Thursday, April 03, 2008

So... I was riding my new girlfriend.

(There is a lot of detail in the bigger pictures.)

The Flightline!

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.


amateur.sophist said...

that's a huge bitch

Notorious said...

Yes... pretty much... 13,000 Kg worth. The biggest difference is the way you get the aircraft to do what you want. In the Huey, most of the time you move the aircraft right to where you want it, using will power and positive action. In this thing, you set the aircraft into the parameters you want and physics does its thing. For example, If I want to slow the Huey from 100 knots to 60 knots, I would lower the collective and pull up the nose. The airspeed would start to drop as I pulled up. The responce would be very immediate and obvious. In the Mi-17, I pull back on the cyclic, and lower the collective the same way but it takes a second or two before anything happens. Then once the nose is up, it takes a few potatoes before the speed starts to come down. I can feel that you could throw it around like a huey, but it takes more energy from you... sort of like making a lazy person do something fast... you can make it happen, but it is just a lot of work.