May 10th, 2009


Close encounters

My neighborhood just got buzzed by a military helicopter/gunship flying at an altitude of maybe around 200-300 feet!

(I've seen them flying overhead a few other times in the past, but not normally this LOW! The current cloud ceiling is apparently 4200 feet, so I don't know why they'd be flying that low over a residential area.)

I didn't get a good enough look through the tree out back to tell exactly what kind it was & what markings it had (though it was certainly low enough, had I been faster at getting to the window and finding the right direction to look), but I think it might have been an AH-1W Super Cobra (though dark green rather than grey like that one).

Whatever it was, it had one heck of a large gun slung under the nose. And it looked like the gun was pointed down rather than up!

ETA: And now a second one (or the first one again, though it looked grey this time) went over the front yard. A little higher this time, but still only a few hundred feet. I didn't have a good enough angle this time to see the sides, but I'm more confident that this one was probably an AH-1W.

ETA2: Must be some sort of maneuvers going on. A formation of three Chinooks (or something similar with two main rotors) just flew over from northeast to southwest. (Whereas the previous two 'copters were both flying due west.)

ETA3: And now what looks like a MH-53M Pavelow just flew by at around 200 feet, following the exact same path as the first helicopter; which, now that I look at it, might also have been a Pavelow, though the second was definitely a Super Cobra.

ETA4: And the Super Cobra just flew back the other direction, so maybe the exercise is over.

Feudalism: Serf & Turf

Close encounters, update

A friend found a news article about the military helicoptors that were buzzing the Chicago area for a few hours this morning & early afternoon. (If only the news piece had hit the 'net a couple hours earlier when I was trying to find out if we'd secretly declared war on Elgin or something.)

It was apparently a rehearsal for the inaugural Marine Week shindig, and the 'copters were flying all over the city and northern & western suburbs.

Also, what I thought was a MH-53 Pave Low was technically a CH-53E Super Stallion (which is basically the same machine with different bling, and the CH-53E is operated by the Marines whereas the MH-53 was operated by the Air Force); what I thought was a trio of CH-47 Chinooks was a trio of CH-46 Sea Knights (which are sort of heavy [Army] and light [Marines] versions, respectively, of the same original prototype), but I was spot on about the AH-1W Super Cobra.

(Not bad for someone whose airframe knowledge is typically about 65 years out of date and who was using Google Images to find visual references!)

Feudalism: Serf & Turf