So, there I was. 500 feet AGL in the back of a Huey. The pilot had us bobbing and weaving like Mike Tyson on meth. Small arms fire is coming up at us from everywhere. I was in the back on the .50 serving up half-inch lead hot dogs in the cyclic ether. Out of nowhere, BOOM! RPG popped a hole in the number one engine cowling. I look up front and see the Master Caution panel lights having a party. Ng and Nf are bottomed out on both sides and the hydraulic indicator just got up and left because there was nothing for it to do. I could hear Betty in my helmet talking about altitude and being super low or something. I was looking out the door for a good place to land that was in the immediate vicinity when the pilot leaned us into the wind and pulled an armpit full of the collective lever. We hit terra firma and bent the skids up like a fat kid on a sled, but other than that the old lady held together for the most part. The four of us scrambled out just as our Dash-2 set down beside us. We all hopped in the back and watched the ground shrink underneath us as we tipped forward and lumbered skyward, both of Pratt and Whitney’s finest screaming in protest.
I looked at our pilots, a Captain, and 1st Lieutenant and shouted “Dude, holy sh*t!” The Captain cracked a twisted grin and said “Yeah. But did you die?”
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