Aircraft over/around Baghdad

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Tennessee Slim, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    I arrived at Camp Victory, Baghdad, about two weeks ago. One of the fascinating things about this place is the variety of aircraft out and about. I flew in from Kuwait in a C-130 and an AN-74 taxied up next to us on the ramp. As bizarre as that thing looks on the ground, I think it’s the oddest-looking thing I’ve ever seen in the air.

    It’s been weird to see MI24s and MI8s running loose and us not shooting at them. Then again, that wasn’t nearly as strange as standing next to a Ukrainian officer at the pee trough and fighting the feeling I should bash his face into the wall, elbow him in the kidneys and stomp on his head when he collapses to the floor. ;-)

    The spooks fly some awfully conspicuous iron. There’s a couple of MD530s with ‘slick’ paint jobs that always fly in tandem, and usually with door gunners; they couldn’t be anything else. And a single 412 that’s most likely spook operated. Those are the only ‘slick’ ‘copters I’ve seen.

    The army guys definitely fly ‘em like they stole ‘em. It’s normal to see Blackhawks overfly ‘tent city’ about 100’ AGL and way the hell over 120 kts.

    And there’s something I can hear just about every night flying over tent city. It's definitely a propeller driven recip, and the power setting never changes. I think it’s a UAV but I’ve never seen it. I do know our guardian angels include UAVs (and 2-3 aerostats).

    I left my camera gear because I came packed light, thinking I was going to be moving fast and living in some Bedouin’s tent. Turns out I’m living ‘uptown’ and working in a palace. Anyway, as soon as all my gear catches up, I’ll post some pics.
     
  2. CaptainOveur

    CaptainOveur

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    The MI24.

    IMO that is the most bad***** helicopter ever. Armor so you can't take it out with small arms. Chain gun. Tons of rockets. Actually carries personel on top of this, and to top it all of it's very fast.

    And none of that compares with having one rise up over a hill and come at you. There's someone that has one around here in arizona and I've seen it flying around. I was thinking to myself "holy crap! that's a hind!".

    The apache is pretty cool, but nothing looks as evil as a hind IMO.
     

  3. 4TS&W

    4TS&W 2A RKBA 4EVER

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    here and there...
    A friend of mine flies a gulfstream 3 down there sometimes.
     
  4. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    Speaking of which, something Rooskie buzzed my tent last night. Twice. I think it was the MI8 (the Hinds generally fly in pairs). But the Sovietski copters have the nastiest, snarlingest, crudest rotor pop of anything I've ever heard; can't mistake 'em for anything else. I first heard a Hind at oh-dark-thirty and thought, "What in the ay-chee double hockey sticks is that??!??" I went down to the airfield the next day and saw an MI-24D, in all its ragged splendor (bleeecch!) >:p
     
  5. NetNinja

    NetNinja Always Faithful

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    AN-74 huh?

    We had an IL-76 come visit us(Cherry Point) from poland one time.

    They gave us the nickle tour. What a POS. I'll give Russian designers one thing. They sure can build utilitarian aircraft.

    The one thing I loved was that the Navigator had this seat that was on rails and it slid all the way up into the glass nose.

    He had the whole underdeck space to himself.
     
  6. amprecon

    amprecon

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    Tennessee Slim,
    I'm headed for Camp Anaconda (Balad) in about two weeks after crc in El Paso. You hear or know anything of it?
     
  7. gamegod86

    gamegod86 Male Lesbian

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    I love aircraft, but know little about them...

    All I can say is THANK GOODNESS for Google Image search.

    il74MI8MI24 whatever;g


    ;g ;f
    .
    .
    .
     
  8. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    amprecon, Anaconda is a busy place (logistics center). I can't speak to the living conditions but I do know it's a large installation. And they do seem to take indirect fire more regularly than we do.

    Who's your company?
     
  9. amprecon

    amprecon

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    Hey Tennessee Slim,
    I'm an aircraft mechanic for Dyncorp.
     
  10. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    Cool. What A/C do you work on?

    One of my coworkers just returned from a couple of weeks at Anaconda. He tells me it's MUCH larger than Victory, and that they actually have a working early warning system for incoming indirect fire.

    You'll probably be living in a GP-Medium tent when you first arrive. I've been in one the 2 months I've been here; they're livable but having 9 roommates is a PITA. They have a plywood floor, electric lights and a 54,OOO btu HVAC. Bedding (here, anyway) is a mix of cots and twin beds. If you have the chance, be sure to 'audition' your matress before settling. The 'permanent' shelters are prefab mobile home-type structures.

    And we're coming on peak mud season. It doesn't really rain much, it's just that what little rain they do get in winter makes one melluva hess.

    My buddy says the chow there isn't bad (not as bad as, say, Doha) but isn't as good as it is here. Our mess halls have the best cafeteria food I've ever eaten, commercial or military.

    I'm sending you my work E-mail by PM. Holler at me via it whenever you like.

    EDIT: 4TS&W, is he able to tell you for whom he's flying or what he's hauling? Rumor has it they're using the Gulfstreams to move 'high value detainees'.
     
  11. amprecon

    amprecon

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    I'll be working on C-12's, RC-12's and maybe U-35's.
     
  12. 10 Ring Tao

    10 Ring Tao Red White Blue

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    I take it by spooks you're talking about spec ops or special forces?

    I recognize the MD530s from reading I did about blackhawk down, but is the 412 you mention a bell 412? How would special forces use the bell 412? It doesn't look like it would have any special characteristics. Or is that the point, to use a helo that looks more civvy than military?
     
  13. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    amprecon, as luck would have it, I usta fly C-12s. When I was stationed in Central America, our mission A/C were RC-12Gs (a 15,000-lb, 1500 shp flying turd, I must say). BASI twisted wrenches on 'em.

    10 Ring Tao, my definition of a 'spook' is even looser than that. Anyone directly involved in the WOT and not in uniform could be termed a spook so, yes, any spec warrior would qualify. Or CIA/DIA/NSA, etc. Any 'shooter' who isn't in uniform definitely fits my definition of a spook.

    And yes, a Bell 412, is just a twin-engined and faster Huey. I haven't pinned down who's flying it but I've not seen any gun barrels poking out the doors so my suspiscion is that it's just in an admin role. And I haven't noted any anti-IR or anti-SAM equipment on it, which leads me to conclude it probably isn't covert military (maybe CIA or, less sinisterly, hi-level KBR). The 530s I'm pretty sure are 'the cavalry' for Blackwater. It wouldn't surprise me to learn their pilots were recruited directly from the 160th SOAR (same guys in Blackhawk Down).

    To my mind, there's no advantage to flying an A/C here that appears non-military. The Terrs gotta know that all operating rotorwing A/C here are either military or inolved in supporting the military.
     
  14. amprecon

    amprecon

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    I'm finally here, looks like RC-12's. There are also C-23's that another company maintains. I've already been exposed to controlled detonations, what an eye opener.
    There giving us a few days to get acclimated, then it's off to the races.
     
  15. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    Is Duncan doing the mainenance on those C-23s??
     
  16. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    I saw an AN-125 on approach into Baghdad International this morning. Freakin' HUGE! When I first saw it, I mistook it for a UAV at about 500'. I watched is for about 30 seconds before it dawned on me what it really was. It still must've been 10,000' AGL. Most planes spiral down to the airport but this guy was just flying straight and coming down with a fearsome rate of descent. I'd like to get over to the airfield and have a look at one up close and personal. They've had them at the air show at the (former) air base close to my home in TN but I've never been there when the Antonov was there.
     
  17. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    My mistake. It was the An-124, not the 125. This morning I saw the An-225 circling into BIAP. Its fuselage is 50 feet longer that the An-124, and it's max gross T/O is about 50% higher than a C-5A Galaxy!

    Ye gods, was that a big bugger!
     
  18. amprecon

    amprecon

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    Yep, Duncan is working the C-23's. I was fortunately transferred to the Slicks, less airplanes & missions. Working on 19 days here, seems like forever, only 311 to go.
    We get the Russian cargo's in here too, pretty loud beggers.