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-   -   I Learned About Flying From That (ILAFFT) (https://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/174184-i-learned-about-flying-ilafft.html)

yogibear 29th May 2002 12:50

I Learned About Flying From That (ILAFFT)
Hey all,

Now I know I haven't posted for yonks but here I am.

So now guys what is the dumbest thing you've done while flying and lived to fly another day ? I know this may sound lame but it would be interesting to see what sort of mistakes have been made and in so doing allowing others the chance to NOT repeat them.....

Any input will be appreciated.


Fortyodd 30th May 2002 10:03

Not quite the dumbest but whilst we are on the subject........

Landed a Lynx during a lull in tasking on an exercise and got handed a couple of Ginsters pasties as it was some hours since brekkies. Deciding they would taste better warmed up, I placed them under the engine, through the fire hatch. Co-pilot re-appears to tell me that endex has been called and we are released so off we go forgetting about said pasties. Landed for a refuel at a busy airport in the North West about an hour later and, whilst doing the post flight inspection discovered said pasties steaming away.

RW-1 30th May 2002 13:47

While on a mission on VQ-4's EC-130Q, I had a lunch that was on the ramp area, where during flight at 30-45K can be as cold as a freezer next to the A/C skin. Left overnight, it was a microwavable chicken kiev dinner, and I thought it would be ok, as we had been at altitude for a bit, it had been chilled again.

I nuked it in the galley for longer than the instructions required to be sure I cooked it.

But alas, 30 min after eating, I had the urge, left com central (The EC-130Q is a TACAMO bird, complete with soundproofing in the communications area) and went around to the galley and rest area on the aircraft, reached up in one motion, grabbed a bag and barfedmy guts out, right in front of the four personnel occupying the seats at the rest table.

The hilarious thing is though, is that in my rush to grab a plastic bag of any sort to avoid placing my contents on the deck, the bag I grabbed was a clear plastic bag, so the chunks and contents were clearly visable to those seated there.

Two sympathetically caused vomits thus ensued after mine. :rolleyes:

CyclicRick 31st May 2002 19:44

The most stupid thing I ever did was tell someone the most stupid thing I ever did.

I was on pleasure flights one day in a 350. This little kid next to me was amazed that I hardly moved the cyclic at all. So I said " have a feel how it is" He reached over and grabed the bloody stick so hard I nearly had a heart attack.....won't do THAT again.

Lu Zuckerman 31st May 2002 20:44

An unforgetable moment
Re. RW-1s experience.

I was flying as a passenger on an USN PBM and although it didn't happen to me, I was a witness to gross stupidity.

Another passenger had to use the facilities, which consisted of a can like container situated near the internal fuel tanks. As required he placed a bag inside the container prior to defecating. When he finished he opened the right rear door to dispose of the bag. However, he neglected to open the air deflector. Upon disposing of the bag into the airstream it exploded and everything came back covering the passenger as well as the fuel tanks and lines. After landing he spent several hours cleaning the mess he made.

ShyTorque 31st May 2002 21:57

Flying as a passenger in the rear of a USAF C-130 suffering from severe static electricity problems where everything touched caused a shock, I was stupid enough to take a pee into the stainless steel toilet.

:eek: Ouch :rolleyes:

John Eacott 1st Jun 2002 09:11

Well, when there's a crew of four in one of HM's shiny new Sea Kings, none of us over 24, and with the combined common sense of a gnat.......

It seemed like a really good idea at the time to try to recover a USN missile that we found, floating around the Carribean, in the AFWR (Atlantic Fleet Weapons Range). OK, what a trophy for the crew room :D. Looker, get the grappling hook, let's use it on the end of the winch to trawl for the parachute, then recover the lot and wait for charlie time.

Any idea how long it takes for a Sea King downwash to fill a parachute? Any idea how fast a Sea King can fly sideways, whilst a Chinese parliament ensues as to the best way of losing a parachute before it gets into the rotors? Cut the cable? You have got to be joking, how would we ever explain that away :p

Fortunately, the bending strain of a pusser's grappling hook is less than the shear load of a SK hoist. Even more fortunate, being allocated 5 spot allowed us to sneak the (very straight) hook down the port gangway to the workshops, for a rabbit job worth a few gulpers. To the best of our knowledge, that was one of our escapades that escaped the eagle eye of the Hierarchy :rolleyes:

Then there was another crew who tried to catch a manta ray off Indonesia, and wrecked the winch cable before they retrieved the ray..........:D :rolleyes:

Nick Lappos 1st Jun 2002 20:27

John, that story is priceless!

Once I returned from a mission in RVN at sunrise, having been scrambled from a sound sleep about midnight and launched into the blackness to fight the godless commies.

Up all night, expended ammo three times, re-armed and refueled hot, a few small holes in the tail to prove that the other side also used some ammo. It was a two-way rifle range, after all.

Mission over, I handed my helmet to the crewchief and stepped out of the Cobra, negotiating the small outside steps, failing to realize that my boots were still untied (scramble start, remember?). Stepped on the lace of one boot with the other foot while four feet above the ground on the three inch little step.

As the whole flightline watched, I windmilled my arms like the Third Stooge, struggled for a second, then fell whole body backwards onto the ramp, out cold.

No matter how I argued about combat wounds, the CO insisted that no Purple Heart was due! However, the French judge gave me a 9.0 because there was so little splash.

John Eacott 2nd Jun 2002 08:17


At least you didn't damage the bone dome....:D :D

ShyTorque 2nd Jun 2002 09:24


I knew that 'Nam was dangerous but having to fly with untied bootlaces.....wow, that is the pits!!

Thank goodness you didn't have button up flies on your underpants or you really could have had a long-term problem, those metal steps have sharp edges!:D

heedm 2nd Jun 2002 15:39

First flight after receiving my HGU 56/P from Gentex (use to fly with some tiny plastic covering with leather ear cups). Refuelled at a small operator in the Lower Mainland, BC. Prior to startup I strapped in and then wanted to check the clearances one more time, so as per habit I stuck my helmeted head out the window.

It wouldn't come back in.

While the flight engineer scrambled to get his camcorder, I unclipped the chin strap, dropped the helmet to the dirt, unbuckled, exited the aircraft and was applauded by a small crowd of onlookers.

advancing_blade 2nd Jun 2002 18:17

I read a reply to a simmilar thread on JH.com a while ago which makes my skin crawl even now, it was a chap who said that:-

"one time I was solo in (I think) a 212 with auto pilot engaged, I climbed in the back, just to see what is was like. Freaked me out"


Nigel Osborn 3rd Jun 2002 00:55

I've done too many stupid things over the years to log them all but this one was amongst the more stupid. Many years ago as a sprog Navy pilot with a huge 700 or so hours in Borneo, a Royal Marine officer invited me to sling a long wheel based Landrover to another marine base. Not a breath of wind, high oat and quite a long trip. Jokingly ( fatal thing to do to a marine officer ) I said we were far too heavy but if someone steered the Landrover down the grass strip to keep it straight, then once I had 40 knots by the strip end which had a river about 10 feet below, he could dive into the river and I could fly away with 40 knots airspeed. Immediately he dispatched a marine into the landrover and started to hook it on. Highly embarassed I pointed out I was only joking. But would it work he said. I suppose so I said. OK let's get ready. Well to my surprise it did work but fortunately I never met the marine who had to dive at 40 knots about 20 feet into the fairly fast flowing river.:D :confused:

John Eacott 3rd Jun 2002 01:55


Priceless :D :D :rolleyes:

Errrr, who jumped back on the Rover to steer it when you landed :confused: :confused: :eek:

Wessie V?

Nigel Osborn 3rd Jun 2002 02:01

Hi John,
Yes, good old Wessex V, 848 Sqdn. After 90 mins flying my fuel was low enough to make a very temporary hover! Only myself and a crewy on board although there was some discussion if the Royal should stay put but I managed to flatly refuse that request!:D :D

SASless 3rd Jun 2002 10:47


Teenaged Chinook pilots being quite innovative (read "Stupid"), we improved upon your technique.....we found that the front wheels of US Army 3/4 ton trucks invariably turned to full left or right after a few minutes in the air at 100 knots.....thereby making landing slightly more exciting than the takeoffs....so we learned to put a rope hobble onto the steering wheel. Our rate of rolled over 3/4's decreased sharply with that modification....that way we could make both running takeoffs and landings.

The alternate loading procedure for loading Vietnamese rice harvesters consisted of folding seats in the rear, crowding as many as you could into the aircraft in a standing...up right posture....ramp level with 15-20 more.....taxi forward to about 5-6 mph....jam on the brakes....and simultaneously raise the ramp...makes it almost like a British Airways Economy cabin but not quite so crowded! Haulled 138 that way on one trip.

ShyTorque 3rd Jun 2002 18:08

Once had a Brit Army Major tell us he wanted his Landrover underslinging to the next RV. No problem, we agreed to do it and got the load slinging equipment ready.

With the Landie rigged up, we walked to the aircraft to start up and launch. We noticed that he started to climb into his Landrover. When asked what he was doing, he replied that he was going to sit in the driver's seat and point the way to the drop!

I told him that a) Landies rotate in flight and b) if we lost an engine on takeoff or landing, he and his steed would get pickled off the hook.

He changed his mind at the thought of b) but it was very, VERY tempting to let him try it...:D

Lu Zuckerman 3rd Jun 2002 21:21

Some people should not be pilots.
The dumbest thing I ever did was to volunteer to fly with Sid Kennedy. But first, a bit of background. Sid Kennedy was trained as a pilot in the US Navy and he completed flight school just before the war (WW II) was over. He was discharged from the regular Navy but stayed in the reserves. After his discharge he went to divinity school and became a Christian Minister. With the outbreak of the Korean conflict the US Coast Guard advertised for ex US Navy pilots. Sid Kennedy came into the Coast Guard as a senior Lieutenant. They were checking him out in the various aircraft on our base. When he finished his checkout on the JRB (Beech D-18) he was sent to Cleveland from our base in Traverse City, Michigan. His mission was to pick up some high-ranking officers and civilians and bring them back to Traverse City. The day after bringing them to our station he was to fly them over all of the major aids to navigation on Lakes Michigan and Superior. As plane captain of the JRB I was asked if I wanted to fly with Kennedy. Sadly I replied in the affirmative. I slid into the right hand seat and we were off. Just after take off he removed his glasses and put on sun glasses telling me to remind him to put on his glasses just before landing. Right there, I should have known something was wrong.

He picked up a direct heading to Cleveland, which placed us out over Lake Erie. I asked him if he had a green card (Instrument ticket) and he said no. (He only had 172 hours in the Navy and about 20 as a CG pilot.) I told him that without the green card he had to back track and head over Detroit to Toledo and then to Cleveland. When we got to Toledo we were informed that the weather over Cleveland was deteriorating rapidly and I suggested we land at Toledo pick up some fuel and wait out the weather over Cleveland. He kept heading for Cleveland.

By the time we got to the airport the place was socked in. The GCA was inoperative but that didnít matter because he was not checked out for GCA landing. The had us do a RADAR controlled approach and he must have made three or four attempts at which time they told him to land or they would shoot us down. We had to land because we were running low on fuel. I was so busy looking for other traffic that I forgot to tell him to put on his glasses. At about 45 feet or so he pulled the throttles back and we hit the ground so hard I expected the landing gear to punch through the engine nacelles. When we hit we bounced and then he remembered to put in some flaps. Normally when flaps are extended or retracted you would check to see that the landing gear didnít move because the flaps and gear were operated by the same motor. I didnít check because there was no time. Luckily, the gear did not retract and we ballooned down the runway and eventually stuck to the ground. They had to send a follow me tractor to lead us in and then he asked me why I didnít remind him to put on his glasses and I told him I was involved in looking for other traffic. I asked him why he needed glasses during take off and landing and he told me that he had poor depth perception. He was supposed to wear corrective lenses at all times while flying.

On the way back we had two Captains and three high ranking civilians as passengers. The flight back was uneventful until at about 10,000 feet on a clear day we were jumped by two USAF F-89 Scorpions because Kennedy had failed to file into the ADIZ. Instead of letting down gradually, he made a big hole approach pointing the nose down like a dive-bomber. I along with several of the passenger had severe pains in the area of our mastoids and upon landing I was taken off flight status for several days.

Needless to say another pilot finished the trip. Kennedy performed equally as bad in his checkout on larger aircraft and he was eventually sent to Alaska where all of the work was off of water and a lot of fog was thrown into the mix.

rightpedalRIGHTPEDAL 12th Jun 2002 19:12

Isn't there a famous one about a Sea King crew
who would engage auto hover and go for a stroll
on the outside rail to freak out the newbies?

ShyTorque 12th Jun 2002 22:02

This one might identify me to a few of those out there that know this story already.

During a Central American Puma detachment we were ordered to fly an attractive French photographer. She wanted some "action shots". I was tasked to fly her and a young Army officer to a tiny helipad on the side of a 300' rocky outcrop above an army base. We hover jumped them off as there was a trailer already in situ and the pad wasn't big enough for a Puma in any event. We then did a couple of dummy approaches and finally picked up the trailer and underslung it away and back down into the army camp below after a couple of fly-bys for more photos.

Our final task was to recover the french photographer and army officer; they had to climb on from a one-wheel on hover. The crewman told me on intercom that she wanted to take more photographs whilst sitting on in the open doorway with her legs outside and her feet on the step, using the spare monkey harness to secure her from behind. The crewman told me he would sit alongside her, also in the open doorway to make sure she was OK. We got airborne like this, he then began laughing and asked me to do a wingover to the right to "Gi her a good look at the army camp". I obliged, to guffaws of laughter from crewman. As I rolled wings level, the crewman suddenly went quiet and I had to call him more than once to get him to speak to me on finals.

After shutdown I noticed he was looking extremely pale. I asked him if everything was alright; all he could do was nod. After his second cigarette he told me that he went quiet because halfway through the wingover he realised that he had forgotten to re-fasten his own monkey harness and had sat in the doorway with his hands on his knees, not restrained from falling out in any way....at the top of the wingover he had gone light in his "seat" and nearly fallen out of the aircraft.:eek:

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