Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Narrow Escape

My friend, Capt Sharif 'Uban' - Tok Penggawa of Pulau Kapas - penned down his experiences in  the comments' column. I'm sure there are readers out there  who are hard pushed for time to read the comments on my postings. So, without further ado...let me introduce his second unedited experience, for your light reading...

Capt's Longhouse said...

,,,guess, I will relate another incident whereby 14 x CTs surrendered after being surrounded by our security forces during Ops. Telemong, Pahang sometime in 1976 ?

 ,,,initially, they the CTs refused to but after flying the Nuri doing numerous figure 8 flights overhead their camp plus finally hovering directly over their heads !!. They agreed to put their arms down and I was instructed to pick them up from an jungle clearing, hurriedly constructed by the troops BUT unfortunately it was just too restrictive so we flew back to base camp.

 ,,,Guess what, while waiting for the clearing to be made largher/safer, the Home Minister himself called over the telephone to speak to me !!..demanding that they are waiting in Sungai Besi Camp to receive the surrended CTs and TOLD me off, not to expect "Subang Airport" as a clearing for landing, before I could explain further for the delay !!.. I was instructed to take-off and get the CTS in asap !!.

 ,,,So on my 2nd attempt to land, an over hanging tree branch broke off and hit my tail rotors which caused the Nuri to spin around, however I managed to pull her up into the air and gained speed to fly her back for an emergency running landing at the school padang at Kpg. Telemong.

 ,,,3 x Alouette helicopters were then utilized to pick-up the surrendered CTs back to K.L. where the Press and Home Minister were waiting.

 ,,,the story does not end there ! guess what ? I was repremanded for the tail rotor damaged incident by my Senior Training Captain in the Sqn. (no need to name names-lah, he knows who he is !)and was threaten to be taken off from the list for the Flying Instructors Course in the U.K. due end of that month too !.

 ,,,citations were written and all others got their recognitions, Yes I salute them, they did their role bravely indeed. The Home Minister was all over the papers and TV, if only the real truth were made known then !.

 ,,,Lucky, I was called to MINDEF to be explained why, am not going across for the U.K. training when the Air Chief happened to pass by, I took the opportunity to relay what actually happened and was renominated for the training course !.

 ,,,well, I came back as an Helicopter Instructor and personally trained 48 x aircrews for the RMAF b4 I call it a day after serving 11 bloody fighting years for King and Country, indeed again, am forever greatful for the experience and foundation gained while in the services. Perhaps, one day I will relay other frightening/challenging experience we all had while fighting/flying against the CTs in the 70 ths. yaa ??.

 ,,,yes, we had courage and tons of pioneering spirit that dares to be different plus fortitude and toughness that provide the spirit for life's made me as an individual a unique/independent/aggressive/assertive/go-getting to conquer fresh frontiers in/out-side the Armed Forces. AGAIN I THANKs the RMAF for all of these too.

 ,,,BUT please don't forget those with the Gallantry Awards too-lah.

 November 2, 2009 4:41 PM

I'm sure there were many senior military officers at Sg Besi camp with the Minister then. It's a real pity those top brass didn't dare to advise the Minister of the situation. Let's face it, no pilot would simply abandon a task unless it affects flight safety. He was experienced enough to recover from such emergency...otherwise we have no opportunity to read his tale. Should a mishap befall then, I'm the least surprised  the Minister's comment would be '...he's the pilot. He should know better!' 

Think about it!!


Anonymous said...

Aha!!! Shariff Uban!!! one of the many untold stories!!!
Those were the days where the ministers were being ignorant as they are dumbus anyway. But now it comes from the generals, if the army generals still ok la we pilot can explain to them but it is from the RMAF generals or even from the top airman in the RMAF!!! so how?
Can we call them arsehole!!!???
You are very fortunate leaving the RMAF after only 11 years!!!

Anonymous said...

Charlie India Lima Alpha Kilo Alpha Kilo punyer home minister.. I heard another incident where an (Ex)General went to visit a soldier in the killed by the CTs, 'feel' the soldier with his leg n muttered "Not enough training' and hurriedly squattered to touch the soldier with his hands when he realised a reporter is about to take photos. U guys heard about this one ? If this is true, well "Charlie" to him too..

mangchikla said...

keep on writing Bro Shariff!!!

mohd idris bin hassan said...

It happens all the time. When it is a success story the politicians and Mindef top brass will have their mug shots aplashed all over the print/ electronic media. When thing go wrong the poor servicemen will be given a kicking.This happens all the time. Regarding incident where an (Ex)General who went to visit a soldier killed by the CTs, 'feel' the soldier with his leg and muttered "Not enough training' I know this big fat general.Of course it is true I know of it first hand (Infantry man maa!!! Even dare to give my full name

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Dear Anonymous,

Judging from your comments, I think you had a fair share of flying 'adventures' during the counter-insurgency warfare. It would be nice if you could share your experiences of those 'Untold Stories'. I'm ever ready to post it in my blog.

Anonymous said...

The helicopter Golf and Dinner is planned to be somewhere in January.
Any other initiatives are most welcome!!! or xhelipilots RMAF!!! and currently serving any better ideas!!!

Capt's Longhouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.