earth?), and “contact is imminent”, then we transition to a CHALK speed of 70 knots (help me out on this one Flyer…is this “Combat Cruise”? I don’t remember….it’s hell getting old….lol).

Shortly after this pic was snapped, CHALK 2 clipped the tail rotor of LEAD (not good), and guess who became the defacto “LEAD”? Yep…me. LEAD was babbling something about “Mayday” and CHALK 2 displaced to the back of the herd fearing rotor damage…so I put on my big boy panties, stepped up and brought the chicks home (not counting LEAD who augured in when he lost his main rotor…me thinks their modeling of the “no tail rotor, run on landing” FM is a bit whacky).

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Saturdays training flight with the XO... Formationtrng12

On short final for RWY 04 at Batumi. A shot looking back at the formation….looks to be a damn near perfect “TRAIL” IMHO (you can see “CHALK 2’s” skids just below my hub.
Oh, in the heat of the battle I forgot to turn on my red anti-collision light…AND forgot to call into Operations and have them put me in for “LEAD” pay.

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Saturdays training flight with the XO... Formationtrng13

The end of a long training flight. As I mentioned to our XO (and IP) Flyer, I now knew why Army pilots consume so much booze (just speaking from growing up in the household of an Army aviator “lifer”). All that “thinking” was hard! A man has to cool the brain down with a brew or two…

All in all a great day’s worth of flying. Lots of information passed from “the obi wan” of Hueys to us in the masses. Thanks Flyer…can’t wait to do it again! (once my brain cools down)

Later all…
(A/229) BBall
(A/229) BBall
Chief Warrant Officer 4
Rated Senior Aviator
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Rated Senior Aviator

No. of Flights: : since 1973? are you kidding me? oh, you mean FLIGHT SIM flights!
Killed In Action: : is a zillion too many times?
Slick No. of landings: : you mean the ones I walked away from?
CAS Tanks destroyed: : not many.
CAS Vehicules destroyed: : more than the tanks.
CAS Bunkers destroyed: : have no idea! were they selling beer there?
Messages : 514
Age : 66
Location : Phoenix, Arizona

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Post by (HHC/229) flyer Tue 31 Dec 2013, 00:45

Nice narrative with illustrations...Thanks to all...All of you would have made great Army Aviators.
(HHC/229) flyer
(HHC/229) flyer
Major
S1
Instructor Pilot
Rated Master Aviator
Major S1 Instructor Pilot Rated Master Aviator

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Age : 62
Location : Titusville, Florida

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Post by (C/229) Fang Tue 31 Dec 2013, 01:29

Nice BBall.
(C/229) Fang
(C/229) Fang
Captain
Rated Senior Aviator
Captain Rated Senior Aviator

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Post by (A/229) Showtime817 Tue 31 Dec 2013, 03:15

Like always BBall, your AAR are awesome, wish I could have been there.
(A/229) Showtime817
(A/229) Showtime817
First Lieutenant
Company XO
Rated Senior Aviator
First Lieutenant Company XO Rated Senior Aviator

Messages : 255
Location : Portland, OR.

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Post by (D/229) Luke Tue 31 Dec 2013, 06:15

Excellent shots BBall! I like the commentary as well. As always nice flying with you and hope to see you around. Surprised

(D/229) Luke
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Rated Senior Aviator
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Rated Senior Aviator

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Age : 25

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Post by (B/229) NeF Tue 31 Dec 2013, 14:28

Can we plan another big flight all together?
(B/229) NeF
(B/229) NeF
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Rated Senior Aviator
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Rated Senior Aviator

Killed In Action: : At least a six pack
Messages : 924
Age : 38
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Post by (B/229) Razorback Tue 31 Dec 2013, 16:57

(B/229) NeF wrote:Can we plan another big flight all together?

Count me in.
(B/229) Razorback
(B/229) Razorback
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Rated Senior Aviator
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Rated Senior Aviator

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Age : 48
Location : The Netherlands

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