Some of the A/101 Avn Pilots I flew with in Vietnam

There are only a few pilots I can really recall flying with at The Hideout. As with all of you my memories fade a bit. I need to vent steam as it comes to me. You understand.

Captain Randy Lassiter was one. I was doorgunner and had flown C&C with John Kennedy when I finally flew a line ship.
The very first day as we were flying North past Evans I failed to mention a C-130 that was on a left dog leg on my side from the East. I knew we were gonna be gone North past it before it got near but Lassiter spotted it and jumped my shit on ICS. I learned to advise the pilots of any and all aircraft from then on.
We went to Eagle POL later and I went to the fire extinguisher like a good doorgunner.
I failed to open the pilot's door and slide the armored side plate back first.
Another bad cherry mistake.
Were these incidents with Captain Lassiter or Captain Fuchs. I flew with both but can't recall.
At my time or maybe my luck, I never had a permanent pilot for more than a month or so as we became 2/17th Cav and  hads lots of changes.
I do recall another of the best pilots I ever flew with. That was Jerry Simpson.
There was a small flight line re-organization about mid tour. I was a seasoned CE by then and did my job.
At The Big Board in operations, we had to check every evening. I had my AC for the next mornings 0500 crank-up as some cat named Simpson.
Another CE that was checking the board  told me that Simpson was a lifer and tough to get along with as an AC. He was a tight ass and too damn strack.
That's exactly the way the dude was when I met him as the CE before crank.
Read damn near the whole log book, had me open the engine cowlings, got on the stinger and checked  the tail rotor linkages, climbed on top and checked every push-pull tube and the swash plate, checked the chin bubbles for cleanliness and was a tight ass.
As you all know by now, the guy didn't know me and did a thorough pre-flight.
Jerry Simpson was a fine pilot. In LZ's he moved the skids and tail exactly as I said. After he trusted me we were a pretty good aircraft.
Jerry's mental recall and a copy he had of my Bronze Star orders, helped my VA claim like hell.
I talked with Jerry (cyber) some the last few days.
If you look at the A101 crewlist you may see that Jerry was flying UPS big jets when he logged in. He is flying some Pacific runs with the 757 and 767 now.
We gotta get him to a reunion.
Mike Bright is the third. Mike came with the Charlie Gunships when we became the F'Comancheros with F-Troop 2/17 Calvary. Mike was another tight ass. He never even grinned then and after flying many many civilian hours with him he still is somber.
Mike now has a little over 12,000 hours in mostly rotorwing and some fixed wing including twin engine.
Mike was Chief pilot for Abu Daubi Helicopters when he wrote letters in support of my VA claim from that country.
He got used to me and let me shoot my Greasegun all I wanted and saw off the barrels of my 60's.
One day in the lower Ashau we were lower Red Flight on a Pink Team. The other gunship stayed high. The Loach was digging in the weeds and under the trees and spotted a round metallic canister and announced that he was gonna use his side minigun to bust it.
The next thing we hear is a pilot screaming that he is blind from CS gas. It was from a C-130 CS drop or something and the gooks hadn't found it.
The pilot pulled pitch into the unknown and had no sense of spatiality.
Mike dove us down with a hard pedal and near broke the cyclic stick off forward and we got near the blind pilot.  Mike talked him thru recovery and up to altitude where the cockpit cleared and he regained his vision.
That's some of MY pilots.
Gary Lee Stamey

© All Stories are under copyright to the authors and may not be copied or used in any matter without the permission of Author. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 1998-2003 A/101 AVN. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09/27/03.

Home / 101st Aviation Battalion History / A trip to FSB Rockpile / Richmond / BBQ Deer / BOOM BOOM / The Boot / Bug Eater / CCN 1970 / The Counter Terrorist Raid / Cyclic Climbs and Airbursts / Miss America and Dan Feezell / FLY DELTA’S BIG JETS / Hideout Hog / The Hand / A/101 and Hamburger Hill / The Hog / A Hot Extraction / Kosovo Trip After Action Report / Jump Over to the Other Side / Just say it was the Comancheros / Raid on the Danang Deep Water Pier / The Long Journey Home / LZ LOLO, Lam Son 719 / LZ LOLO 03 Mar 1971 / Recollections of Lam Son 719 / Pilots I flew with / A Reading from the First Book of Rucker / Night Mission and Milo's Tower / Summary of September 14, 1970 CCN mission / UFO / SOG HALO Extraction / The Spring of 69 was an exciting time to be a Coma-Coma-Comanchero / Stormy Weather / VI TANH 1965 / Weird Harold / Aviation songs that were sung by Crewmen / Poems submitted by Veterans