From the article,
and on another occasion (the Colonel) “warmed a burrito on the exhaust duct of the aircraft.”
I cannot stand by and allow this injustice to go unaddressed. The exhaust duct is designed for warming burritos and crew chiefs (at least on the UH-60). Any crew member who has operated in the cold knows about the APU exhaust dance. Burning the back of your knees then racing into the cold, only to freeze and repeat. You would be amazed how fucking cold it is standing under a 58ft diameter fan when it is like… 14 outside…
Crew coordination is the single most important factor in aviation, military, civilian, kite it does not matter.
Go through most crash records, there is a good chance a failure or misunderstanding in crew communication probably leads to the incident.
Crew coordination that works properly resulted in me identifying a warning light from our transmission oil chip detector. The chip detector is an open electrical sensor that is placed inside of all the transmission components.
The purpose of the detector is to capture flakes of metal that naturally shred off in the moving components. With a magnet and an amperage high enough to burn off what is called “fuzz,” the sensor typically does not illuminate until there is a piece of metal that sticks to the magnet and closes the circuit causing illumination light to appear on the central control board.
I don’t recall exactly but I believe if the light stays on for more than 30 seconds then the next step is to proceed the land as quickly as possible.
The transmission on the Black Hawk is very well built. It is designed to run without its complement of 7 gallons of aviation oil for up to 30 minutes. So the illumination of this light typically means that the transmission is in the process of imploding.
In this particular case, we end up landing at an unsecured base and waiting several hours until another flight of helicopters could come outs to drop off a test pilot. We release one of the crew chiefs and just a crew of three returned back to the base. We reduce the crew in case the helicopter did crash so that we can keep that precious flight schedule going.
The aircraft was inspected and it was determined that its the transmission was fine.
Flying on the same helicopter a week later once it came out of inspection with the same pilots we would have the same light illuminate. This of course cause sadness as we had to conduct an emergency landing… Again… Sadness is depicted in the picture below.
This time the transmission was disassembled and found to be broken, so new transmission it is.
Proper crew coordination is what caused the safe landing of the aircraft in both events. Had this fuck nugget been at the controls it seems that he would not have believed a junior enlisted soldier considering his disdain for his own officers.
It is officers like that who take off from a landing zone without making sure that their crew chief (me) is actually inside the helicopter strapped into my seat and set of standing on the wheel, which is not a seat, nor has a seatbelt.
More to follow… Maybe…