Followers

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Had I Known

Readers...For the past two weeks I'm totally engrossed in writing the manuscript for the proposed book. I made numerous calls to my colleagues, not only to request them to pen their experiences but also to confirm certain facts, such as dates, airframe number, crew, etc. At about 1840 hr on 21 May, 2010, I made a call to a colleague asking for an incident which involved him being shot by the communist terrorists (CTs).

He is now with MHS and stationed at Kerteh. However, at the time when I called him, he was at Shah Alam. He was unable to confirm the date since his 'Log Book' is at Kerteh. Anyway, I related my story for his confirmation. The task involved 3 Nuri and I was the Flight Leader. He (callsign 'Juliet 2) and another captain (Juliet 3) were 'D cat' captains, ie, they were not authorised to fly troops, only freights. On coming to a hover at an LP with the underslung loads of packed rations,  the CTs shot at him from all directions. He managed to release the load and took off. The other captain, Juliet 3, informed me of the shooting while troops were embarking onto my Nuri at Kroh.

I directed Juliet 2 to land at Ban Chang Tharat landing strip (LS) and the gunship to escort; Juliet 3 to accompany Juliet 2.  On landing at the LS, the troops in my Nuri were deployed to provide security protection and I directed the crew of Juliet 2 to take over my Nuri which was not shut down. I checked the damaged Nuri personally and found that only one generator  was hit by the bullets, so I reckoned it was safe to fly back the Nuri to Kroh. This hero directed Juliet 2 to fly the troops back to Kroh and Juliet 3 and gunship to escort me. Additional instruction  to Juliet 3 was to pick me and my crew should I have to make a forced landing.

On reaching Kroh, my Squadron Commander contacted me for my plan of action. I told him that I would be flying back the 'lame' Nuri to Butterworth.

Later on, I was told  that the tail rotor shaft was hit by the bullets. I never knew the severity of the damage on the Nuri. All I was aware of was that one generator was unserviceable. If I had known this, of course I would request for a recovery. I suppose Almighty Allah had spared me so that I can live to tell this story.

4 comments:

FMZam said...

Salam tuan,

Bila takdir mengatasi segala, berpantang mati sebelum ajal. Ketika tuan dijauhkan Allah dari sebarang kemungkinan buruk dalam Peristiwa April 76 itu, untuk hidup dan menceritakan kisah ini kepada yang hidup, dimana ada hamba Allah yang ditakdirkan menjadi korban dalam peristiwa tersebut, namun pengorbanan mereka tidak sia-sia kerana usaha tuan yang murni bagi mendokumenkan peristiwa ini menjadi tugu peringatan kepada pahlawan2 yang gugur dalam peristiwa hitam itu.

Peristiwa April 76 memang memeranjatkan tentera kita pada waktu itu kerana tentangan yang ditunjukkan oleh pengganas kominis walau mereka hanya dipersenjatai dengan senjata ringan namun telah melakukan tindakan yang berkesan keatas sistem bantuan udara kita yang memang sangat "vulnerable" walau hanya oleh sebutir peluru dari raifel tinggalan Perang Dunia Ke-2 yang digunakan oleh pihak pengganas.

Namun peristiwa itu tidak melemahkan semangat juang TUDM, malah telah mempertingkatkan komitmen ATM untuk terus menggempur tentera Chin Peng hingga tidak ada hutan yang tidak dilalui oleh tentera kita. Begitu ramai tentera kita yang jadi korban dalam perang melawan insurgensi, samada oleh peluru musuh atau pun periuk api atau jerangkap samar. Kepada kita yang terlibat tetapi telah terselamat, kita sentiasa akan tertanya-tanya, mengapa kita masih hidup? mengapa bukan kita yang tuhan takdirkan untuk terkorban? mengapa orang lain yang tuhan takdirkan? mengapa peluru itu mengenai orang lain bukan kita, padahal kita berada di line of fire? mengapa jerangkap samar itu mengenai orang lain padahal kita telah pijak tempat itu, kita telah lalui tempat itu, lebih dahulu dari orang yang jadi korbannya? Mengapa tuhan selamatkan kita tapi mengorbankan orang lain? padahal tidak ada seorang pun askar kita yang penakut dan pengecut untuk melarikan diri, semuanya adalah askar2 yang berani.

Dan dalam perang, dimana ada ketakutan disitu ada keberanian. Tuan telah tunjukkan bahawa bila sudah tidak ada apa yang ditakutkan lagi dan tidak ada siapa yang lebih berani dari tuan untuk melakukannya, maka tuan lakukan apa yang dilakukan bila seorang manusia biasa perlu melakukan sesuatu yang luar biasa.

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

Saudara FMZam,

Terima kasih.

Capt's Longhouse said...

nor,

,,,in 1985, i flew an S61N back to UK from Kerteh without knowing that the aircraft engineers had wrongly swapped the collective to yaw coupling rods in the broom closet !. During the initial flight test, i felt the restriction in the flight control checks but the bloody Bristow engineer that has to follow the ferry flight told me that it might be because of low battery pwr since we were indeed utilizing internal batteries during that particular check. He was responsible in the control rigging too.
,,,for 18 days and 28 stoppers along the ferry flight, i still felt the restriction during all my initial flt.control checks but limited its full movement checks to reduce battery usage !.
,,,upon landing at Aberdeen finally, the chopper was released for line ops. flight and another pilot noticed the same snag and realised in my tech. log comments about the restriction too, so they rigged up the chopper with external pwr supply in the hangar for a complete flight control check, guess what they found out ? A wrongly or crossed mixed flight control rods in the broom closet which was just about to break apart !. In fact, they did an 100% test on its full range and the bloody collective to yaw coupling rod finally broke apart !.
,,,just imagine if it had broken during flight, I would had lost control of the bloody chopper !. The Bristow Aircraft Engineer also lost his job for not checking the rigging properly prior releasing that chopper to me. He did not carry out the rigging pin check, which would indicate that the alinements were o.k. which in fact was an mandatory requirement after rerigging of control rods. I made sure that he was sacked from the company for life.
,,,my ferry flight protocol is still with MHS Aviation nowadays utilized as ref. guide, if ever they carry out such long distance ferry flights again. I was darm LUCKY, i guess to be alive till today!!!!.eerrmm.

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

Dear Sharif,

Syukur to Almighty Allah that you arrived at the destination safely. Just now Md Som e-mailed me telling that about 26 rounds hits his aircraft in that particular incident.