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Helicopters in Vietnam?
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Helicopters in Vietnam?

Would a gunner on a helicopter in Vietnam be wearing a parachute?


N O, You were not high enough for a parachute to work,
normally. The gunner was usually strapped in so he would not fall out.

Joe Doc here

let me see I was in the 101st Airborne -Vietnam- 164th CAG Combat Assualt group- Mekong delta, etc.

Why would I want to be shredded, a la cussinard food processor in a chute?

But young man? it is a good question:

A helicopter would need:

1. an ejection seat for the aircraft commander and pilot
2. an explosive bolt or four on the rotars
3. to be over 2,000 feet, 1,200 is cutting it close, but it could
4. yes, helicopters were shot down flying as high as 4,000 plus feet, a chute system would have saved some
5 but all parachutes were too bulky, large for helicopter


no chutes, a plan to put the helicopter on a chute but hell it usually burns anyway so we never tried it operationally.

Same issue as with tanks -armor- when do you stop adding protection and go for speed.

Quote me on that

Perhaps say in the year 2030 we will have a system
no sooner.

no, i would think they would have a harness

That Guy

Steve H
Dude...let it go.

And no, a parachute would do a gunner no good. No time to open from the altitude a Huey would be flying at.

tom l
No,, but I have seen a lot of them sit on their helmet instead of putting it on their head. (bullets rairly come down and hit a door gunner)

Following the compass
No, a parachute would actually be more dangerous, since there wasn't enough altitude to use it effectively.

No they would not. In fact the average life expectancy of a door gunner in a fire fight was 2 mins. That is in heavy contact with the enemy.

Nope, not flying high enough to enable the parachute to be effective.

My uncle was a door gunner in a UH-1 transport in Vietnam; he never wore a parachute, even the "Chicken Plate" vest he was issued was used as a cushion to protect his butt from any incoming AK-47 fire into the underside of his UH-1D transport.

Helicopters don't have ejection seats and they can, by design, auto-rotate and land safely if the engine fails; its a tricky endeavour, but helicopter pilots are highly trained to be able to land safly in the event of an engine failure.

no they did not need them falling out wasn't the problem it was being shot in the helocopter

No. Helicopters in battle wouldnt be high enough off the ground for you to be saved normally anyways.

no, choppers dont fly high enough

Sick Puppy


As those of us in the Naval Rotary Wing community used to joke to the Jet-Jocks... "Real men don't use parachutes... we RIDE it all the way to the water !!"

If you see something in a photo, it is most likely a "gunners belt"... a 5 inch wide nylon belt that secures in front of the chest with a LARGE latching mechanism... and has a "tail" in back that can be clipped into the helicopter.

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