YANKEE AIR PIRATE 18 - Misty 31 Feet Wet - Part Three
680413 Misty 31 Feet Wet
YANKEE AIR PIRATE - AAR"YAP's new HH-53 Super Jolly is big, beautiful and crisply modelled. It flies very well too and is provided with the excellent 'Huey-type' cockpit. When flying helos in the WoV sim, you have to bear in mind that the flight model is necessarily translated through the game engine. So you have to think of 'flaps' and 'air-brakes' as a kind of trimming.
I will illustrate the control moves at the critical phases of this mission. That all said, she flies beautifully, low and slow is an absolute joy, she pedal-turns on a dime and if you push the airspeed up, she fights back, just like the real thing! Some controls are a minor concession to the game engine, nothing more, I love this helo and I believe there are bigger ideas in the pipeline! So suspend your disbelief and let's go flying!"
13th April 1968 - 17:00
HH-53 'Super Jolly', Gopher.
We get the call at 17:00, parked up at a laager in the woods north of Dong Ha. As the rotors spin up I check the route while the co-pilot straps in and our crew-chief OKs the rescue equipment. Soon we are ready to go, the heavy bird tips forward, rolls a little as I release the brakes, and lumbers into the air. - "Flaps full down, throttle increased smoothly, brakes released, pull a little on the stick."
Airborne and on course, I tuck the gear away and settle her for the cruise in to the rescue site, ten minutes away at max ingress. - "Flaps full up, Gear up, steer on course, wing leveller on, throttle adjusted to keep just below the Airspeed redline."
As we descend into the rescue-zone I see the red smoke, lucky those guys had plenty of smoke-canisters with them! The first pilot is sitting in his raft, way out to sea, we slow up for a low approach and a winch pickup. - "Airbrakes on descent, flaps to full, gear down, lights on."
We overshoot a little, but pedal-turn easily, preventing sinking too far by increasing power. I love this helo! We can sideslip with ease and turn on a dime! This big bird is really manoeuvrable!
Once he's pulled aboard I swing her around in a flat turn and make for the other guy. We don't want to hang around, there is another sail-equipped sampan quickly heading his way. I decide to make a water-landing and touch down beside the relieved pilot."Water Landing - Smooth descent at 10Kts, gear still DOWN, brakes on to stop." "The rescue system is brilliant, remember when we did it before with Hobo-51? The clever target requirement makes it necessary to fly the aircraft within tightly defined parameters in order to affect the rescue, rather than some automatic scenery fix or just pretending. You can get really caught up in it too, when I over-shot the first guy I was anxious to go around again and nervous of the ticking clock for guy-two."
Both airmen seem OK, a little wet, a little stressed, more beat up from banging out of the aircraft than from anything else. I pull out of the water, clean-up the chopper, and buster for Dong Ha.
We touch down on Dong Ha's spacious concrete apron and unload our precious cargo. We have upheld the Airmen's-Contract! "No need to bother with the runway! Any space big enough for the helo will do. Get everything down and plan your approach as a smooth descent to the spot you want, not unlike a carrier approach in some ways, just slower!"