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Air America article

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
Got this through a Sporty's link (I think) and thought it was worth sharing. It would be very interesting to hear more of his stories.

 

Scimitarze

Automated Member
My granddad flew for them after flying in Vietnam as AirCav. My dad said he would say he's going to the jungle for work and wouldn't know when he's coming back. He still won't talk about it.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Officer
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
A station manager for a small airline I flew for was an Air America vet. He was a student in CO working the ramp for Frontier. When he got furloughed he couldn't afford college and his draft number was comin gup. When looking for a job in an industry rag he saw an offer for experienced airline personnel. "Worldwide assignments, Draft deferment provided". He jumped on it only to find himself in a hooch in Cambodia barely a month later. He flew as a load master, mostly on C-119s. Still walked with a limp from a AAA round taken in the cabin. Loved the flying and the crews. really good money. Not really bitter about having a disabling war wound and no VA benefits. Good guy.

Strike Ops on my first cruise was an Intruder pilot. Shot down and the AF wouldn't come get them for one reason or another. Rescued by an Air America helo. He could still see Arizona Helicopters showing through the dark OD paint. When I told he I worked for the AZ Helicopter's parent company we had a good talk. Turns out my boss was a CIA contractor.

Check out some of the awesome videos of Air America flying ops on YouTube. The PC-6 stuff is incredible.
 

Griz882

Livin' On the Right Side of the River From Pags!
pilot
There was a group called Tepper Air that did similar work in Afghanistan for “an unnamed agency.” I also saw a lot of gun/scout ships operated by Blackwater while I was in Iraq...they seemed to operate under the ass-clown rule and I think they were under contract to State.

24911
 

xmid

Registered User
pilot
Contributor
I also saw a lot of gun/scout ships operated by Blackwater while I was in Iraq...they seemed to operate under the ass-clown rule and I think they were under contract to State.
Blackwater's "Ass Monkeys" were under contract to State as described in Erik Prince's book. They were made up entirely of retired high time TF-160 guys. Seems like they were made up of the most varsity rotary wing pilots out there. Can you expound on how they were operating "under the ass-clown rule?"
 

Griz882

Livin' On the Right Side of the River From Pags!
pilot
Blackwater's "Ass Monkeys" were under contract to State as described in Erik Prince's book. They were made up entirely of retired high time TF-160 guys. Seems like they were made up of the most varsity rotary wing pilots out there. Can you expound on how they were operating "under the ass-clown rule?"
Sure, we would be on the ground trying to gain control of a crowd (sometimes they wanted food, sometimes money that had value, sometimes electricity) and the Blackwater ships would buzz the crowd - with no communication with the troops on the ground and point their rifles at people. They rarely tried to deconflict airspace and never cared one ounce about what might be happening on the ground. At one point we were meeting with some local leaders and the Blackwater guys shot up a nearby road intersection so the civilian team could get...to us...where we had been safely operating for about two hours. They lacked discipline across the board, air and ground ops. I get it, they had a contract to “protect their principle,” but I had a mission.

There is a reason they got booted out of the country....changed their name...and changed it again. It wasn’t because they were good guys.
 
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