Friday, May 1, 2009

"Flyby" details

 I just got the "fifty dollars is fifty dollars" e-mail from Jeff the Trucker and just about busted a gut laughing. That would be because I almost went the way of "Esther" during that flyby. It seems that the H-34 Choctaw I was in (Huey's came out just shortly before I left) had only one output jack for a headset, and that was by the crew chief's seat next to, and just forward of the sliding door (they only had the one) on the right hand side of the aircraft (cap. 14 + a crew of 3). As I had to give directions to the pilot, I was seated in that seat. During one of the go-around's, the crew chief motioned me over to the left side to take a photo or three for him. Immediately after, we were in position to take more pictures from the open R/H sliding door, so I hurried over, sat down and commenced to use my two still cameras and the 8mm movie camera that one of the officers wanted me to use. After a moment or two, I noticed the crew chief waving his arms (he had no intercom access) at me. I looked at him and he motioned down at my waist, making a closing motion with his hands. Yes, ol' dummah here had been leaning out of the aircraft without his seat belt being fastened, just a'merrily snapping away - it was a Kodak Moment indeed. And one I'll never forget.

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