Sunday, June 2, 2013



The time I spent researching the U.S. Army for my books was both fascinating and—literally—life-changing. The highlight was my period with the 101st Airborne (Air Assault). The following was sent to me by a close friend I made there. And yes, I am absolutely fascinated by helicopters. Fly in an Apache AH64 attack helicopter, like I was privileged to do—both by day and at night—and I’ll be surprised if you are not thrilled.

Attach helicopter pilots have their own particular ways of making light of the dangers they face every mission.

1.  Keep always thine RPMs, for without them the gates of heaven shall be closed to thee, and thou shalt pass directly to Brick City.
2.  Guard thy tail rotor as thy loins; it is a sacred thing and its loss maketh the earth spin, and rise up and smite thee.
3.  Pickest thou up and sittest thou down with great care, lest thy machine roll in the mud like the swine and makest thou an impoverished pedestrian.
4.  Loadeth not thy machine unevenly or excessively, lest thou wander and stumble like the braying ass.
5.  Run not thy fuel or oil dry, for surely it is easier for the camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a fool to autorotate in the wilderness.
6.  Linger not in the curve of the deadman, for it tempteth fate, and shall bringeth thee back pain.
7.  Swoop not low, for many are the snares of Edison and Bell; their wires yieldeth not, and makest thou a yo-yo.
8.  Loseth not sight of the earth, if thou are not a master of the black art of IFR, else thy machine shall seek the earth without thy council, and thy friends shall mourn the passing of a fool.
9.  Loseth not thy G's for the sake of pushover or other folly, lest thy blades smite thee, and journey on without thee.
10.  Descendeth not without airspeed, for the air directly beneath thee is wrathful, and wouldst swallow thee up.

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