174th Assault
Helicopter Company

Sharks on Standby Atop Mt. Bronco

Here a Shark light fire team (two guns) pull a 5-minute stand-by alert mission atop Mt. Bronco at Duc Pho. Note pilots doors are open and blades are untied, ready to go at a moment's notice. One Shark has the 40-mm grenade launcher (Frog) and the other has a minigun system. This was a particularly difficult landing in a fully armed and fueled gunship, as the Sharks were usually over their maximum gross weight when loaded, and this was a true "pennicle" approach. There was little room for error. As the helicopter was too heavy to hover out of ground effect, the pilot was committed to landing as he came through effective translational lift while on short final. (Photo by Jim McDaniel, 1968)