Loach Pilot (by Bruce L. Carnegie)
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The Contras, the Sandinistas – and the Canadians? A gripping story of how a kid from Richmond, British Columbia became a Canadian air force pilot and deployed to Central America to fly helicopter missions at the end of the Contra War. Loach pilots were born in the Vietnam War and were a rare breed by the early 1990s. The author’s first tour as an air force pilot was flying the LOH (Loach) Bell CH-136 Kiowa helicopter when he was selected to spend six months in Honduras and Nicaragua in support of the Contra demobilization.
Canadian helicopter crews made operational decisions on the spot as they ranged across the theatre, and no day was like another. The difference between the tightly controlled environment of 10 Tactical Air Group in Canada and the free-wheeling helicopter operations of 89 RWAU in Central America was like night and day. Let off of their leash, the aircrew thrived in an environment where mission accomplishment trumped every other consideration.
Read about how Carnegie became a Loach pilot as a young recruit and thrill in the suspense of the missions that he flew during his operational tour.