McGuire Rig Rescue
John W. Korsbeck
Rat Pack 17, 69-70
I had to use the McGuire rig on several occasions. One of the more memorable one was at Mai Loc Oct/Nov 69. Duke Payne & I were both about to get our AC orders and did a lot of PICing with each other.
One of Delta's teams became compromised on their 2nd or 3rd day out and was on THE RUN. The weather was NOT FOR SHIT! And everyone and anyone was on call to make an attempt to pull one of them out when the possibility arose. Over the next 2 or 3 days I think individual 'grabs' were made all over the area until there were 1 US and 2 RR's left on the ground and they were scattered and not in contact w/each other. Late one afternoon and getting dark & foggy and drizzling, Duke & I were sent out to attempt a pick up of the SF team lead. With 2 WP in tow we headed SE of Mai Loc into some pretty rough country. The guns finally made radio contact with the SGT and he was in a box canyon - complete with waterfall and all and the ceiling was almost nil. When we got over the pick up point we were about 60 - 70 feet off the ground with the main rotor in the clouds. The box canyon was so small, only one C-model could come in at a time and they had to fly along one side of us - they would go IFR if they flew over the top of us. We hovered around for what seemed like days - but probably about 15 - 20 minutes trying to find a spot where the Sgt could get a hook up clearing. Occasionally a green or orange "firefly" would traverse the area - but I'm sure it was shooting at sounds. When the Sgt finally got hooked on - we had a slight problem on our hands. In order to get him above the tree tops - we were going to be IFR. I took my best shot at a compass heading that SHOULD take us through a saddle in the ridge line with extra care we started a vertical T/O, turned to my SWAGed heading and once we figured we had climbed approx. 200 - 300 ft, started a slow forward flight. Once thru translational lift we whopped along totally IFR at about 25 Kts. Hoping we weren't dragging our SF troop through the trees. After 6 - 8 clicks and an eternity of time - we spied a hole in the soup. With the guns keeping a wary eye out; we landed and put our "very happy" team Sgt in the back coiled up our rope and went back to the barn. SF was overheard to say later " Damn it sure is strange to look up the rope and see nothing but clouds." And TINS !!!
John K RP 17