From the Hac’s Seat

HAC stands for Helicopter Aircraft Commander.  In the Navy, the HAC is responsible for the overall conduct of the mission.  Since the main character, Josh Haman, is a helicopter pilot and I qualified as HAC in several models of the H-2 and H-3, I thought in this part...

How I became a helicopter pilot

Like every Naval Aviator before me, I arrived in Pensacola to report to the training command in June, 1968 right after I got my degree. The instructors in what was called “Preflight” emphasized in that everything we do from this point in time onward is going to be...

Flying the Kaman H-2A/B SeaSprites

My first memories of the UH-2A are from a Sunday afternoon walk around on a deserted Whiting Field transient ramp when I was still in the training command. The helo had flown in from Mayport, Florida and sat there, sleek looking with its blades folded back. At the...

Flying the Kaman H-2C/D SeaSprites

The Navy installed what was known as a “Gold Stripe” engine that had an extra 250 horsepower in a few A/B’s flown by HC-7. This alleviated some of the power, or lack of power problem a bit, but the hot and humid conditions found in South East Asia dictated a better...

Flying the Sikorsky H-3 SeaKing

The H-3 is the Chevy Suburban of helicopters. It is adaptable, functional, and for its day, pretty reliable. The H-3 is or was flown by the armed forces of many countries and they were built in the Canada, Japan, the U.K. as well as the U.S. There are so many military...