Helicopter Ride

One awesome aspect to being in the Army is the opportunity to go places and see stuff I would never  have had the chance to see otherwise, barring a winning lottery ticket or a long-lost-but-now-dead-with-an-inheritance relative.  And I don’t buy lottery tickets.

Not my photo, but one of our helicopters.

The other day was just the chance to go see this kind of thing.  I had to accompany my boss up to Mazar-e-Sharif to look around at some facilities, talk to a German or two, pester some fellow Americans, and be my normal, Ranty self but in a different location.  The best way to get there outside of teleportation is to ride a helicopter.  Just to make it interesting, we used a Russian helicopter.  Why not?

The ride was awesome.  We had to climb to an altitude of fourteen thousand feet.  When the temperature dropped to ten degrees, we closed the doors, and the shocking change was landing in Mazar-e-Sharif to be greeted with 120 degree heat.  The in-between meeting and looking part was underwhelming if not successful.  So the real highlight was the flight up and then back down.

Seeing the Hindu Kush mountains was awesome.  Even more amazing was looking down on them and seeing tiny footpaths – clear evidence that humans have been here, even in this forbidding environment.  I suspect these are about the newest mountains on Earth.  In places you can tell they are massive sections of the Earth’s crust, heaved up and stacked on their ends.

Top left – rotor blade

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44 Responses to “Helicopter Ride”

  1. Dayum…. If that isn’t an awesome view!! And that header (0.0) . Movies could end to that shit….

    The mild geology lesson wasn’t impressive :p . Just fyi.

  2. you mean besides russian helis you’ve got teleportation?! cool.. 🙂

  3. Man, I’ve been in a helicopter once, but it was a passanger dealy. Not nearly as cool as this!

  4. Passenger, too.

  5. that’s pretty neat! You know- my father in law was a helicopter pilot and the jerk retired before I could ever go up in one!

  6. So, how DOES a Mil compare to a Huey? (I’d compare to the Blackhawk, but that’s like comparing n original VW to a modern-day Porsche. 😀 ) I see they did exercise the better part of valour, and did NOT put you in a Mil-24… 😉

    • The ride is comparable to a UH-60.

      • Really? I would have thought it was closer to a Huey, being a derivative of the old Mil-8 (admittedly, a very robust, if spartan, beast). Any of those (I think) Kaminski birds with the inter-meshing rotors? (The kind with two shafts and the rotor planes being tilted, not coaxial contra-rotating.) One of the coaxial Ka-50 gunships would be uber-cool, but I don’t think the Russians would export such cutting-edge tech.
        (Sorry, just had to go tech-geek on ya there. I’ll go back to regular English now. 😉 )

  7. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    Well, I personally would have been scared to death to be in a helicopter, but you obviously enjoyed it. Cool post and pictures!

  8. It’s getting *interesting* over there. Suicide bombers, idiots with AK-47s….being in a Russian helo is probably one of the safer places to be. Teach them some manners, and then come home safe!

  9. Helicopter ride to meeting sort of like a visit to an amusement park after a tough week at the office? Not really, but it sounds cool -and you get a little different perspective about the world and the views look beautiful. (But do.not.dangle.out.of.a.helicopter…sorry had to repeat that…and the “safe” thing)
    Enjoyed the helicopter info (and comments on that)
    Hope your days are safe flights and cool sights.

  10. Great photos! There are definitely some perks to the job. Glad you’ve been able to see some awesome places while you’re there. The mountains really are amazing!

  11. Waitaminute – you work for a beauracracy, where you had a simple and successful meeting with great travelling thrown in?
    Wow!
    Way to go, Rants!

  12. My comment is repetitive but the header for this post is breath-taking. Please no dangling out of helicopters. Be safe & look forward to reading another informative blog from you soon.

  13. Very cool. Hey, thanks for your service.

    ((hugs)),
    Becca
    Lady or Not…Here I Come

  14. Sorry to drop this here, ‘Rants, but my Email won’t allow outgoing messages. Neil Armstrong died earlier today, from complications due to heart surgery from earlier in the month.
    Godspeed, Neil. The constellations have a new star among them.

  15. nicolevcaldwell6w Says:

    Reblogged this on Nicole Caldwell Pages and commented:

  16. Those are some amazing pics! 😀

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