Seawolf Outhouse Robbery

Larry Bradshaw

by Roger Ek, Seawolf 25

Seawolf dets really had to scrape to get by. It so happened that Det 3 at Ben Luc needed an outhouse, and there was a perfectly good four holer at Vung Tau. Now, an old B-Model wouldn't lift much, but many Seawolf pilots had experience in VERTREP, the resupply of ships at sea by helicopter. So the Det 3 guys calculated that with a 25 knot wind and a stripped down B-model, they could sling load the Vung Tau four holer.

Our heros arrived at Vung Tau at dawn on a windy day. The crewman casually strolled over to the outhouse and climbed onto the roof. The Seawolf helo picked up into a high hover, and the crewman slapped the nylon string into the hook. He then swung up onto the skid, and with a mighty(?) strain, they were off across the Rung Sat, slow and low. The doors on the outhouse made it revolve in the wind, and the more it revolved, the shorter the sling got, kind of like the rubber band in a model airplane.

By the time they got to Nha Be, the nylon sling was real short, and so was the fuel supply. When pickled, the cargo hook was released, but the strap would not come unstuck. The helo had to hover long enough to let the outhouse unwind a while. That created a whole lot of attention. Finally , the strap came loose, and the outhouse dropped about four feet. It was out of square after that.

To prevent twisting on the final leg to Ben Luc, the Seawolves used a small drogue chute from an OV10A. The rest of the trip was a piece of cake. Mission accomplished. That may have been the first time ever that a small chute was used to stabilize a sling load. But we used it often after that with the L-Models for CONEX boxes and transmission cans.

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