Excerpt from Chapter 17 of The Salactia Project

“What’s the useful payload of an Mi-8T?” Dawson wondered aloud. Following Dawson’s view, Winger caught sight of the helicopter.

“About forty-five hundred pounds, fully fueled,” he said. “That would be just about perfect if we could get it.” He broke out in a grin. “Man, timing is everything.”

“Can you fly one of those things?” Dawson asked.

“Maybe,” was Winger’s disheartening reply, “but why would you want me to fly it? There’s already a pilot in the cockpit.”

Dawson thought for about two seconds, and laughed. “Billy, I do love the way you think! Here’s what we’re going to do.”

Russian helicopter

I captured this image of a Russian helicopter delivering cargo at Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province in March of 2011. These old birds still carry a lot of cargo around the Middle East, but they wouldn’t be my first choice for personal air travel….

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