Emweller00002
AVM Mac Weller AM
Senior Engineering Officer, Squadron Leader
No. 9 Squadron, RAAF
Vung Tau
Nov 1970 - Nov 1971

My job was to manage about 100 technicians, maintaining and repairing 16 Iroquois ‘Huey’ helicopters of the RAAF No. 9 Squadron. Sometimes this involved the recovery of downed helicopters in Phuoc Tuy province. On one occasion, the No. 9 Squadron commanding officer, Wing Commander Pete Mahood (who was later tragically killed in a flying accident in Australia) landed with a hydraulic warning light on. Because he had landed well out in the province, our problem was that we had no equipment to analyse the failure. But if not fixed, the aircraft would have to be changed over and somehow recovered to Vung Tau. I took a punt on it being an indication fault. I grabbed a spanner and gave the pressure transmitter switch a healthy but well-calibrated ‘whack’. I looked up the front to see Mahood’s hand out the window signifying ‘thumbs up’. I walked nonchalantly out of the rotor disc, exchanging an ‘eyes up’ with the senior officer and the war went on.

Service No. O218831