Inches separate success and failure. Inches success and death.
I was scared to death at everyone of my boards… Did I say the right thing, did I “Please them” Gut wrenching diarrhea causing stomach pain while waiting. Your in, and off you go… Hanging on the other side of an MH6 while the shooters are doing work in a take down an HVT. All of a sudden you get tilted to the side, the axis tilts to the side, I thought we were peeling off, NOPE, we were just getting the skid lined up with the mirror of the HVT’s rearview mirror. off it comes at 100+ knots. (If it were me I refer you to my board discussion and would jam on my brakes) however; there were four hitters on the helo right behind them alternating sides of who was going to get a piece first but also I think the skid could hit and could do around. If that did not work the shooter put four rounds in the wind shield “warning shots”
Im sorry warning shots directly over my right shoulder would of given me enough life to lift off the accelerator and slowly slow down and put my hands up. (granite I was not a shooter but I knew the ace of spades was one someone’s vest and what does this guy do…. accelerate. The MH6 climbed a little bit of altitude and then put the skid right about the windshield wipers. I don’t know at what point this guy did not realize the gig was up and the more he screws around he will find his hole deeper and darker. The right pilot could of shot him with his 9mm. Instead they make him stop (won’t disclose how) but when he came out of his car he got zip cuffed and I gave him a full medical evaluation, before we tucked him in and gave him a free ride to Chapman…
When he realized where he was he F’ed, he started singing like a parakeet, I honestly felt bad for him, to be honest maybe he did not see us, until the shots were fired. Then again I would not be a prisoner at Chapman (RIP). Even all the SERE evolutions i’ve been through I still would not want to be an insurgent at Chapman.
Sadly this is not what I meant by inches separate life and death, Pilots seem to be untouchable, they are good, they are calculated and they know what they EXACTLY what they are doing. They train for this, they train for every single contingency possible. Ive seen them overcome insurmountable odds, they train M-Th 12-18 hours a day, and then go work with the various clients that demand there need, Seals, Delta/CAG/ACE, RRC, 75th Ranger Regiment, Jesus etc.
Have you ever look at a shoot out? When you look at the line drawing or line out, and they show every bullet fired, impressive isn’t it? Gang bangers shooting each other, imagine when they are shooting sideways and shooting at a target knowing nothing of what that they are doing. There are lines all over the place of bullet path ways, I think of battles Ive been and there is always “chalk talk” or whatever the catch phrase is…. however; if it were possible to put lines on every bullet fired, 1) it would be impressive art 2) it would show us how much a matter of inches have saved our lives. There are career USASOC guys without a scratch on them. Some with that have more holes and broken bones than swiss cheese. If you did a line drawing with a simple min-gun, would look like a Christmas Tree…
This is applicable to all aspects of life, since the majority of my blog posts are about family, and raising the little ones… How many times have you watched kid A) fall and miss a brick fireplace and going into “OH S&#@! that was close!” A matter of inches would you say? I have heard an eruption of cries of duder where and my MIL running up the stairs telling us he needed us. (my thought there were four adults who he loves you can’t calm him down? She caught her breath and tried to remain composed I said is this something that needs my attention? She said nothing… I ran down stairs to a blood covered kid. A few inches and he would of missed the table.
Inches are not games, they can make frames crooked, walls off square, etc. Inches separate success and failure.