Helicopters Depart NASWF After Another Successful Fly-In

Published on November 05, 2014 with No Comments

When pilots and aircrew from about 20 different helicopters boarded their aircraft and departed NAS Whiting Field Friday morning, it marked the completion of another successful Fleet Fly-In for Training Air Wing FIVE.

Fleet Fly-In 2014-141029-39The annual event is one of the most anticipated events on the calendar for the installation and 2014 marked another memorable occasion.  For about three days, the skies above NAS Whiting Field were peppered with gray and black aircraft amidst the orange and black training aircraft that continually fly above the base and its 13 outlying fields.

Helicopter Training Squadron EIGHT coordinated the function, and HT-8 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Rob Sinram was pleased with how the Fly-In turned out.

“This year’s Fleet Fly-In was a big success,” he said.  “We got the fleet turnout we were hoping for and students got a lot of flight time and interaction with the fleet crews.”

While the Naval Helicopter Association Fleet Fly-In encompasses a variety of panel discussions on large scale aviation issues, detailer presentations on future assignments, and industry displays showcasing helicopter technologies; the thrilling part is for the TRAWING-5 flight students having an opportunity to touch, ride in, and potentially fly Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard fleet helicopters.  More than 300 future aviators received such flights during the open flight periods Wednesday and Thursday.

One new event that also generated a lot of excitement was the skills competition between pilots from each of the helicopter training squadrons in the Wing.  The challenge tested pilots’ abilities to perform an autorotation (unpowered) landing, hovering skills, and talent in dropping cargo to a pre-designated position.  Squadron rivalry generated a large crowd during the event, which was eventually won by HT-8’s Lt. Nate Noyes, USCG.

According to Sinram, the event was such a success that it will become a regular part of the week’s schedule.

“The Skills Competition went off well, better even than we anticipated.  From here on out it will be an annual event,” Sinram stated.  “It’s purpose was to demonstrate how well our IPs can do the maneuvers that we teach the students in accordance with the Flight Training Instruction and to build some camaraderie.”

With the 2014 Fleet Fly-In in the rear view mirror, HT-8 will look to build on this year’s event for an even better on next year.

“The Fly-In takes a lot of coordination each year, and Lt. Pat Salvitti and Lt. John Geary did a tremendous job in planning the event.  But they couldn’t have pulled it off without the support from each of the other HT squadrons, the base, and L-3 did a fantastic job of taking care of the fleet helicopters.  The fleet crews said a lot of great things about the event and how much they enjoyed being back and that is a tribute to everyone involved,” Sinram said.

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