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#1653598 - 12/21/06 08:52 PM YANKEE AIR PIRATE 15 Michelin Rubber  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 231
Simon Read Offline
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Simon Read  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 231
Australia
661121 Michelin Rubber

YANKEE AIR PIRATE AAR

With nineteen consecutive Yankee Air Pirate missions flown, our hero is now a Major, and I know a lot more about this sim than I thought possible! I have learned much about combat air operations in this period and theatre too.

There were many bloody battles around the Michelin Rubber plantations. The VC often ambushed convoys when they thought they had an advantage. Fighters were stationed at the ready within a few minutes flight time.

661121 Michelin Rubber (481st TFS)
Weather: - Scattered Clouds 12000 Ft VIS 20 Nm
TOT: - 0730
Aircraft: - (2) F-100D Super Sabres
Flight Time: - 35 Minutes

After Action Report:
Scrambled from Bien Hoa our two-ship flight takes off in formation (now a classic YAP image) and I slip into the number two slot for the ingress up country. Flying in close formation as we cross the cultivated countryside of South Vietnam gives us a short time in which to consider our brief: Its Close Air Support, the friendlies will pop smoke at their position, we are packing rockets, napalm and 20mm.

I sight the plantation just over ten-plus minutes later, a scattered group of barns, huts, equipment and other structures arranged around neat fields and lines of trees. Lead breaks and runs straight in. Grizzled hack that I have become, I stay in level flight, watching the Lead Hun lay it down. The napalm canisters fall gently earthward, spraying plumes of fire on impact. Lead runs on and turns for a second pass.

The little Cessna FAC is making circuits and pointing out the action to us. Its doppler-shifted buzz is clearly audible as we flash by at low altitude. The friendly smoke is quite visible now, there seems to be a close firefight going on around a group of vehicles. I dont want to go splashing nape so close to our guys, better to track the firefight from further out.

The tracer and small arms flashes indicate the protagonists positions. Scraping around at tree-level on padlock view, I concentrate on situational awareness. Further out a real low pass reveals VC advancing across the fields towards the plantation. I study the layout during this low pass and fix the landmarks in my mind.

The Hun is not as light as the Skyhawk. Pulling endless tight orbits over the combat zone bleeds speed rapidly from the heavier airframe (twice the weight of a Scooter) and I am pleased to have that burner. The Hun has more power, nearly 1,000lbs more dry-thrust than an A-4E, but she needs it! In comparison the turns are slower, bleeding speed, and you need a lot of opposite rudder to keep her nose up on the knife edge.

This is tough, demanding flying low over the zone to spot some creeping figures, a tight turn looking over your shoulder at nearby landmarks, then a run on the target, nose down, shoot, and a high alpha exit climb on afterburner.

As I roar low over the scenery the other Hun crosses in the opposite direction to nail a line of troops in the fields I have just over-flown. I roll back in, looking for the site of his rocket strike. The doomed survivors of the first run are clearly visible against the smoke. I lay down my nape over the spot and there is no more VC action from that quarter.

Speed is critical now, has my initial hesitancy allowed the fast moving guerillas to quickly close in? They are harder to spot among the plantation sheds and I shoot up a water tower on my next pass, getting so low I think about putting the wheels down!

Yeah? Well dont think about it, at this speed your gear wont drop and in any case you put even a pitot tube into that grass and its game over in a split-second fireball! Thank you brain, I make the next pass a little higher.

(There are some great objects here by the way, among the new plantation buildings are many types of infantry and a herd of water-buffalo!)

We are just about done when it happens, Lead has begun the return trip, I have enough shells for one more strafe and see a VC running over to the large barn-type building. I crank it around, line her up and the airplane rolls over un-commanded!

The bolt of adrenalin that courses through me at this point could light up Saigon for a week! I snap-roll through and pull above the horizon, lighting the burner again, and find I am flying with full left rudder applied to stay level bug out time! I punch off the stores, gain height and try to decide whether to bail out or stay with it for a little longer. The temps and pressures look OK, if she looks about to blow I will be gone in a second, one way or another. I throttle back as far as I dare and creep homeward.

On the short flight back to Bien Hoa the Hun begins to smoke alarmingly and crab to the left in level flight, what a handful! I throttle back further and monitor the pressures and temps all the way to the airfield. Despite the low thrust I have managed to keep the F-100D at flying speed and now I can not slow her down enough for the approach; I think that the airbrakes have gone too, so I crab it around for another circuit, waiting for the engine to explode!

Well, Im here to tell the tale! I did manage to touch her down gingerly at the second attempt. As she rolled to a stop the cockpit filled with smoke and I was out of there man!

When we studied the plane later the line of holes stitched across both sides of the fuselage told their story. The missing port stabilator, and other control surface damage, was causing the roll. Lucky small arms fire is the official verdict. Lessons? - Nothing in this place is routine.

Next up: I want to break my latest jinx run and bring a complete airframe home in one piece. We shall be gun-fighting up north, what are the chances? - 670514 Gunfighters

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#1653599 - 12/21/06 09:09 PM Re: YANKEE AIR PIRATE 15 Michelin Rubber  
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really nice, as usual. question- are the ground wars that you write about in these AARs actually taking place in the game, or are you spicing events up for the sake of an involving report? it would be great if woe/wov did have these ground engagements.


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#1653600 - 12/21/06 10:12 PM Re: YANKEE AIR PIRATE 15 Michelin Rubber  
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Simon Read Offline
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Simon Read  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 231
Australia
A very good question, and I promise you its all going on in the Yankee Air Pirate missions!

The 'Collateral Damage' report does carry pictures of the ground war as it happened on that mission, a particularly brilliant ambush and close quarter fire-fight.

All YAP missions are structured around real missions and events. The VC troops, Marines, vehicles etc are all doing their thing. All fire at each other and many will fire at you.

The events happen because the guys at YAP wrote it that way. They have specifically designed, built and added many new ground objects, vehicles, troops, guns, AAA types etc, built into each mission and each one programmed to perform its task in order to illustrate the battle.

I was genuinely hit by ground fire on this mission. Lead was leaving the zone, I should have followed him. The best defense is to split the ground-fire, when I became a low altitude single ship I was asking for trouble!

Often you can enjoy a YAP mission with just the F7 Key, watching all the troops and vehicles doing their thing. I have had many happy hours on the F7 and F6 keys, you will often find some new guy or vehicle that does not exist in the standard installation of WoV. Check out those airfield pick-up trucks photographed for the 'Ho Chi Minh Trail' report, really there!

Perhaps I should have included some more shots of the convoy and ground war, I shall do in future.

One thing is absolutely clear, and I know my fellow Yankee Air Pirate Wired will back me up on this. The ground war, as it applies to the mission being illustrated, is really there and going on right in front you, sometimes too close!

However, these are not standard Wov or WoE features, these are Yankee Air Pirate missions, and that is why we talk about them like they are something special - They are....

#1653601 - 12/22/06 12:27 AM Re: YANKEE AIR PIRATE 15 Michelin Rubber  
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that is awesome- thanks


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#1653602 - 12/22/06 01:10 AM Re: YANKEE AIR PIRATE 15 Michelin Rubber  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 231
Simon Read Offline
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Simon Read  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 231
Australia
It doesn't end there mate, I have written you a special FAC report! Let me know what you think and I may do more.


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