DH - Defence Helicopter

IAF examines helicopter pilots’ performance under threat

26th January 2018 - 02:01 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Israeli Air Force helicopter crew have carried out an exercise for conducting operations under duress.

Combat and transport helicopter squadrons took part in the exercise, with simulated enemy weapons used to train pilots for assisting ground forces while ensuring helicopter safety.

Each squadron was allocated a separate flight zone with an exercise designed relevant to its needs.

Black Hawk squadrons had firing ranges and aggressor forces at their disposal, while undertaking missions including casualty extraction, downed pilot extraction and evacuation of forces under fire. At the same time, the pilots had to deal with various threats and manoeuver the aircraft in order to avoid being hit, while deploying self-defence systems such as flares.

The majority of the exercise’s sorties were carried out at night, in order to add another component of uncertainty that the crew members might encounter in combat.

Apache Longbow pilots also trained for operations in missile-threatened areas, such as low altitude flight. The crew must maintain a balance between flying low enough to support forces on the ground, while remaining high enough to avoid surface-launched missile threats.

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