Friday, July 3, 2009

Airdrop At Palembang

From 22 through 31 Oct 1978 I was 'rested' from flying in the operational areas. There must be a 'conspiracy' in the squadron to stop me from actively flying in the Selamat Sewadee Ops! Two sets of nuri crew from No 3 Sqn were selected to participate in the 'Helang-Malindo' excercise at Malang Airbase, East Java. 3 nuri were involved and the aircrew were selected from No 3, No 7 and No 10 squadrons.

On 21 Oct '78 my crew and I hitched a flight to Kuantan Base for briefing. The next day, I was given a nuri belonging to No 10 Sqn for the flight. The flight plan to Malang was:

22/10 - Kuantan - Pulada, Ulu Tiram Refuelling and night stop (N/S)
23/10 - Pulada- Palembang - Jakarta Refuelling at Palembang, N/S Jakarta
24/10 - Jakarta - Malang

In my nuri, the paxs included the second set of aircrew and ground crew. The transit flight from Pulada to Palembang was rather boring; flying over the Straits of Malacca and then over the jungle of Sumatra. We were flying in loose formation and I was the no. 3. Suddenly......what an awful smell.............! Ts & Ps indicated normal, no unusual sound, where the smell came from and what caused it?

I asked the AQM whether there was anything wrong in the cabin. With his distorted voice, he responded that the standby captain was in the process of answering the call of nature in the thermal barrier! For the benefit of those not familiar with the nuri helicopter, there was no such thing as lavatory. What the nuri had, was a 'relief tube' located at the 'broom closet', behind the captain's seat ( in the cabin and in full view of the passengers). In fact, it was for male passengers only. Whenever it was in use, female passengers had better closed their eyes or looked at the thermal barrier. The thermal barrier was basically the tail boom area and out of sight of the passengers by a zipped-canvas.

When I looked at the cabin, all the passengers were squeezing their nostrils. I didn't blame them at all. The whole aircraft was polluted with an awful smell. Wondered what he had for dinner last night! Anyway, I told the AQM to inform the culprit to throw the unwanted additional freight when I came to a hover over the jungle.

Leaving 3000 feet for 50 feet above the trees' top to a hover. The cabin door was opened and ...........bomb away. It was fortunate for all of us that he bought the newpapers before the flight; it was used to wrap the s@#t.

I had to hover as low as possible so the package would drop vertically. If it was thrown out while in flight, who was going to clean the fuselage and tail rotor splattered with s@#t? What an embrassing situation for the RMAF when we stopped at Palembang for refuelling!!

I'm not in the least suprised if the area showered by the s@#t was denied of any habitat or vegetation! And, can you imagine if there was, say, a hunter, suddenly showered with coloured-solid state 'rain'! Hail-stone was familiar.......but this..........?

Dedicated to my good friend who is still serving in the RMAF. Well, my friend, it's a pleasure to reminisce the good, old flying days.............! He....he....he.....!!


Robert Rizal Abdullah said...

Hi Squad,

Oh my! What a s#@t situation you were in! Yuck! I cannot bear to think of the stink in the aircraft.
Any ladies on board?

Robert Rizal Abdullah

Siva said...

Aiyoh! Next time I see a Nuri I will try my best not to be in its flight path! heh heh

nibs said...

Luckily there ware no ladies on board.

zainal yan said...

I had similar experience travelling in C 130 from Islamabad to Karachi. The aircraft was full of Defence Attaches and their families less the US Defence Attaches (they went by their own aircraft) from all over the world in an organized visit to Karachi arranged by The Pakistan Intelligence Service. One of the defence attaches son want to s#@t and he has to do it in a small funnel like thing. I didnt bother to look because the smell was terrible.