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Old 2nd Nov 2004, 04:32
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 20
Just one more then. There were a lot of birds in the maritime environment, and every once in a while you’d whack one while concentrating on not whacking something larger (like a helicopter) or more visible, like a flare from one of the east block vessels. If you were lucky the bird was a tern or gull; pelicans, and albatrosses, were known to hurt people and machines badly.

Satch was sitting in the greenhouse nose of the Argus on one patrol, minding his own business, when a seagull managed to miss the tempered glass center bit and enter through the adjacent Perspex.
The by-this-point-deceased gull’s disintegrating mass struck the toe of Satch’s boot with enough force to break his toe therein. (In the nose seat one’s feet were normally braced in stirrups that reminded women of totally different experiences).

The bird continued to disintegrate, filling the nose compartment with blood, feathers, offal, etc, in an explosive manner, disconnecting the hero’s helmet communications cord and stunning him somewhat. (A similar effect could be achieved with certain beverages, but it took a bit longer).

The kindly old Commander on the Flight Deck of the mighty patrol aircraft, keenly aware that the gull had hit the nose, called on intercom to assure himself that Satch was OK. After trying both the normal and tactical intercom modes with nil response, he grew concerned and directed another crewmember to check on their boy.

The nose compartment was forward of a “water-tight” door, a sliding/locking device designed to fool one into thinking that the airplane could be ditched safely without a water-hammer sluicing all concerned out the mad boom at the other end.

When the other lad whipped this door open, the airflow through the broken Perspex was able to continue into the unpressurized hull at approximately the TAS of the airframe, and the door-opener wore a great deal of the matter that had previously been a seagull. Blood was immediately identified as one of the components of this mess, and the hasty assumption was made that this blood belonged to the human occupant of the compartment. With concern mounting for his welfare, he was unceremoniously unstrapped and dragged from his seat to receive either first aid or the last rites, suffering more bruises at the hands of his colleagues than he had sustained up to that point in the avian assault.

All this to say, if you’re around birds a lot and busy working, and your airplane doesn’t have NESA heated windows to absorb lots of the energy, wear something substantial to protect your eyes and face from pop-up targets. Despite all the fun some of us are having, there’s a self-protection thread running through this string, one that it doesn’t hurt to refresh from time to time.
I learned a lot about flying whilst listening in bars, but ‘Air Clues’ won’t publish any of those stories.

LNAV-VNAV, if your wheels are on the carrier deck, however briefly, when you hit the other airplane, is that a mid-air or a manoeuvering accident?
madtrap is offline