I figured I would tell a story or two about my time in the USMC. I am a 6173 which is a CH-53E crewchief. 53s are the current heavy lift helicopters for the Marines. i'll start a different thread to go into more detail and post pics. Anyway I will tell two stories both from my time in Pakistan last fall.
1. The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit 53 detatchment was deployed to pakistan to provide flood relief to the 3 million people displaced there. it was 145 degrees some days with 100% humidity. with 53s over the 3 month period we delivered 3 million pounds of food and supplies to the people of pakistan. The average load of an aircraft was 18,600lbs. That equals roughly 180 bags of flour which weigh about 80-100 lbs. One day we had a large group of people stranded on an island surrounded by flood water. the only way in was by air. We decided to up the payload on the aircraft. we upped it to 20,000lbs. Then my crew loaded 22,500 lbs worth of flour and biscuits. we were so heavy we could not take off vertically, we had to launch like an airplane. we could only take 5000lbs of fuel because of the weight. and average fuel load is 14,500lbs. So we get off the ground and head to our target town, the engines are screaming and the bird is struggling to reach the cooler air higher up. as we arrive to this town we realize there is no place to land, literally not enough space to land this school bus. Then we locate a road just wide enough to put our main landing gear on. we make the approach and touch down. with only the rear landing gear. we're so heavy we're sinking into the blacktop. and the road begins to collapse under us. we unloaded the entire bird in about 7 min and not a moment too soon. as we took off we left impressions big enough for children to play in. we flew back to re fuel and re load and find another town.
second story: In Pakistan we adopted a stray dog (theyre everywhere in pakistan) we fed her MREs and named her dirk. short for dirka dirka. dirk wound up having puppies Mohommed and jihad (mo and ji) they were our adopted pets and had their own bunker/ doghouse. a couple days before we left we found ji dead in the middle of the hanger her skull crushed. we decided that we werent leaving mo there to the same fate. so mo went with us. we definitly tried to take dirk but she was too afraid of the the aircraft. so this 9 week old puppy flew from pakistan to an undisclosed location where she was adopted because the Navy doesnt allow dogs on ships.
those are my two stories hope you enjoyed them i'll post some pics to prove that these are not made up