(There is a lot of detail in the bigger pictures.)
Ah yes, my clothes smell like jet exhaust again! Yesterday I flew the Mi-17 for the first time. Flying a new aircraft is like touching some girls boobs who you have never touched before. Exciting, nervous, and your not quite sure how she likes it done. Luckily this chick is very intuitive. Most of the usual techniques work... but don't even think of trying to give her a raze-berry on her stomach... she will break off her tail boom and kill you with it. I learned that from some of her old boyfriends. (Actually the skinny little tailboom does break off from time to time...) The cool thing about learning to fly this thing here is that the instructors have a lot of practical experience about flying this thing in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. A lot of experience...
First ride, the only equipment I brought out to the aircraft was my hands in my pockets... the Flight Engineer had a checklist and a pair of sunglasses, that's it. After take off the FE leans over to me and says "dude the FE instructor is back dealing with his hangover." Indeed... he was actually still enjoying last night I think. We got up to altitude... "VFR" but only in name. The Pilot Instructor opens the window and lights up his cigarette and makes some hand signal for me to do something with the aircraft. I figured it was either slow down or descend, as it turns out it was "Autorotate." So here I we are in the clouds, the IP is smoking, the IF is still rocking from last night, I'm trying to interpret russian sign language, and all the switches and gauges are in nearly incomprehensible Cyrilic, and we are falling out of the sky as fast as gravity and aerodynamics will take us... I started laughing to myself and told the FE... "Holy Shit, this is insane! I love it!" (Junior: I told you an autorotation out of the clouds was an excellent tactic! Now I have tried it. It works Great!)
Guess they just haven't gotten around to a new paint job in a while...
These are several baby birds tied up by their feet hanging from a circute breaker panel. I don't know what they are doing here, but this is a very supersticious country.
Ah look! this diagram is translated! Everything is clear now.