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It had to happen sooner or later.

Helicopters break. You hope you're on the ground when it happens, but the odds are pretty much against that, as I can *personally* attest.

Our first one broke outside the wire, with student and 'structor on board -- immediately after an in-flight Q&A about the myriad fling-wing engine malfunctions and their associated emergency procedures, the engine malfunctioned, in a manner reminiscent of FuzzyBear Lioness commenting on one of my squid-snarks.


The appropriate emergency procedure was appropriately performed, and sometime after the (successful) autorotational landing and immediately prior to exiting the aircraft, the student poked the 'structor and pointed outside at the group of AK-armed individuals approaching, saying, "We have an audience."

A *friendly* audience, fortunately, and their backup began rolling into sight even before they got to the aircraft.

Army guys.

*Iraqi* Army guys. They'd been on patrol, saw the helicopter go down and come over to see who'd dropped in. Should've seen their faces when they found out one of the pilots was Iraqi. Instant collective confidence boost. Iraqi flags popped up on the vehicles and the troops spread out to secure the area until the cavalry -- in the form of one of our mechanics -- arrived. Then they all got together for a debrief. *We* taught them about the importance of a debrief -- what went right, what went wrong, what can be done differently or better.

US troops usually debrief back at The House. These guys did it on the spot.

Oh, yeah, the student pilot soloed yesterday. The last two in the class soloed this afternoon, and now the real work starts.

Scratch that. The real work was started a couple years ago -- we're already in the continuation phase...

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Very nicely done.  Except for the 3 posts but that's the Vista advantage.

Thanks for keeping us informed and keeping those guys well trained.
Sounds like good work all around - including the training!

Awfully convenient for it to wait until just after they went over what to do in that situation.  Sounds like good work by the GA detail - same thing with dropping down on friendlies.

*huge grin*
Argent - PTHTBTbtbtbtbtb!

Bill - Love it!  The teaching benefit of having to deal with engine troubles *almost* makes me wonder if the poor guy was set up.  Great to hear about the new pilots and their solo flights.
The reason I stopped discussing hydraulic failures in the Cobra was because both times I started discussing it with the guy I was training, the hydraulics failed.
Think you could start discussing IED premature detonation during transport failures for AQI?

Jus' axin'......
"Flingwing"? I don't think I've seen that before, but it's apt.
Think you could start discussing IED premature detonation...

Ummmmmmm -- guys usually don't discuss that "premature" stuff much...

That's just a great story all around!  Good job to all - The Iraqi Army patrol and their trainers, and the Iraqi pilot and his trainers.
Great story!
Good job!
Job Well Done.


Huntress! You're back!

Congrats to all involved.
Glad it turned out this way. Small signs of hope.
Nephew rescues downed aircraft in Af/Pak as we speak. He can't wait to start training ANA to do their own "business". Thinks it'll happen while he's there....
Glad to hear it turned out well.

My grandfather always likes to tell us that his favorite part of being an Army officer was hitching rides on the helicopter training flights when they practiced autorotations.

Autorotations are COOL. Though I've only experienced them under training conditions, not real, live, 'Oh crap" conditions.


Still, very cool that they walked away from it all and that they were audienced (is that a word??) by their own Army. Outstanding!

Michael Yon is watching you......

My favorite type of landing, a simulated engine out. Keep practicing until they are second nature. Too many rotor wing craft are lost just because of an engine malfunction and the pilot not having the confidence to turn the machine, instantly, into a gyroplane. 
MacGyver wants to know how badly it broke.
Well, Steve, there are engine malfunctions and there are fuel control malfunctions that manifest as engine malfunctions, and an immediate autorotation isn't necessarily the optimum solution. Fortunately, you've usually got a full half-second to analyze the problem and react appropriately.

Tell Mac thanks for the offer, HF6, but the MTP flew it back about an hour after they examined the systems, did some runup tests and figured it was one of those Unexplained Engine Failures the -58A/C is prone to.

What's interesting is that the Dash Twenty-Three outlines the procedures for testing after a UEF occurs, but the Dash Ten doesn't bring your attention to the fact that -58 UEFs occur so often that it's now No Big Deal.

For the uninitiated, the Dash Ten is the Operator's Manual. You'd figure the Army would want the Operator to be aware the -58 is prone to UEF, but then, the Army denied it had a problem with LTE until about thirty pilots had been killed because they didn't know how to recover from LTE and spun in...
*waving hiya to Mike Yon*
My grandfather always likes to tell us that his favorite part of being an Army officer was hitching rides on the helicopter training flights when they practiced autorotations.

SHHHHH! Ixnay on the assengerspay during SEFs!

Never did that. Never ever took passengers on training flights. Ever..

Ummmmm -- tell your grandfather he wasn't a passenger, he was a *Safety Observer*...

The AOPA monthly mag. had a short article about the training program in progress building the Iraqi air force. The article dealt primarily with fixed wing instruction and what student and instructor must bring on flights in the event they are forced down "outside the wire."  
Good show!

I hope my girlfriend helped him train. She was a controller at an RAF base where some ofteh Iraqis have been doing their elementary flight training.
She was a controller at an RAF base where some of the Iraqis have been doing their elementary flight training.

A lot of the previously-rated guys did their transitions in England -- Gazelles, mostly -- and CAFTT runs the operation at Taji, where they transition to the OH-58 and the Mi-!7. One of my favorite Brits is a Liaison Officer there.

Kirkuk is The Schoolhouse -- strictly Initial Entry, Huey II Transitions, Instrument Qualification, and Instructor Pilot Training.

Alls well that ends well.  Good story. 

Good story.  Just FYI, SFC M* and myself were the original trainers back in '05, before CAFTT.  We were an army of two.  He assembled, and I flew, the original 5 Jetrangers over from BIAP in May '05.

Did many touchdown autos with COL A*, COL S*, and COL AB* to the strip as well as the east ramp at Taji.   Used to eat in the Blue DFAC, gotta love the big fish.