They Gave Him the Whole Helicopter
John "JK" Korsbeck
Rat Pack 69-70
Everyone must admit that there were a lot of humorous episodes intermingled with
the NOT SO FUNNY times in Vietnam. Here is one that was extremely funny – and
sounds like something Oxley would do !!
One afternoon we had landed at POL in Ban My Thout and after refueling, we had
shut down while waiting for whatever it was we were waiting for.
A 155thAHC ‘ slick ‘ was landing directly toward their area on the north side of the
runway. I’m not sure what caused me to take notice, but the a/c was being piloted
by only one ‘ driver’. That in itself was not all that unusual because a lot of Maint.
Test flights were flown by just one pilot. However, the pilot was sitting
IN THE LEFT SEAT and the back was filled with passengers – Making that
To add to the mystery, the approach was being flown at a much higher speed than
was normal. Furthermore, the a/c landed to an area that was neither POL,
or Parking, or a 155th company spot.
Upon touchdown – everyone and I mean EVERYONE UN-ASSED the a/c, pilot
included ! It looked like a flock of pigeons scattering after the first shot has been
fired. The next thing you knew was that a TOTALLY UNMANNED “H” model was
sitting on the ground - running and not a soul onboard.
Thinking that maybe a FIRE or something drastic was taking place, we ran
over to the a/c to help if it was needed. Mostly all we could cipher was
everyone who had been onboard were all trying to talk at once, arms were
being waved all over the place – it looked like a Mexican Fire Drill !!!!
As a little calm began to return to the scene, we began to understand
what it was that was creating the calamity. The AC was flying alone
because the Peter Pilot had gotten out of his RIGHT seat and moved
back with the other Packs in the back after making a discovery !
It seem that a 5 – 6 ft Cobra was discovered ( while they were at altitude )
coiled up in the right Chin-Bubble.
Their number one concern was to get the aircraft on the ground QUICKLY, which they did.
What we witnessed was the point when:
THEY GAVE THE WHOLE AIRCRAFT TO Mr. COBRA !!!!!