CYCLIC CLIMBS AND AIRBURSTS ©
While working the Vi Tanh area of the Delta on a routine C&L
mission, we were assigned to take some Advisors to a little outpost just south
and east of Vi Tanh, we were advised to make a drop off, leave and then return
at 1400 to pick these guys up. Do not shut down at the outpost as they
get mortared every time an aircraft is seen sitting in the compound (we were to
land inside the wire).
All was going according to plan, made a high speed, high rate of
descent approach, landed, pax out, pull pitch. We just got stabilized in
our climb, 60kts, 1500 fpm, when across the nose appears four small black
clouds, WTFO? It took a second to realize that they were airbursts, not
having seen or heard of them before, we were momentarily confused. Upon
realization as to what they were, I did an immediate right turn, bottomed pitch
and dropped the nose, diving for the ground! Made a 180 degree descending
turn, pulled out at about 20 ft, redlined everything going away from the
"airbursts" (showing them my ass), after running low level, very fast
for about five miles, I initiated a hard cyclic climb to about 5K altitude,
leveled off and turned for Vi Tanh. Noticed a substantial 1 to 1 vertical
vibration in the aircraft, so I asked my CP. (Barry Billman) to take the
aircraft (I thought it might be me, since I was quite shaken at this point),
the vibration was still there! We slowed to 60kts so we could at least
read the instruments and talked about putting the aircraft down, but elected to
continue to Vi Tanh (about 15 minutes away at this point), made Vi Tanh
reported to the TOC what we had experienced and requested maintenance from Soc
Trang to come out and check the AC.
It turns out that we had cracked some transmission mounts and
only had one good one left. I guess I over stressed the AC during my
violent maneuvers. As to the gun, our armed platoon escorted another
slick into the outpost to evacuate the folks we took in, but never received any
fire, nor could they locate the gun. Of course we accused of seeing
but Barry and I knew what we had
witnessed and kept to our story!
Yes, Huey's will do cyclic climbs very well, and yes there were
airbursts in the Delta....
Vinh Long RVN
A Co. 101st. Avn. Bn.
Soc Trang RVN
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