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  1. Person Page - 1914
  2. List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–1954)
  3. prairie pilot lady luck was on my side the stories of walter d williams Manual
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So we have decided to compile some of these stories into a new book that we hope to release in Thus, if you are a Prairie pilot, or a Canadian pilot, or you know someone who is and has a story or two to tell, DriverWorks Ink invites you to share those short stories or poems for this non-fiction book tentatively titled Stories of Prairie Pilots. We know that there are some incredible stories of flying danger, heroism, helping, joy, adventure, silliness, and more out there. We want to record and share these stories with our readers.

Please write your story or invite someone you know to share their story with us. Stories should be from words to 1, words. Photos may be submitted upon acceptance of your story. Please provide details including your name, address, phone number, and email address, as well as the names, dates, location and other details of the people and places in your story.

It would be best to ask the permission of the people you are naming in your story before you send us the story, but it is most important that the story be true and not libellous.

Person Page - 1914

You can get around using real names by using phrases such as "a man I'll call Jim" or "a man I know. We carried along lull canteens with spares. We were outfitted with our chicken plates body armor and had dug around for extra butt plates armored seat pads as well.

And we had adjusted the extraction harness basically a parachute-type harness to fit something we had been lax about previously. Butch commented that "Gee you guys are taking this pretty seriously, looks like you're loaded for BEAR. I asked Butch if he had bullets enough for the big. He always joked that those puny little.

He kind of grinned until he realized I wasn't joking at all. We boarded the aircraft and swung around the pattern to the familiar landing spot for the Special Forces hanger area. We went in to be briefed this is very early morning- 0:dark thirty. Some Special Forces guys mission loaded the birds while we were inside. Arriving back at the aircraft, I was concerned to find the ladder system has been loaded on my bird.

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This bothered me A LOT. It was not just because after the previous day's experience that I had a tremendous urge to never see one of the friggin things again.

List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–1954)

It was also because this denoted us as a chase bird for the one actually going into the LZ. This was a last minute change and definitely rubbed me the wrong way.

Maybe that's why actual combat as opposed to the zoomin-around, shootin-guns fill' kind never really agreed with me. You had to stay flexible, not my most solid trait. But what's done is done and we are going to be the chase bird. Joe Gross would pilot the second extraction bird with his crew.

prairie pilot lady luck was on my side the stories of walter d williams Manual

I believe this is where the Rattler bird 71st Assault Helicopter Company makes its appearance, as second chase bird. Two of this Rattler bird's crew would never return from Laos. However, at the ripe old age of 19 whatever tact I could muster was invariably masked by a severe case of chronic smart ass.

I assumed that our two add-on pacs had overlooked the obvious. Fair enough. The Colonel is carrying the Car a carbine similar to an M16 I wind up using later that day. We lifted off and followed the now familiar route to Kham Duc, performed the ritual refuel, then continued on to the battleground. It was still early morning when we arrived in the vicinity.

With the dawn, the NVA had renewed their assaults on the beleaguered teams. At one point I heard the Master sergeant that we had inserted yesterday, whose call sign was One Zero, shouting on FM radio.

Rangers that you could tell when you put the hurt on the enemy because they'd be chopping tree limbs for litters for their wounded. No matter what is said about the North Vietnamese, they were as professionally opposed to leaving their dead and wounded as we were. Now it's time to extract. The approach route for Marty Ott and crew will be the same as the previous day with a Cobra lead and a Cobra trail. Butch will take us in roughly astern of the trailing Cobra at his 5 o'clock position right rear quarter. This position enables us to view Marty all the way to the LZ and then we move into a racetrack pattern that we can stretch out as need be in order to be on time to pick him up as he comes out.

We are on a westerly heading and then turn abruptly right to the final approach.

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We are well behind the trail Cobra, but hauling ass. Odie gets reintroduced to his photographer buddies. He gives them a very warm greeting to be sure, one continuous burst from the first flash he sees until we turn right east. This brings the friendlies on to his side of the aircraft, he shuts his M60 down. I see no direct fire on my side but fire on likely looking defenses and tree line. I shut my M60 down as we near the LZ. My view of Marty is unobstructed. It is a chilling view as we sweep past.

Marty has just flared to a stop and is hovering down into the trees. The tree tops are blowing back but the LZ is still incredibly small-- there's no way he'll make it. I think, please God help him, Garza and Pickett. They are both leaned out of the helicopter going hot and talking Marty down.

We broke night and started around again. As we traveled away, the sound of firing dropped and we were out of it. It shouldn't take long but we had no way of knowing the depth of hell our fellow Minutemen were in. We later learned that Garza spent his time outside the helicopter in the LZ running around picking up and carrying the wounded aboard.

He is wounded by gunfire during this endeavor but carries on, boards the aircraft and continues to fire his M60 in defense of his pilots and aircraft. Our first word I have no idea how long they were down in there, but a half century sounds about right was when Marty keyed his mike, barely audible over the roar of gunfire, he simply says, "Comin' Out.

The main rotor looks like a giant rotary mower, the blades visibly slowing. Okay here we go. We angle away from Marty, still keeping him in sight until he builds air speed and then close on him.

What we see is a mess. The wounded are in a heap in the cargo area and Garza is slumped but manning the fire extinguisher. We do a pass underneath to check out the severity of the damage. It is obvious that the chin bubbles and cockpit plexiglass are shot out. In addition, Odie and I are treated to a JP-4 fuel shower mixed with a large quantity of hydraulic fluid. We are at approximately 1, to 2, feet above ground level in high mountains, over a solid cloud deck. The strain of the moment is unreal as we continue to perform our jobs. This is no time to break down into the 'woe is us' mode.

It is out of our hands, our friends are going to go down.