Thursday, June 25, 2009

TMI Thursday: 175 mph

It's TMI Thursday my friends. For more stories that will entertain and disgust you at the same time go to LiLu’s place for this week's full list. And now, on to the fun!

This story is not mine. It belongs to a friend, but it’s just so damn funny and disgusting, well, I had to share it with y’all.


Anybody ever been to a dump? If you haven’t, here’s a picture of the Fresh Kills Landfill up on Staten Island in New York City. Please note the resident wildlife milling about (yeah, the gulls).


My friend, The Doc, in addition to his prodigious skills as a healer, also has another unique skill set. Before med school, he was a member of that intrepid band of warriors who, strangely, wear Girl Scout hats.

During his tour in Iraq a couple of years ago, as his team was returning to base on their Little Birds (after spreading Truth, Justice and the American Way), their flight path took them over the trash dump that had formed outside their base.

He was in the third of four helicopters flying at low-level. Although, when I say “in” the helicopter, that’s a bit of an overstatement. “On” the helicopter would be a more accurate way to describe his location. Kinda like this (the formation was pretty much the same as well):


The first helo skimmed over the dump and startled the birds. As the second Little Bird flew over, the gulls were just starting to take off. As my friend’s bird reaches the spot right over the dump, the gulls were in full flight.

I don’t know if anyone reading this has ever spent any time inside a Cuisinart, but that’s how the situation was later described to this (former) reporter.

To get through the flock of birds as fast as possible, the pilot on The Doc’s helo firewalled his throttle (175 mph) and powered on through with his 27.4-foot main rotor (8.3 meters for those of you using the metric system), chopping a bloody path through the startled flock of birds. Not so bad for him and his co-pilot, they were inside, but not a pleasant experience for The Doc and the other three guys riding on the outside of the bird…with the insides of birds on their outsides.


Puts a whole new spin on the Fonz’s advice: Never smile when you ride a motorcycle, you’ll get bugs in your teeth.

10 comments:

LiLu said...

If they weren't seagulls, this would make me cry. But as they're almost as "ratty of the sky" as pigeons, I'm okay with it.

I just hope their mouths were closed...

blueskies2day said...

I was just thinking the same as LiLu... and then had an image of them accidentally licking their lips. So those gulls' innards woulda been full of waste, right? Yuk

FoggyDew said...

LiLu - There may have been some "accidental" ingestion.

blueskies - There's nothing that's not gross about this situation. Licking the lips reminds me about the old joke about the cowboy and the horse...

Sebastian said...

I think the most important thing to realise is... the birds would've been coming at them quickly -- a relative speed of 175mph or faster...

And surely it has to frickin' hurt to have intestines and beaks flung at you at that kind of speed...

Wonderful said...

I would've never thought of that. I'll never look at a helicopter/plane the same.

FoggyDew said...

Seb - In total honesty, that's the maximum speed of the Little Bird, when the birds hit they were probably going between 90 and 115 mph. Still, you're right, that's gotta smart.

Wonderful - Interviewed a guy once who sucked a gull through one of the two engines on his Lear on take-off. He said the next five minutes as he flew around the field for an emergency landing may have been some of the more tense ones of his life.

Zan said...

Eff those gulls. They deserved it. Effin' sea rats.

(I was attacked by a flock of gulls when I was about 6 years old...my sister and I were playing innocently on the beach, eating our pb&j sandwiches, and BAM! One of them got tangled in my hair, another damn near took my ear off, and the others ransacked our little play area so they could eat our sandwiches. Bitches.)

Yeah, I'm still bitter.

Stephanie said...

"Puts a whole new spin on..."

How fitting!

Shawna said...

Gross!!!

That's definitely a terrible experience for every person and animal involved.

Shawna's Study Abroad

FoggyDew said...

Zan - My sister once got attacked on the beach by some gulls, I think she still holds a grudge too.

Steph - I thought so too.

Shawna - Don't know who got the worse end of the deal, the gulls who got chopped, or the troops who had to clean them off.