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-   -   Cargo Jet makes a 360 at 100’ (https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/627747-cargo-jet-makes-360-100-a.html)

Airbubba 6th Dec 2019 00:51

Originally Posted by Cool Guys (Post 10633291)
Some years ago I read the following on one of the threads here. Cant tell you where or who wrote it but I loved it so much I copied it onto my PC, hence I am able to paste it here for all to enjoy:

There I was at six thousand feet over central Iraq , two hundred eighty knots and we're dropping faster than Paris Hilton's panties. It's a typical September evening in the Persian Gulf; hotter than a rectal thermometer and I'm sweating like a priest at a Cub Scout meeting.

The civilian version of the Herc war story was also posted earlier on PPRuNe, it goes like this here (as David Allan Coe once sang ;)):

There I was at twenty six thousand feet over central Iraq, 330 kts TAS and we're dropping faster than the US dollar. It's a typical November day in the Persian Gulf -- hotter than a chicken vindaloo in a heatwave and I'm sweating like a paedophile in Toys-R-Us.

But that's neither here nor there. The sky is obscured over Baghdad today and greyer than my shirts after the Cameroon contract. But it's 2007, folks, and I'm sporting the latest in navigation technology. Namely a window.

My 1975 Fokker 28 is equipped with an effective missile warning system, too. When the missile hits the engine, the fire bells come on in the cockpit, its amazingly efficient.

At any rate, the clouds covering Baghdad International Airport are as thick as Mike Tyson’s lips after fight night. But I've digressed.

The preferred method of approach tonight is the Pitch Up One Arrival. Basically you just pitch up and see what happens. This tactical manoeuvre allows the pilot to ingress the landing zone in an unpredictable manner, (much like many African operations) thus exploiting the supposedly secured perimeter of the airfield in an attempt to avoid enemy surface-to-air-missiles and small arms fire. Or large arms fire, for that matter.

Personally, I wouldn't bet my tight white ass on that theory but we’ve forgotten how to do a normal approach and that's the real reason we fly it.
Speedbrake out and gear & flaps down through 15000, I gently ease the aircraft into a 60 degree right hand bank. This maneuver is called ‘looking out of the opposite window for the airport’ but you do have to be careful because it can dislodge peanuts from the throttle quadrant. Even worse, it might wake the engineer who is slumbering on the jump seat.

Lying to ATC, we ditch the minnie-mouse voiced yank chick on Balad and chop to approach. Still in cloud, with the 6-mile TCAS looking like one of those kaleidoscopes you had when you were a kid. Or a mathematical version of alphabet soup.

It's strong coffee effect appreciation time as I descend the agile Fokker to six thousand feet AGL on downwind, turning to smile for a couple more pics by the new flight attendant and emptying my mug in case of spills when I bend it in like Beckham. We get a visual on the runway at 0.7 dme overhead at 2000' still going down like a whore’s drawers just before we suddenly have to pull a 2G turn to avoid that $#&%ing balloon again. Now the fun starts. We chop to the trainee Iraqi in the tower whose job is it to take ninety seconds to tell us that we are cleared to land, having forgotten to call him through 4000 as usual because the numbers on the altimeter were a bit blurred still. The VSI needle has finally unpegged itself and the new hostie is now shaking like a constipated dog shitting on a sheet of ice.

Ignoring the GPWS whose CB the engineer forgot to pull I grab a fistful of Rolls Royce and stabilize at 300’ still in a 45 deg bank on base, pulling back on the yoke just enough to hear the business-class pax start to grunt. Turning the aircraft onto the runway heading over brick one of 33R, the engineer finally wakes from his slumber. I flare and as soon as we roll out of the turn, I land. Some aeronautical genius coined this manoeuvre “Short Finals."

I look over at the F/O and he's getting his wallet out already – the whiskey is only $10 a litre here. Looking further back at the new hostie I can clearly see her face regaining a bit of colour again. In fact her cheeks are redder than Monica Lewinski’s knees. I wonder why but then notice the wet spot spreading around her feet. Finally, I glance at our steely-eyed Engineer. His eyebrows rise in unison as a grin forms on his face. I can tell he's thinking the same thing I am. Are we going to be able to diddle the fuel man again?

”Where do we find such stalwart comrades?” Naturally, and not at all surprisingly, I take the first turnoff at 90 knots, destroying all the crockery in the trolleys and deeply unimpressing the new hostie. That’s my chances out the window then. Bloody bumpy taxiways….. The comparatively small, 33 ton, bouncing cacophony of groans comes to a lurching stop with the radome less than one foot from the marshal’s nose. Let's see a Jumbo do that! We notice that he’s the one we suspect of pinching the cellphone last week so we turn the radar back on. Keeping one engine on because the APU is u/s, it's time to let the quivering pax unload themselves. As they finish staggering down the stairs I shoot down the back to see if they’ve left any English newspapers lying around, and of course, have a slash in the smelly chemical loo.

Walking down the crew entry steps savouring the fume-laden 46 degree celcius Baghdad air, dull thuds in the background, with my lowest-bidder Browning 9 mm stowed safely back in Johannesburg under my pillow, I look around and thank God, not Allah, I'm not on a Nigeria contract. Then I curse God that I'm not living in Sydney, flying for Virgin, lying on a beach 10 000 miles away with two chicks on each arm.

Knowing that once again I've cheated death-by-boredom, I ask myself, "What in the hell am I doing in this mess? Is it Duty, Honor, and Country?” No, it’s the double S&T allowance. Or the fact that the alternative is somewhere in West Africa. But now is not the time to derive the complexities of the superior cerebral properties of the human portion of the aviator-man-contractor model. It is however, soon time to get out of this shit-hole.

"Hey, is the fuel truck here yet?” “No, its still on the other side of the field filling those *^%*ing Hercs.” Meantime I curse the APU for the fortieth time today and try and signal the Iraqi ground-handlers through the thick black smoke emanating from their forklift to push the unserviceable pickup truck with the barely serviceable Copco starter on its back into position next to us, and then to get the pushback tug out to jumpstart the Copco so we can get the airstart we need...

God, I love this contract!


geeup 6th Dec 2019 00:59

That was awesome!

Buy that man a beer 🍺

The art of manual flying is a dying skill in most jet operations

Capn Bloggs 6th Dec 2019 01:16

Go the Pocket Rocket...:ok::ok:

Airbubba, you should put in the quote who wrote that. It's a classic!

Airbubba 6th Dec 2019 02:46

Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs (Post 10633461)
Airbubba, you should put in the quote who wrote that. It's a classic!

The F28 version of the war story was originally posted here in 2004 by AfricanSkies in the 'Welcome to Baghdad--Herky Story' thread as one of several attempts to mimic the C-130 tale.

His was the best in my opinion.

It was reposted by AfricanSkies again in 2007 in the thread I linked above.

The original PPRuNe 'Herky Story' thread is here:


Capn Bloggs 6th Dec 2019 02:59

Thanks AB.

krismiler 6th Dec 2019 07:08

Had he done that in a Western airline with a load of passengers onboard at a European city he would have been locked up and rightly so. We don't know his background, training and experience but it is likely to have involved an airforce and combat approaches. The weather was clear, any accident would have been in the sea rather than a built up area and I'm sure the other crew members knew what they signed up for. We need to measure what he did with a different yardstick than the one used for a first world airline.

UNITA rebels in Angola were supplied by flights from South Africa which operated low level at night in turbine DC3s risking CFIT, ground fire and air attack which was much higher risk than a 360' turn on a clear day.

Lazyload 6th Dec 2019 07:40

Flying in Africa was always a bit on the edge but we had some fun too. I learnt to spin in a 9000 hour Tomahawk right over the Muizenberg sewerage works, the geometry of which made it easy to count the turns. One Sunday morning as slf on an SAA 727, the captain asked us if we’d like “a scenic”. Sure! So he flew the entire sector- Port Elizabeth to Cape Town - over the beaches at 2000 ft. Yes, those were fun days and South African pilots are as good as you’ll get.

The Fat Controller 6th Dec 2019 08:02

Correct decision with what was ahead.

Perfectly executed turn, good CRM and a safe landing, what's not to like about that ?

Wycombe 6th Dec 2019 08:12

Love that the backing music features a certain Bruce Dickinson!

emeritus 6th Dec 2019 08:17

Having around 11 years sitting in the LHS of the 72 I enjoyed watching a well executed manoeuvre in that clip. We all have basic flying skills but his are honed well above the average obviously.

TWT 6th Dec 2019 09:11

Love that the backing music features a certain Bruce Dickinson!
No, it's 'Thunderstruck' by AC/DC

Salusa 6th Dec 2019 09:20

Originally Posted by Wycombe (Post 10633578)
Love that the backing music features a certain Bruce Dickinson!

Brian Johnson.

That's about the only thing I feel qualified to comment on this thread.

Whenwe 6th Dec 2019 09:23

I did not like doing the spiral in the Herc, is too slow coming down and those anxious moments seemed awfully long to me.Flying in Africa and knowing the area, I (and others) preferred the low-level approach. It was always comforting to have the small noise foot print of the Herc; confirmed by observing the reaction, or not, of the animals as you fly over them.

Good old bad days, those were.

Specaircrew 6th Dec 2019 10:52

All us ex MPA pilots can identify with that sort of orbit, good skills, Aunty Betty only let us do it at 200ft for training though.....manual flying with 2 engines shut down to save fuel.....happy days😊

beardy 6th Dec 2019 11:03

Wonderful flying skills, I wonder why he elected to do that manoeuvre that way.
Some here seem to comment that not having passengers on board has a bearing on his decision making. It might, but why should it?

rudestuff 6th Dec 2019 12:10

Bottom line: No rules were broken and he had fun. All he did was a 360 on final. Would it be appropriate everywhere? Obviously not, but anyone unsure of their own ability to fly a level turn should maybe ask for some retraining!

BRUpax 6th Dec 2019 12:12

I wonder why he elected to do that manoeuvre that way.
Beardy, I think you will find that has already been explained several times in previous posts from those who know the area. I would also reiterate what a poster said which was that nothing in that video suggests that the entire orbit was made at 100ft. There is a large gap in the video and he may well have been at 200ft for most of that turn for all we know.

Capt Fathom 6th Dec 2019 12:14

Can I suggest it is probably much easier to do a 360 at 100ft than it would be at say 500 or 1000ft.
At 500ft it would not be difficult to set up a high rate of descent (or climb).
At 100ft, and you’ll notice this in the video, you can maintain a ’constant distance’ from the water... because it is so close!

beardy 6th Dec 2019 12:18

Originally Posted by BRUpax (Post 10633700)
Beardy, I think you will find that has already been explained several times in previous posts from those who know the area. I would also reiterate what a poster said which was that nothing in that video suggests that the entire orbit was made at 100ft. There is a large gap in the video and he may well have been at 200ft for most of that turn for all we know.

Not so. Some have speculated about the ground threat, no one has given a date and confirmation that that is why he did it. It could very well be, we just don't know.

Sleeve Wing 6th Dec 2019 12:34

Quite a few plusses/minuses about the relative merits of such a manoeuvre. Suffice it to say that those of us who learned to fly in the sixties/seventies are not the least surprised by the skill and awareness of a guy I would love to have flown with.
It is not surprising either that the ex-Navy, Truckie and Coastal Command contingent seem to find this a normal day in the office. We were trained to manoeuvre at low level, over the sea too, and be aware of the missile/small arms threat. In the past, I can remember coming back from one sortie on a dubious day, with salt spray all over the windshield. No sweat.

All this has changed since the reduction of ex-military retirees into the airline business. We are now expected to fly in aircraft that have little direct law control and flown by crews who will fly, well or otherwise, mainly to pay off their phenomenal training costs. Sound experience appears to be at a premium. All they really know is how to punch in the flight data, autopilot in at a 1000 and cruise for hours at 37000 feet glued to the screen, to finally Cat II it at the other end in gin clear conditions.
It will change again in the future when people think and realise that flying a proper aircraft like a 727 or a DC9 had such good manual handling characteristics to teach us our business.

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