Huey’s In My Life

I was working on my log book last week and noticed I’d just gone over 6,000 hours of Huey time…in celebration here are “some” of the Huey’s I’ve flown.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4UFSoGOgag

 

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Things you can see only in Alaska

I was on a fire the other day and the Incident Commander came over to my
parked helicopter to discussion employment of the helicopter on the fire.
“Reb” was wearing and very nice Elk Skin Jacket with Moose horn buttons.  In
shell loops on the front of the jacket were four .375 Caliber Cartridges.
As Reb explained his choice of rifle to carry while fighting fire, ” I only
want to shoot once”.  This elegant jacket would sell for no less than 600
dollars in Aspin Co.,  Reb had made it from animals he had harvested and
ate, how cool is that?
While eating breakfast this morning in Glennallen Ak, I was reading the
paper and saw the article on eating “Sweet and Sour Snowshoe Rabbits”…in
the next table over a very nice family of six was eating breakfast…the
little four or five year old girl was telling her Mom, ” I want pancakes not
Moose for breakfast”.

Ken Carlton
Two Hotel Lima

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Down At Copper River


I thought I let everyone know how things are going in Alaska.  First of all
I have a new mechanic, Al, another Marine NCO, like Jack.  Both are self
motivated, and very knowledgeable about the 212, but Jack was one heck of a cook and is sorely missed.  Hey Jack, everyone asks about you and I’ve been
telling them your in jail…just kidding.
The trip went very smoothly, 2400 miles and 17.9 hours of flight time.  We
had some snow showers, but was able to dodge around them.  Everything is
frozen in British Columbia and Yukon, iced over lakes and rivers with lots
of snow still the ground.  Getting back in the good old USA proved to be a
chore as they’ve changed the Customs requirements from last year.  (feel
free to call me if you need info on this this requirement) But,  I was able
get clearances through the internet (no phone calls) and cleared customs at
the Port of Entry on the Alaskan Hwy 80 miles east of Tok.  We landed right
smack dab in the middle of the Alaskan Hwy and had traffic stopped both ways
as the Customs Agents checked us out with Geiger Counters. I explained we
had no dirty bombs but lots of dirty underwear…it wasn’t funny then
either.  How far was traffic backed up….there was no traffic…so no
problem.
We got to Tok and immediately took two days off.  I used one of my days to
drop Sid off at Fairbanks Airport for his trip back to the lower 48.  He was
my Co-Pilot on the way up and did a great job.  Our first day on the job was
a paper work drill, then the next day we were sent to the most beautiful
part of Alaska, Copper River.  We’ve had one fire and a lot of refresher
training for me and the Helitack crew.  Feel free to call me anytime, I’m
one hour ahead of California time.

Ken Carlton
Alaska, 2 Hotel Lima

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Mountain flying in Alaska

So you want to fly in Alaska?  Well, a lot of flying on fires occurs at 500 feet above sea level to 2,000 feet.  Not very high and certainly the Bell 212 can fly at maximum gross weight at these altitudes, 11,200 pounds.  It was originally designed for over water flights.  So flying on fires involves, crew shuttle, long lines, water dropping and recons. The thing is there are very few places to refuel, so fuel management becomes an issue to contend with.  I carry a barrel hand pump with me, along with young strong helitack crewmembers to pump the Jet-A into 2 Hotel Lima.

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Mountain flying in Alaska (Picture 2)

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The Bell Hotel

Ken Carlton slept here, yes he did.  I am a happy, frequent sleeper in the Bell Hotel. I first started using helicopters to sleep, in 1969.  At night one of the RLO’s (Real Live Officers) a derisive term coined by young Warrant Officers to describe the Commissioned Officers, had to be on the ready reaction flight.  It often turned out that my turn as Aircraft Commander of a Charley Model Gunship, would occur after I’d already flown eight or ten hours.  It wasn’t uncommon to over 100 hours per month, and several months I flew 150 hours.  The ready reaction flight was for counter rocket and mortar attack.  As Dong Tam was attacked several times a week it we were often flying around the Dong Tam perimeter shooting rockets back at the VC at three AM.

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Chicken Plate (Picture)

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