1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

(OT) Ft. Rucker, Ala.......

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Hauxfan, Nov 3, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,085
    Wow! Ft.Rucker, Alabama.

    I was stationed there from about October of 1956 till I went to Korea in June of 1957.

    My recollection of that place was they were training a lot of helicopter pilots and trying out new ideas on how to use them.

    I can remember riding in them so low that we had tree branches stuck in the landing gear.

    I also remember crashing in one, but thank God, no one was hurt.

    The sound of silence is not what you want to hear when your flying at 1200 feet or so.

    Thank God for Auto-rotation or whatever they call it. It lets the rotors keep turning when the engine quits.

    They said if anything happens, you should tighten up your seat belt.

    All the way down, I was trying but couldn't get it to tighten. Come to find out, I was pulling on my pistol belt........lol

    The damned pilots beat us out of the helicopter. They went out the windows and we had to use the door.

    There is more to this story if anyone would like to hear it.

    Just don't have the time now.

    Let's hear some of your service stories.....

    Hauxfan!
     
  2. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,523
    Location:
    Blackshear, Georgia
    Haux, tell us about it. I was there a few months ago. My Father-in-Law was stationed there years before you got there. He was a refueler and in Europe he had to go past the front often to refuel vehicles etc. that got lost and past the front. LOL I always enjoyed hearing him tell about it. He is always very humble telling about it. He's 92 and still has a good memory. Jackie B.
     
  3. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,085
    Well, a little bit more.

    It was the day before I was to go on leave.

    We had just taken off and in a formation of about a dozen helicopters.

    I don't really know how high we were, but it was high enough.

    All I could see down below was those big trees. What kind of trees, I really don't know, but from where I was sitting they were now small trees.

    We had the door open as it was summer time and I in this helicopter where the pilots are up above us.

    [​IMG]

    I was sitting right next to the firewall where the engine was so loud.

    All of a sudden, it was dead silence. I'm thinking, this don't look good.

    We started dropping and I started to tighten my seat belt, but in fact I was trying to tighten my pistol belt.

    I just knew this was the end, because all I could see was those trees getting bigger and bigger.

    All of a sudden we hit the ground and bounced a little bit and our helicopter kept going as we all jumped out.

    Unknown to me, there was a fire road through those trees and the pilots had gotten us to land on it using the auto rotation of the rotors. (I don't understand exactly how it works, as I'm not a pilot, but it lets you down easier than a full crash landing)

    The pilots were back up the road a good 50 yards behind us. They had evacuated using the windows and had gotten the heck out of the copter.

    They did ask us if we were willing to go back up that day, and only one guy said he would go.

    Well, if he went, he was going by himself as the rest of us weren't to gungho about flying that day.

    Never thought of it, but I never did get to thank those two pilots who were flying us that day. Thank God they knew what to do and did their job.

    Never much cared for flying after that either.

    Hauxfan!
     
  4. Snookassassin

    Snookassassin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    235
    I was in Fort Rucker for training, (crew chief UH-1 Huey) in early 1967.

    If you get a chance stop by and visit the aviation museum, it's pretty cool.

    Check out the display for Mike Novosel, Medal of Honor recipient. He was in my company in Vietnam.

    Snookassassin, Clif Adams
     
  5. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,085
    EE, When I was at Ft.Rucker I was in a tank platoon. They only had 5 tanks there and we were used mostly for training with the helicopters.

    Sometimes we used our tanks and sometimes we just rode along in the helicopters as no one had ever used them in combat, and we were trying to figure out the best way to use them. This was before Viet Nam.

    If I had to do it all over again, I might have went to helicopter school. But if I had went then, I would have ended up in Viet Nam and I might not be here at all now.

    Clif, I doubt I ever get back there to Alabama, but if I do, I will stop and see the museum.

    Thanks for the heads up and thanks for reading about part of this old man's Army life.

    Hauxfan!

    Hauxfan!
     
  6. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,085
    Thanks Vern, I was hoping someone would explain that a little bit more to me. I may have benefited from it, but I really didn't know that much about it.

    Thanks again.

    John, I agree with you. I back our military men 100%. Can't say enough good things about what they do for us and how they help to keep our country free.

    Hauxfan!
     
  7. pduryee

    pduryee TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    77
    I spent some time at Rucker myself. On the autorotation think of one of those pinwheels we used to play with if you stick it out the car window the wind passing over the blades will make it rotate, when the engine quits the clutch disengages and allows the rotor to rotate as long as sufficient wind is flowing up through the rotor system. In those old aircraft, like the Sikorsky in your picture or Hueys, we tried to keep the airspeed between about 60 to 90 knots. 60 would give you a steeper angle of decent but slower rate of decent while at 90 you decend faster but could stretch it to go a little further. The idea was to vary rate of decent and angle to allow you to manuever to a suitable crash site. At about 75 feet the pilot would decellerate/dissipate the airspeed and rate of descent by bringing the nose up, the increased airflow would make the rotor rpm speed up a little, at about 10 feet he would increase the pitch in the blades which would slow the rate of decent and help cushion the landing. You get one shot.... a little luck and proper execution the aircraft lands with zero speed and a soft touchdown or something unpleasant. One of my favorite things to practice was autos with a 180 degree turn or simulated engine failures at low level and high speed. But that was in another life.
     
  8. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,364
    Location:
    Prairie State
    Gentlemen:

    I thank you for your service, for the sacrifices you made in order for me to enjoy an American Way of Life. While the military was not part of my path in life, my Father, Uncles and Cousins and dear Friends have served in all branches of the Armed Services, but Coast Guard. Some family work at the Fort as civilian contractors.

    When I'm in Geneva AL, rarely a day goes bye without hearing the whirling of rotors and the sight of helicopters carrying HUGE cement block overhead in multiple training exercises... comforting reminder of our military at work to ensure my grandchildrens' future freedom.

    Hauxfan... thanks for starting this thread,

    Jay Spitz
     
  9. Old Cowboy

    Old Cowboy Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,988
    hey Snookassassin,

    We were prob'ly at Ft Rucker about the same time, early '67. I also went to Army UH-1 helicopter maint school starting about early January, spent a few months in the summer at Ft Riley forming up a new company and arrived "in country" sometime in September '67.

    John C. Saubak

    CE, UH-1H 66-16245

    17th Assault Helicopter Company, 1967-68
     
  10. Snookassassin

    Snookassassin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    235
    Cowboy,

    I left Ft. Rucker, went to Ft. Bragg for some more training then to Vietnam,

    45th Med. Co (Dust Off). My flight platoon was stationed at Lai Khe (1st Inf.
    Div.) but flew all over III corps.

    #67-17007

    Clif Adams
     
  11. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,085
    pduryee, Thanks for explaining the auto rotation some more.

    It wasn't exactly a real smooth landing, but it wasn't real rough either. I'd say the pilot(s) did a superb job of getting us down. No one was hurt and we all walked away.

    Jay, Glad you enjoyed it.

    Hauxfan!
     
  12. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,085
    JayZap, I'm not saying it was the exact one I put in above, but it sure looks a lot like it.

    Plus what you said about the noise of the engine rings true. Like I said, I was sitting right next to where the engine was and it was really loud................and then as if someone had turned it off............dead silence........

    A sound I didn't want to hear.

    Thanks again everyone for contributing to this thread. You've help make it complete........for me......

    Hauxfan!
     
  13. perazzitms

    perazzitms TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    521
    In an autorotation, gravity and altitude are used to keep the blades rotating (think of holding a fan out a car window - no power but the fan rotates). When you get close to the ground you give the collective a yank (changes the angle of the blades) for one last burst of lift to settle down to the ground. Of course this eats up all the energy in the rotor (blades slow down fast) so you only have one shot.
     
  14. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,085
    Well, perazzitms, I'd guess my pilot did it right because we were all able to walk away.

    We had the door open as it was summertime, and all I could see were those big old trees down below.

    I didn't know there was a fire road beneath us, as I was looking out and down.

    I really thought I was a goner that day, as I could just see us hitting those big trees and tumbling to the ground with a big ball of fire finishing us off.

    Thank God that never happened.

    Sometimes I think someone is watching over me.

    Which is perfectly okay with me, as I probably need all the help I can get.

    Thanks again, everyone!

    Hauxfan!
     
  15. Garry

    Garry Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    535
    I have many good memories of Ft.Rucker that I wouldn't trade for anything. I attended the Army rotary wing flight school in 1969 and received my wings on October 21, 1969. After a tour of duty overseas I returned to Ft.Rucker and became a Contact flight instructor. My fellow instructors and I trained student pilots how to fly the Huey including the emergency procedures they might need to save their lives. As an instructor, I have performed thousands of auto rotations and once you get the hang of it you can usually land softer or just as soft will zero or little forward movement as you can with full power. The exception is when you are very heavily loaded with a high density altitude and little to no wind.

    My wife gave birth to our first child at the base hospital in 1971. It was an honor and privilege to serve my country. Thanks for your support.
     
  16. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,364
    Location:
    Prairie State
    When I travel to Geneva County, I take Hwy 231 South from Montgomery into Troy. At Hwy 167, I take that toward Enterprise...

    Heading that way in a few days!

    regards all,

    Jay
     
  17. TOLIPNUG

    TOLIPNUG TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    227
    RUCKER IS ABOUT 4 HRS SOUTH OF BIRMINGHAM ,SSW I THINK. RICK ZINO CW4(RET)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.