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...Taken from an Internet Article.

Bradford Moulton, whose nephew was Capt. Benjamin Moulton, 27, said he wished the men would have been kept "on the ground" during the "thousand-year storm" when they were flying from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego on a routine training exercise.

"They’re Marines, they fly in nasty weather, they do what they’re supposed to do," he told the Post, "but I sure wish the operations officer would have kept them on the ground." Moulton was one of two pilots on the helicopter.

Gregory Davis, a retired naval aviation officer and Lance Cpl. Donovan Davis’ father stated, "Not only did it not have to happen, it should not have happened."

With the utmost Respect to the 5 Marines, and Their Families, who Lost Their Lives, in the Line of Duty.

My Experience.

When there is NO Reference!! Blinded!

"...It's NOT What IS Happening! It's WHAT the Pilot BELIEVES is Happening!!" A 'Imagined Pressure' felt under a 'Bum' the Seat of the Pants, a Slight Correction, then a 'Counter' Correction....when that escalates, You're Done!!

The Joystick, Foot Pedals...A Pilot when Asked "what is it Like, Flying a Helicopter?", "It's like Playing Violin, While Balancing on a Beachball". Who is more Fatigued The Helicopter Pilot, Or the 'Fixed-Wing' Pilot?? The Helicopter Pilot! He Must Make Constant 'Adjustments' within the 'Flight Controls'. An Airplane Pilot can, pretty much 'Relax' as the Plane Goes where You 'Guide' It. Ofcourse, this all depends on the current Situation.

At the Controls of a Helicopter, "...if You just THINK 'Right', the Ship will Head RIGHT!!" Yes! The Hydraulics are That Sensitive!

A 'Whiteout' is a term usually used to describe a Winter Blizzard, as in Severely Wind-Blown Snow and Ice, to where one can not see their hand in front of their Face. Blinded By all White!

A 'Whiteout', can also mean an Aircraft Windshield, where the Pilot Can Not see Through It.

Now, I have been Scared Many times in My Life. Motorcycles Crashes, Car Crashes...Helicopter 'Forced' Landings...But I have never been so 'Stone-Cold Scared' as I am about to tell You. Our Lives were 'hanging by a 'Thread'. We knew we were Going to Die!  Yes! I said a Prayer. ***** sat Beside Me. There is Only one reason I am here to write this...The Best Pilots in the World!! Read-On.

...In a Chinook, Flying North from Can-Tho, at a Approximate Elevation of 3000 Feet, at a 'Normal' Cruising Speed.

The following is All, Over the Ships' Intercom, Pilot To Pilot:

..."All Crew Stay OFF the Intercom!!"

..."Hold Steady" (in a soft reassuring tone)

..."Hold Steady"

..."Hold Steady" (I had a clue of what was up, Looking out of My Rightside Window. All I could see was a THICK white FOG, swirling past and against the Ship. The Rotors were Not Blowing this away. We had Just flown into a Cloud Bank. Serious!!) PANIC is Not an Option, Under Panic, One loses Control.

..."Hold Steady"

..."Hold Steady"

"Let the Ship FLY Itself!!" "Hands-Off"

..."Hold Steady" (I had to see what was going on in the cockpit. I left My Post to take a Peek)

..."Hold Steady" (careful Not to Distract, I Look In.)

..."Hold Steady"

The first thing I see, the Windshield is 'Locked-In' White!! The Cloud is Fully Against, and touching the Windshield, and is Roiling! Rolling up and over , up and over...As if you would lay a Thick Blanket of 'Cotton-Ball' Material, to completely Cover the Screen.

Both Pilots are focused on the Instrument Panel. The Left Seat Pilot is Boosting Confidence by Giving Conformation. The Right seat Pilot was 'Formerly', flying the Chinook, But, NOT Now! He still has his Feet on the 'Yaw Pedals', But His Hands...

...If You take Both Hands, Touch  both thumbs together and touch both Index Fingers Together...You form a 'Circle'.

"... Let the Ship Fly Itself"

The Pilot had his hands around the Joystick in this Manner. Emphasis...NEVER Touching The Stick, with a Clearence of 1/2" all around it, the Joystick is 'Minutely' Rattling within his 'Non-Grip'. Viabrating in Sync to the 6 Rotor Blades. This is how the Pilot lets the Ship Fly itself, cruising Forward, Excellence! Also, the Pilot Must Maintain NO Movement on the Pedals!

...we are going on to Half a Minute, towards 1 Minute. Seems we are Not coming out of this, soon!!

..."Hold Steady"

..."Hold Steady"

Remember, 'Think Right', Going Right. It's ALL what the Pilot THINKS Is Happening!!! In a Chinook the Tail and Nose 'Like' to Exchange Orientation. And, the Ship can become 'Inverted' in an Instant! The Pilot Makes ONE Movement, He 'Thinks', 'Over-Corrects', then tries to Correct 'Back'. With No's All Over, we're Inverted and heading for the Ground!! We are Killed!

I have a Chill going up my spine, how long will this go on? Is This how I will 'Go Out'? Another Prayer.

..."Hold Steady"

We are past Two Minutes...Possibly, much Longer.

..."Hold Steady"

..."Hold Steady"

A Break in the Cloud! a Glimpse of Sunlight...we are Saved. Thank You Blessed Father.

Some things in Nam, you'll Never forget, Not This! Thought I Might Die...Not This Day!!

Flyboys Never let You Down! The Best Pilots in the World!

I know the Marine Pilots are the Most Well Trained. Best advanced Equipment. Well trained Crew. The Storm was so Severe with High said, a 'Thousand Year' Storm, no Pilot could be expected to Maintain his ship in that weather. Highly trained to fly 'on Instruments' and at Night. There is a Possibility of being hit by Lightning, this would Knock-Out all Avionics, in My View! And we were Not Flying in a Storm with Severe Winds!!


Last edited by marlinjack
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