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A Shocking Surprise

The weather forecast was typical of a warm, North Carolina spring afternoon — visibility was great with 10 miles and a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms. We had based our mission operations out of a local airport. As lead aircraft in a flight of three Black Hawks, we were completing our last leg of what was considered a routine infiltration/exfiltration mission.

What Could Go Wrong?

Before becoming an aviator, I served as a flight engineer on a CH-47D Chinook. Our mission that summer day was a simple, routine night vision goggle flight with a couple of very experienced pilots on the controls.

  • 2 June 2024
  • Comments: 0
Out of Harm's Way

It was just another routine training flight in the local Fort Liberty flying area. We were conducting a night team flight supporting the local Air Force combat controllers in what is known as the Northern Training Area (NTA). All was well and, upon the conclusion of our mission, we landed to kick out the left-seaters to give the guys a face-to-face debrief on how it went for both sides.

  • 19 May 2024
  • Comments: 0
Saved by the Safety

In 2023, I served as a member of a unit that was engaged in a significant multi-day cross-country movement for an upcoming rotation at the National Training Center (NTC) in Fort Irwin, California. Specifically, I was part of the UH-60M assault company assigned to this training. During our cross-country journey from Fort Cavazos, Texas, to NTC, I owe a debt of gratitude to our company safety officer, who prevented me from making a potentially disastrous mistake.

  • 12 May 2024
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 197
  • Comments: 0
Tablet Trouble

With the growing need for information at our fingertips, aviators lean heavily on electronic devices in the cockpit. All publications related to flying duties can now be replaced by a kneeboard-sized iPad Mini, which is incredibly convenient. While these devices allow for more efficient mission planning and flying, they do create some interesting questions and gray areas.

  • 5 May 2024
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 167
  • Comments: 0
Rested and Ready

Showing up to the mission in a fatigued state is unacceptable. This happens all too often in aviation. One of my recent flight manuals stated: “A pilot must show up to work free of stress.” Although we may not be stress-free, we may show up well rested and mentally ready to go the distance. A bright-eyed pilot is the best defense against adverse and sudden changes in the cockpit.

  • 28 April 2024
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 147
  • Comments: 0
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