Saturday, December 04, 2004

Russian roulette, chopper style: Dingalan continued

While waiting for the choppers, we had a short chat with Gen Romeo Tolentino (who apparently is a member of CFC. I'll save my comments about our discussions later but suffice it to say that there are fundamental differences between how I see it and how he sees it. But the fact that we're using his choppers, I decided to keep cool.)

There were 2 Huey choppers and 1 Sikorsky. I was told to take the Sikorsky since it had two engines. I ended up on the Huey that loaded all our stuff (are we overloaded sir pilot?). How to describe my first chopper flight? It felt safer than a ferris wheel ride (no jolts -- I learned later that our pilot was a lady!).

I was placed on the door/window side of the copter (I requested for aisle but there was no difference in turned out). BTW, there were no doors! Before lifting off, the soldier manning the side guns/door told me to hold on to my seat. I was already strapped down and it was kinda weird for him to say that but I followed. I learned why in the middle of the flight when I tried to point out to something on the ground. My left arm was nearly pulled out of socket by the wind. It was so strong and amazingly, just centimeters from where I was seated.

Don't tell Portia. (hi mom!)

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