In-flight "emergency"

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Merlin1047, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    I joined the Alabama Army National Guard a few months after leaving the active Army. I eventually ended up in a Medevac unit which flew the UH-1 "Huey". The members of National Guard units tend to stay with that unit for many years and as a result, the unit becomes your weekend family.

    One of my best friends - we'll call him "John" - and I logged many an hour beating the air into submission throughout the southeast.

    One Friday in the middle of a very cold February, John and I needed to get some flight time. We drew a mission to drop off a one star at that armpit of the South, that rathole otherwise know as Camp Shelby, MS. After dropping off our passenger, we were free to do as we pleased until Sunday afternoon when our passenger needed a return flight to Montgomery.

    We picked up our man at the state military department and had an uneventful flight to Camp Shelby. We refueled and flew a couple more hours on an instrument training flight then called it a day.

    After putting the old Huey to bed, John and I headed for the local watering hole. We had a "supper" which consisted of whatever hor's de ouvres were being served and beer.

    The next day we took off to do a little sightseeing in the guise of a "low level navigation" exercise. We departed the airstrip and headed in the general direction of Hattiesburg. It was colder than the proverbial witch's tit, so we had all the doors and windows closed and the heater turned on high.

    About ten minutes after takeoff, I felt a cold draft where there should not have been one. Turning in my seat, I saw that the right hand cabin door had come loose from its latch and was gradually vibrating open. John was wiggling the sticks, so I advised him of our situation. He responded with a blank look. John was an excellent pilot, but he wasn't all that sharp on some of his emergency procedures. So I briefed him, "Slow to 50 knots. Take us over to the Hattiesburg airport and after we land, I'll get out and secure the door." John slowed Fat Albert down to 50 and we slogged our tedious way toward Hattiesburg. Damn that draft was cold and at this speed it would take forever to cover the ten miles to the airfield.

    About halfway there, I felt a rumbling in my gut. Now this wasn't your ordinary gas pain. This was the granddaddy of them all, generated by last night's potent combination of beer and munchies. There was no doubt in my mind that I could call a moose with what was coming. I regretted that we were in a noisy Huey and I was unable to share this work of art with anyone. Oh well. At the appropriate time, I leaned against the window, did a one-cheek-sneak and let fly. To my surprise, there was no odor whatever, although this fart had been so huge, it vibrated the seat webbing.

    Next thing I know, John has got the old OD pig running over 100 knots. Now the cabin door is about the size of a sheet of plywood. If it comes loose and goes through the rotors, it will definitely ruin our day. "Hey John" I carped. "Slow this bitch down to fifty, will ya?". John mumbled something unintelligible on the intercom and slowed to 50.

    For those unfamiliar with the venerable old Huey, I need to do a little technical aside so you'll understand the rest of this. The Huey has a huge nickel-cadmium battery. It measures roughly 2'x2'x2'. The battery is generally very reliable, but if an over-charging condition occurs, or if the battery should short internally, it can go into a thermal runaway. If this happens, the battery can explode with the force of a stick of dynamite. Since the battery was positioned in the nose, just above our feet, that can present a rather personal issue.

    By now we were on a 3 mile final to the closed runway at Hattiesburg and suddenly I felt another pang at least as bad as the first. What the heck. I figured since the first was odorless, this one would also go unnoticed. So I "let er rip". Again, as with the first one, this one too was odorless.

    But the next thing I know, John is hauling ass again. "Dammit John" I squawked testily "How hard is it to hold 50 knots?"

    John gave me a thoroughly disgusted look and yelled "You stupid sonofabitch. Don't you smell that damn battery overheating?" Then he turned to pay attention to the task of landing Fat Albert on the grass next to the unused runway. I, in the meantime, was laughing so hysterically that I couldn't talk. John slammed the Huey onto the ground and proceeded with an emergency shutdown.

    Still laughing too hard to talk, I could only grab the throttle and prevent John from shutting down the engine. Finally, he figured out that something was up and relented.

    When we compared notes, it turns out that my two moose calls were not as denatured as I had thought. Apparently the open cabin door had created a circulation in the cockpit which drew the odor away from me and circulated it over to the other side where John could enjoy it. Having no clue regarding the source of what he described as "the foulest, rotten-egg stench I have ever smelled in my life", John assumed that the battery was overheating and about to blow.

    John and I continued to fly together for may years after this incident. John, being somewhat of a bullshit artist told the story to other unit members and to anyone who would listen. Each time it became a bit more embellished until he claimed that he had to land the aircraft blind because his eyes were watering and there was a brown film over the inside of the windshield.
     
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  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    OMG! :clap1: Wasn't there a fart thread yesterday? :laugh:
     
  3. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Love it!:thup:

    Nothing struck so much fear as that damn battery. Only had one boil myself. ;)
     
  4. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    Why yes. It's all part of my plan to raise the tone of this forum.

    heh heh.



    ;)
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Tone? You are trying to raise the tone? Sounds like something else perchance! Very funny, would rep if I could.
     

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