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"If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it, or else you're going to be locked up." Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Monday, December 7, 2020

Helicopters and Things

Greetings Me Droogs and Droogettes!
A few questions, here and on the Email 'bout heli-oka-lopters.
How does one incapacitate one?
The new standard for helicopters for the fuzz here is the US is the Eurocopter AS350.
In the pic above, notice the Forward Looking Infrared Receiver (F.L.I.R.) pod.  That's the 'sees in the dark' like Sauron toy.  Some even have thermal capability.

Best bet?
On the ground sabotage.

KD Ranges.

Fragile AND expensive
Now, the AS350, also called the "Squirrel" (no joke, that's the frog designation) has a rep for being really fragile apparently.   18 Major Crashes in 10 years.
Guess it's similar to a 737 MAX eh?
I wouldn't fly on one.

Stolen shamelessly from -somewhere on the web-
"The tail rotor is critical for stability in the air, but it’s generally made of light and vulnerable materials such as fiberglass and hollow aluminum. If a bullet were to strike it in the right place, one of the propeller blades could break off, throwing the craft into a spin. (Even a stray article of clothing can get sucked into the tail rotor and down a chopper.) But the tail rotor is a small target, so you may be better off shooting at the cockpit, in the hope of disabling the pilot."

"A helicopter is a delicately balanced machine with much of the mass concentrated in the engine. When the main rotor above the cabin spins, the whole craft has a tendency to spin as well. That’s why there’s a second rotor, placed on the end of the tail, to apply a counteracting torque to the body of the helicopter. The tail rotor’s efficiency is maximized by placing it as far away from the main engine as possible—the greater the distance between the two, the more torque the rotor can generate. At the same time, the tail rotor can’t be too heavy (or sturdy), since a long and cumbersome tail would make flight impossible."

"The main rotor is much bulkier and more likely to withstand a bullet. It often contains steel and brass in addition to solid aluminum and fiberglass. During the Vietnam War, Huey pilots used their heavy main rotors to trim trees around tight landing areas. Even if a gunman were able to damage a main rotor blade, that wouldn’t necessarily prevent the helicopter from limping to safety. Likewise, it would take a very lucky shot to completely disable the engine or to strike a critical hydraulic line on the body."

"A pilot has a couple of options when the tail rotor is disabled. If the helicopter’s forward speed exceeds 40 mph at the time of the incident, the vertical surfaces on the body can stabilize the craft and prevent a fatal spin. The pilot can steer by manipulating the engine speed and the pitch of the main rotor blades. Then he or she can come to a kind of skidding stop on the ground, known as a “run-on” landing. If the craft is hovering when the tail rotor fails, the pilot can disconnect the engine from the main rotor. Air rushing upward would turn the main rotor (called “autorotation“), enabling the craft to make a controlled descent. This maneuver must be commenced before the helicopter begins spinning. Both the run-on landing and emergency autorotation require enormous skill."

So yeah... 
Fragile and expensive birds

Just remember the Iraqi Farmer who at Karbala shot down an Apache with one shot
Sometimes luck plays a part
But better than luck is skill

Or a combination of both

Me?  Been rather lucky over the years, to the point I wondered if the "Luck Well" is gonna eventually run dry.   Not that I'm worried.  I look forward to death.  Provided its a good and meaningful death.
I don't want to go to the Cold Lands
We shall see though.
Spicytime Cometh
Sooner and sooner
More Later I Remain The Intrepid Reporter
Big Country


  1. No matter what, shooting into the cabin makes flying 'sporty.'

    Though the best place to incapacitate is a shot into the engine.

    During the Vietnam war, the Viets used to shoot Hueys down with a teak crossbow, firing bamboo bolts. The bolts would penetrate through the floor and up into the engine.

    Friend of mine's father's chopper was shot down by a crossbowman. They landed safely, and then waxed the motherfuckers. Got the bow as a trophy.

    1. Yeah right.
      That crossbow was bought from some local Yards trying to make money for smokes.

  2. Shoot into the cockpit unless you have something really heavy/AP.

    Former 67N2F

  3. And remember your lead. I agree that on the ground is better, in that a) you can be much further away and b) nobody in there to get on the radio when you do.

    My local Sheriff/PD don't have them, which neatly sidesteps the issue. Ft Lewis is local, though, and Seattle PD is right across the bay.

  4. Study your target.
    Locate the tranny, hit the tranny.
    Shear the teeth, pollute the hydralics, seize the tranny.

    In another lifetime, I participated in Rotary at Muther Rucker, Alabama.
    If this is not 'a good day to die', flight-crews tend to find grounding problems aka 'squawks' during pre-flight.

    If nincompoops threatened me with extortion, bribes, moving my family, messing with my dog, I could see finding a reason to not fly that day.


    On a good day, I could auto-rotate onto a designated shrub 10-for-10 during anticipated engine-out simulations.
    Facing rough weather or surrounded by hostiles in a broke bird, I could see finding a reason to not fly that day.

  5. Loosen the Jesus nut. That'll make things sporty for the occupants when it comes off mid-flight and takes the rotor with it.

    1. That works only if you have a Sweeney torque multiplier to loosen that nut. Torque is 350 foot/pounds.

  6. here a idea that was tossed around in the old days, get a picture hanging kit- the ones with the steel
    cable wire in it. fasten that to the tip of a shotgun slug thru ,say a old single shot shotgun you have
    laying around. fasten a fishing weight to the other end that now hanging out of the shotgun barrel
    shoot it into the tail rotor. here a true story, berlin in the 70's a bored gi dropped some shot down
    his m16 barrel, when the huey came over, he fired up into it, like 30-50 feet maybe, they landed and then
    beat said private to a pulp while the rest of us watched. i think he got charged for something that broke
    on the bird and tossed out after paying for it, not sure about that part, he didn't hang around long after it happen. i do know he never return to the barracks after it happen. got us to thinking though,,

  7. In theory, of course, you could blind the pilot with a laser first, then take pot shots at your leisure. You can find some high-powered red, green and blue lasers online - the same kind Antifa uses to blind the cops in Portland. For the record, blue is the hardest to defend against.

  8. I worked with an ex-Vietnam Helicopter Pilot. When asked what was the best way to bring a down a Choppa... He replied “ Hit it in the Pilot “. Just sayin..
    Remember this is all going to take place domestically. Nobody is deploying to some foreign country.. these people have to live here with their Families . All law enforcement/ Military need to be reminded of that before this kicks off

  9. I worked with an ex- Vietnam huey pilot..when asked what was the best way to bring down a choppa he replied “ hit it in the pilot “.

  10. Lotsa stick time in helos a few decades ago. Nothing really earth shattering here since most of this is well known.
    If the bird is on the ground:
    1. sabotage the fuel or hydraulics. Loosen nuts on fuel or hydraulic lines. Water in the fuel tanks and hydraulic reservoirs. Mothballs in the same.
    2. Loosen the nuts on the tail rotor drive shaft flex couplings.
    3. Loosen the pitch control rod links for the tail rotor and/or main rotor.
    4. Partially cut flight control cables or loosen nuts on flight control line linkages.

    If the bird is airborne.
    1. Tail rotor disc area is best target. Small area but very effective if you get a hit. Then main rotor disc and engine areas. Least effective area is the cockpit, besides if you get lucky pilots and aircrew are good sources of intel via known interrogation techniques.
    2. IF a KNOWN low level route is consistently used, then a low level metal line/wire can be strung across a narrow valley. Most helos today don't have the "wire cutter" vertical bars above the cockpit like on a lot of VN era birds.
    3. .50 or .338 Lapua AP is best surface to air small arms. The absolute best for ANY aircraft surface to air is a heat seeking missile.