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Three helicopter fly-by [JPG-Inside™]
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Railroader
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Jun 13, 2008, 10:37 AM
 
I was tinkering in the garage and I heard an unusual helicopter noise. We live near a small, but very busy airport, and I am used to the sounds of small airplanes and helicopters at various times during the day. That's not to say it is very noisy hear, most small planes and helicopters are quite quiet, and we are well off the approach and take off areas of the airport.

So I hear this deeper than normal helicopter noise and decide to go out and check it out. A few seconds later three massive military helicopters do a low altitude fly-by. Very low and they are circling quite a bit. All in all, they did about 12-15 fly-bys around the area very low to the ground. A few times one would break off from the group and circle in the opposite direction.

I was able to run in and snap a few hundred shots. The weather is a bit nasty, which helped me out quite a bit I think.

[Link to the gallery]

Coming through the trees


Almost directly overhead


Slightly from the side


A couple of guys/pilots looking out the windows


Flying low


The formation
( Last edited by Railroader; Jun 13, 2008 at 10:40 AM. Reason: fixed a couple links and added last picture)
     
Mastrap
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Jun 13, 2008, 10:43 AM
 
I am always amazed how much these guys have their machines under control. I once saw an ambulance helicopter land in London's Soho Square. The pilot brought the helicopter down through an impossible small gap in the tree cover, then kept lower than the lowest branches and went sideways to land. And then he did the same thing in reverse when taking off again. Unbelievable talent.
     
zro
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Jun 13, 2008, 10:57 AM
 
There was a cop funeral here the other day. There were around a dozen copters flying in formation around the city for about half an hour. None was a kickass Chinook, though there was a Jolly Green Giant in there. Pretty awesome sight.

Ofcourse Flight Of The Valkyries pops into my head.
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Jun 13, 2008, 10:59 AM
 
The last picture looks like they should be napalming the trees.
     
dcmacdaddy
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Jun 13, 2008, 11:06 AM
 
Impressive flying being that low.

The Chinook helicopter is usually a troop transport so what would it (or all three of them)
have been doing in Indianapolis? Have you got a military base nearby to Indianapolis or a
military/defense contractor in the area (e.g.: Lockheed-Martin)?

And it is identified as belonging to the Marines--although I think it is used, or a variant of
it, by all the branches of the military service. Maybe they were in Indianapolis for some sort
of training? Anything on the news about their presence in Indianapolis? (A quick search on
Google turned up nothing.)


PS: Nice pics.
One should never stop striving for clarity of thought and precision of expression.
I would prefer my humanity sullied with the tarnish of science rather than the gloss of religion.
     
mattyb
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Jun 13, 2008, 11:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth View Post
The last picture looks like they should be napalming the trees.
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like ... like victory.

I'm so f**kin sad late on a friday just before going home.
     
Andy8
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Jun 13, 2008, 11:24 AM
 
These are CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, Chinook helicopters are different.
     
fhoubi
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Jun 13, 2008, 11:25 AM
 
Too high shutter speed, rotors should be blurry
Otherwise scaring.
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Andrew Stephens
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Jun 13, 2008, 11:28 AM
 
Couldn't be british chinooks. None of ours work properly.
     
Railroader  (op)
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Jun 13, 2008, 11:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
Impressive flying being that low.

The Chinook helicopter is usually a troop transport so what would it (or all three of them)
have been doing in Indianapolis? Have you got a military base nearby to Indianapolis or a
military/defense contractor in the area (e.g.: Lockheed-Martin)?

And it is identified as belonging to the Marines--although I think it is used, or a variant of
it, by all the branches of the military service. Maybe they were in Indianapolis for some sort
of training? Anything on the news about their presence in Indianapolis? (A quick search on
Google turned up nothing.)


PS: Nice pics.
I think there are a couple reserve stations, but no major or minor military bases. Fort Harrison was closed and turned into a great State Park over a decade ago.

We have had some major flooding, but not really in this region. The flooding has been more to the Southwest. It could be support for that.

Here's the area they were covering:








Now you know a general location to drop a bomb if you evr want to take out good old Railroader
     
Railroader  (op)
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Jun 13, 2008, 11:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by fhoubi View Post
Too high shutter speed, rotors should be blurry
Otherwise scaring.
I was zoomed at 200mm (320mm w/crop factor on XTi).

To make the blurry rotors I would have ended up with blurry everything.
     
Railroader  (op)
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Jun 13, 2008, 11:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth View Post
The last picture looks like they should be napalming the trees.
Photoshop contest?
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Jun 13, 2008, 11:50 AM
 
Ugh. Flames are not fun to photoshop.
     
ballison
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Jun 13, 2008, 01:42 PM
 
     
ghporter
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Jun 13, 2008, 01:42 PM
 
Sea Kings are great helicopters. Much superior to Chinooks according to everyone I've talked to, though they're significantly smaller. A hint for quick ID of whether it's a -46 (Sky King) or -47 (Chinook): look for engine pods on the rear pylon. Chinooks have 'em, Sky Kings don't. The color is often a giveaway (Navy gray versus Army green), but not always...

And of course even though they operate from carriers, Sky Kings don't get the abuse the Army puts their Chinooks to—there's a unit in Alaska that practices MOUNTAIN RESCUE in Chinooks. In Alaska. Cold air is thinner. High altitude air is thinner. There are hellacious winds in and among the mountains in Alaska. Chopper crews are crazy by definition anyway, but these guys are crazy FOR chopper crews.

Oh, and when would a cargo/transport helicopter be used to deliver that sort of weapon? I can't think of an example.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Railroader  (op)
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Jun 13, 2008, 11:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Oh, and when would a cargo/transport helicopter be used to deliver that sort of weapon? I can't think of an example.
Quit being a fuddy-duddy.



But thanks for all that other great info.
     
C.A.T.S. CEO
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Jun 14, 2008, 12:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth View Post
Ugh. Flames are not fun to photoshop.
Lens flair them then.
Signature depreciated.
     
zro
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Jun 14, 2008, 01:47 AM
 
Deth lazorz?
     
ghporter
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Jun 14, 2008, 08:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
Quit being a fuddy-duddy.
Everybody knows helicopters aren't for dropping bombs; they're for firing BIG GUNS from!

Originally Posted by zro View Post
Deth lazorz?
Much more like it, but MORE! Gunners in the doors and at the rear ramp! That's what I'm talking about!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jun 14, 2008, 08:46 AM
 
"Black Helicopters" you say? ::Tin Foil Hat::

-Owl
     
Railroader  (op)
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Jun 14, 2008, 11:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by OwlBoy View Post
"Black Helicopters" you say? ::Tin Foil Hat::

-Owl
I was going tot title the thread something about "black helicopters", but I didn't want it moved to the Obama fanboi forum .... err .... I mean PL/bash religion lounge.

[CRAP!] Please don't move the thread because I mentioned religion!!! [/CRAP!]
     
ghporter
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Jun 14, 2008, 12:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
[CRAP!] Please don't move the thread because I mentioned religion!!! [/CRAP!]
Don't worry. Have faith.

Shepherd Book: "Why when I talk about faith, do you always assume I'm talking about God?"

(I got to use a Serenity quote! Me FTW! )

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
KeriVit
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Jun 14, 2008, 04:24 PM
 
Those are Air Force markings.

They were used by the AF , probably Search and Rescue, presntly used by the Marines to transport combat troops.
     
ghporter
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Jun 14, 2008, 08:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by KeriVit View Post
Those are Air Force markings.

They were used by the AF , probably Search and Rescue, presntly used by the Marines to transport combat troops.
No, they're Marine CH-46s. In the second picture, the one with the big red light on the belly, you can see the word "MARINES" on the underside of the aft of the helicopter. And we're one big happy family in the DoD; all the services use the same star with bars insignia. The Navy, Marines and Air Force all use that sort of tail letter marking too. But Air Force helicopters are very unlikely to be marked with that sort of color scheme. The only gray Air Force helicopters I've seen had very distinct, not "subdued" markings. Most Air Force helicopters are one green or another.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter
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Jun 14, 2008, 09:34 PM
 
I've just been "reminded" of something I said wrong above. When discussing the Army rescue unit in Alaska, I said that the cold air was "thinner." No, it isn't. Colder air is denser. I probably should have said that the air "in the mountains" was cold and thin due to the altitude. But they're still crazy SOBs for using big helicopters for this sort of mission.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Sherman Homan
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Jun 14, 2008, 10:21 PM
 
Those guys got stones, the gals do too. Whether the air gets thick or thin, hydraulics and oils getting weird in the cold, blasts of wind, instant frost bite, and still they fly when someone gets in a jam. The story of the 1999 rescue of the researcher with breast cancer in Antarctica is, well, cool.
     
Jawbone54
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Jun 14, 2008, 10:50 PM
 
Cool stuff, RR. I can't say I'd mind being stirred from an afternoon nap as long as I could go out and shoot pictures like crazy of one of the coolest subjects out there. Looks like you had fun.

Did anyone else have the G.I.Joe chinook?
     
Railroader  (op)
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Jun 14, 2008, 11:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Cool stuff, RR. I can't say I'd mind being stirred from an afternoon nap as long as I could go out and shoot pictures like crazy of one of the coolest subjects out there. Looks like you had fun.

Did anyone else have the G.I.Joe chinook?
Nap? I'm not a three year old. I was tinkering in the garage with my RC toy car, like a good 9 year old boy.

     
Railroader  (op)
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Jun 14, 2008, 11:47 PM
 
Forgot to add: More fly-bys today, much lower and much louder. But less often and much further apart. I didn't think they could get lower, but they are good. Didn't have the camera ready, batteries were dead. I have them charging now though.
     
Jawbone54
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Jun 15, 2008, 12:06 AM
 
Dude...nothing makes me feel better than a good nap after work. Ahhhhhhh...
     
tomrock
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Jun 15, 2008, 10:47 AM
 
The Marines area having urban warfare games in and around Indy right now. I read about it in the Indy paper a couple of weeks ago.
     
tomrock
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Jun 15, 2008, 10:49 AM
 
     
IceEnclosure
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Jun 15, 2008, 11:13 AM
 
That's awesome that they're training for a few days, good opportunities to shoot. Also why I'm so happy I have backup batteries!
ice
     
KeriVit
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Jun 15, 2008, 03:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
No, they're Marine CH-46s. In the second picture, the one with the big red light on the belly, you can see the word "MARINES" on the underside of the aft of the helicopter. And we're one big happy family in the DoD; all the services use the same star with bars insignia. The Navy, Marines and Air Force all use that sort of tail letter marking too. But Air Force helicopters are very unlikely to be marked with that sort of color scheme. The only gray Air Force helicopters I've seen had very distinct, not "subdued" markings. Most Air Force helicopters are one green or another.

I didn't word my statement very well. I was just saying the AF used to use these in the old days. I saw clearly it was a Marine aircraft. Sorry, for the mindless blabber.
     
analogika
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Jun 15, 2008, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
I was going tot title the thread something about "black helicopters", but I didn't want it moved to the Obama fanboi forum .... err .... I mean PL/bash religion lounge.
Wait - you mean the war-monger circle-jerk is over in there?

Might it actually be worth a brief occasional visit again?
     
@pplejaxkz
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Jun 15, 2008, 05:43 PM
 
Those pics remind me of the days of living on an Army base. I'd see those type of helicopters all the time.
     
ghporter
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Jun 15, 2008, 06:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by KeriVit View Post
I didn't word my statement very well. I was just saying the AF used to use these in the old days. I saw clearly it was a Marine aircraft. Sorry, for the mindless blabber.
Maybe you're talking about the CH/HH/MH-53? Big and very gray:

The CH-46 is only used by the Navy and Marines, but the Air Force has used a lot of different helicopters, and the -53 has a history of being used with a gray paint scheme. They use it for combat search and rescue (downed pilots and the like). Great bird.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
KeriVit
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Jun 15, 2008, 06:51 PM
 
I just remember seeing one at the Air Force Museum in Warner Robins. I'll back off any definitive statements from here.

Although, I must say to get back to biz, I live near Hunter Army Airfield and Ft. Stewart. The Chinooks flying overhead never cease to amaze me. Our guys have served 3 tours since 2003 and every time I see them fly over (3 times a week anyway) I thank them for their service.

I used to live up the road along a river and they would do runs at night. People complained of the noise. But, really, I am proud they practice and serve.

EDIT: And the Blackhawks are just plain sexy!
     
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Jun 15, 2008, 09:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by KeriVit View Post
EDIT: And the Blackhawks are just plain sexy!
I did some consulting work with Sikorsky back in the late 90's when they were still working hot and heavy on the Comanche. That was a very cool helicopter... too bad it got canceled.
     
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Jun 15, 2008, 10:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Maybe you're talking about the CH/HH/MH-53? Big and very gray:

The CH-46 is only used by the Navy and Marines, but the Air Force has used a lot of different helicopters, and the -53 has a history of being used with a gray paint scheme. They use it for combat search and rescue (downed pilots and the like). Great bird.
Glenn,

Is that a refueling port sticking out of the front of the helicopter? And if so, how the heck do you refuel
a helicopter in mid-flight without tearing up the fuel tanker or supply line with the helicopter's blades?

TIA!
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I would prefer my humanity sullied with the tarnish of science rather than the gloss of religion.
     
abe
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Jun 16, 2008, 02:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
Glenn,

Is that a refueling port sticking out of the front of the helicopter? And if so, how the heck do you refuel
a helicopter in mid-flight without tearing up the fuel tanker or supply line with the helicopter's blades?

TIA!
America should know the political orientation of government officials who might be in a position to adversely influence the future of this country. http://tinyurl.com/4vucu5
     
ghporter
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Jun 16, 2008, 09:48 AM
 
Thanks for the pic, abe. -53s have incredible range because of this capability; very helpful in search and rescue. And in fact, they were set up for the drogue refueling system specifically because of that huge rotor sweep. No way for a boom to get in safely, and for that matter there's not much sense in having a helicopter like that following a jet tanker.

Keri, the -Hawk series is one of the most impressive medium helicopter platforms ever built. Very flexible and interestingly, very good at every job its been given. At one point I could differentiate between the sounds of Blackhawks, Hueys, Cobras, and Apaches without any visual cues; they would fly over me all over the place when I was stationed in Panama ('87-'89), so I know what you mean about hearing them and knowing what's flying over.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jun 16, 2008, 08:52 PM
 
The original posters are Marine Corps CH-46 birds, probably the Delta or Foxtrot variant. There's a squadron based down here at NAS Norfolk, I drive by them pretty much every day. The 53s are sexy as hell, but the MH-53E (Navy Sea Dragon) is about as badass as it gets. Shakes the building when those fly over.
Midshipman 3/C, USNR
     
   
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