Michael's Dispatches

Pedro and Submarine

14 Comments

19 October 2012

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A veteran friend made these images yesterday with his iPhone4s.  They were flying off the coast by San Diego training with the U.S. Navy.

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If you are young, smart, very fit and want a very tough job, this might be for you.  Probably not, though; they do not take many people.  The work comes with long hours, little pay, it is dangerous, and people constantly ask the pilots if they wanted to fly fighters.  Which is funny to me; that question never crossed my mind, because my many experiences with Pedro were all in combat, either on the ground watching them come in, or flying with them.

If you want to go where the action is, this is it.  There are few jobs that will take you into more hotspots so frequently, and if you make a mistake it is game over.  Even if you do everything right…well…it is combat.  There are few jobs where so much will be expected from you, and if you can’t hang, it is back on the street or off to another job more suitable.

To choose this path is to chose a life filled with incredible experiences.  Good, bad, and ugly.  (The Air Force did not pay me to say this; it is simply true.)

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    The Sanity Inspector · 6 years ago
    ...that helicopters are not in violation of some law of physics or other.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Gump · 6 years ago
      It's just lift vs drag vs rotation... :P
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Ric Walters · 6 years ago
      Helicopters are, according to fixed-wing pilots, incapable of flight. However, they're so ugly that the ground just repels them...
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Matthew M · 6 years ago
        That and they beat the air into submission.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Bob Zidlicky · 6 years ago
        I always thought it was just an optical illusion. Dame thing for the C-5. There's no way those monsters can fly!
        • This commment is unpublished.
          Bob Zidlicky · 6 years ago
          That's SAME thing, not dame thing. I am NOT a sexist. Sweetheaer. :-)
          • This commment is unpublished.
            Bob Zidlicky · 6 years ago
            I'm going to quit before I really screw up.

            Hats off to the Pedros. They don't get nearly the credit or respect they deserve.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      carl · 6 years ago
      Think of the chopper rotors as wings moving through the air generating lift just like the "fixed wings" of an airplane. It is just that, with a chopper, the wings are rotating in relation to the aircraft instead of being in a fixed position. Hence, airplanes are called "fixed wing aircraft".
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Travis · 6 years ago
    Great pictures, God bless those pilots who do not hesitate fly into danger!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Travis · 6 years ago
      I meant to say "FLY INTO DANGER"
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Travis · 6 years ago
        ha ha ha...I did it again :lol:
        "hesitate TO fly into danger"
        wow sorry about that!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    vulture · 6 years ago
    Best dang career choice i ever made. Blessed to be able to fly the mission!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tango · 6 years ago
    I used to work in an AF Rescue squadron and deployed with them to Afghanistan (I was not aircrew, I was just one of the support personnel). First, working with them was the best job I ever had. Period. Second, your line about them being asked if they want to fly fighters is very true. Funny thing is we (support folks) used to mess with the fighter squadrons (other support folks) at our home base just a little because at that time our squadron was the only aerial squadron on base with confirmed kills since after Vietnam.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ric Walters · 6 years ago
    Michael, thanks for giving the Pedros and their pilots such great coverage. They truly deserve it. As for people wondering if someone wanted to fly fighters, I was a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Spscial Investigations till I retired in 99. People seemed to assume that anyone in the Air Force had to want to fly fighters! I was asked that question numerous times, often in the guise of a slur - "what are you, some kind of frustrated fighter jock who flunked out of school?"

    Keep up the great work. Your attention to the dustoff controversy has had a great impact!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Pete Sheppard · 6 years ago
    "These things we do, THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE"
    Those people do crazy things to *save* lives...that alone makes them special.

    Honor from a former Marine.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Heath · 6 years ago
    If I could sign up for the military, I would have already been in the military having family generations in the U.S. Military all the way back to the Mayflower ship but being Deaf, I can't join the military. Many respects to these men and women who defend the U.S.A. from terrorists. Prayers for a safe return home as much as possible. Nice pictures of the helicopter & submarine that your friend took. I liked how the sunlight hits the ocean as the submarine streamed forward. Stay safe as much possible. :lol:
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dan Jacobs · 6 years ago
    Best of times..Worst of times.

    "Above The Best"
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Justin Haywood · 6 years ago
      A mate got back from helmand earlier in the year (UK forces). He's a Combat Medic and loved the PEDROS in a big way. Whenever they were called they came, however many rounds were coming downrange.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kurt olney · 6 years ago
    Just got home from the Army-Lockheed YO-3A Quiet Aircraft Association reunion--Vietnam 70-71. A lot of our folks have Army helicopter pilots. One was killed, one severely injured and my son getting ready for his helicopter assignment. It takes a lot of guts to fly helicopters in Vietnam. Helicopter pilots are a special breed of men. Bless them all.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Kurt olney · 6 years ago
      Guts in Vietnam and Guts in Iraq. Helicopter pilots are a special breed of men.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kurt olney · 6 years ago
    And guts in Afghanistan.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    karen · 6 years ago
    nice... GOD bless u and your work
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