01-Nov-2002 -- I had heard of the project some time earlier and finally got around to convincing my friends that it was something we needed to do.
Off we went on a GPS Navigation training mission in a UH – II helicopter.
Take off around 0930 hours and following our predetermined waypoints we finally arrived at our destination around 1100 hours local time. We landed about 700 Meters due east of our destination at an elevation around 7,600 Feet, the helicopter had a onboard GPS but due to the terrain we could not get any closer than that. About 200 meters due east of the Landing Zone (LZ) there was a small house and we had attracted a small crowd as I am sure this was probably the first time the people living there had seen a helicopter up close, or for that matter four Americans in their neck of the woods.
The three of us and a Pakistan Frontier Corp Officer headed towards the destination as fast as we could run, but due to the elevation and rough terrain it took almost 15 minutes to cover the distance to the exact point.
Once we arrived at the point there was a bit of a disagreement as to where “it” was exactly. My 2 friends had handheld GPS units and I was armed with the camera, Well jason was right on the money and Mike was of by .001 degree. As we were taking photos of the area we noticed a local man on a donkey riding by looking at us as if we were crazy so we took the oppurtunity for a photo shoot with him.
After that we headed back to the LZ to meet up with our transportation. When we returned the men that occupied the house were sitting on a small hill within 20 feet of the helicopter just looking at us as if we were from another planet. We took a few minutes and shook hands and said our hello’s before we lifted off and headed back home.
I would like to thank my friends for helping me get to 31 North, 67 East.
Till next time !
(narrative by Jay Green)