This one happened about 15yr ago.
While at a seismic survey camp in PNG, I was invited along on a trip to see some of the testing sites in a 500D. It was a great sightseeing flight for me and we stopped at several worksites.
The natives there had a reputation for walking/running to helicopters after landing, from the rear of the machine. This had resulted, in the past, in compensation claims from ‘bereaved’ families/tribes after the inevitable decapitation etc. not to mention expensive repair bills, death threats (if you’re lucky) and shattered nerves. This resulted in Pilots who became a tad touchy when prior directions were ignored/forgotten by the native workers on the worksites.
Nevertheless, as we were approaching a site helipad to land, some of the workers started running toward the pad, which meant if we landed they would be coming in from the rear of the helicopter. The pilot slowed to a hover and started waving to the workers to go to the side of the pad. This caused the chopper to wobble a bit.
Getting nervous I started to do the waving for him but they just stared at us and crouched down where they stood.
The pilot started swearing out loud and getting red in the face, he moved the helicopter towards them in an attempt to ‘round them up and out to the side’
So…what did they do? … Well they crouched lower and scuttled for shelter, to a tree stump about 10ft away.
More swearing from the pilot!!…. More sweating from me!! By this time his face was a bright red glow, he then flew to the tree stump and proceeded to try and hit them on their heads with the skids. The helicopter was going up and down in a seesaw motion with the skids just missing the stump, with the workers eyes as big as dinner plates
and only a few feet in front of me (I think by then, my face would have mirrored their expressions precisely).
They just crouched closer to the stump and I was starting to picture a 500D with a large tree stump sticking up through its belly, three dead natives and an irate tribe chasing me and the pilot down the valley. I was hanging on tight to the console and handhold. What an experience!
Not soon enough, they finally got up and ran to the side and then we landed without any further incident. It took the driver a little while to settle down. As for me ? Well I stuck to base camp after that episode.
sprocket: .. No standards? Nooo problems!