It’s all fun and games until someone goes deaf.
A notorious problem for UH-1 “Huey” door gunners and crew chiefs during Vietnam was that, during extended sorties, many of the crewmen would actually start experiencing hearing loss. Now, it’s argued that this was due to faulty hearing protection, or just by simply being next to the gaping hole in the side of the aircraft, where both the noise from the aircraft’s engine, the noise from the machine gun, and the battering of the fast moving wind were constantly in your ears. Many Marine and Army aviation specialists were later brought back down to “ground work” in positions such as Squad Leaders, Aviation technicians, or designated machine gunners. One thing was for certain, though. If no one could hear the crew chief, or visa versa, you’re going to have some serious problems.