8 October 2015
GUESTS HOST JoJo Edwards George Edwards Ken Parris Ron Butler Andy Davenport (one more take-off than landing) Charles Loflin Steven Jayme (CFIP Cadet) Scott Stevens Matt Fehrman (AF LtCol at Texas State) Scott Stevens
Scott Stevens presented a flight jacket to Steven Jayme who said he greatly appreciated the jacket and the flying hours he received under the CFIP program.
The Flight Captain introduced Army Captain Jordan Boyd, who briefed us on the guard operation. Boyd graduated from Texas A&M and said he would overlook the symbolism of the name of our flight (Longhorn). Their primary mission is to train all the Texas Guard pilots. On any given day, there could be 70 pilots flying 3 periods a day. The guard has 15 L and M versions of the Blackhawk UH-60, 6 UH-72 Lakota's, and one C-12 King Air. They usually have one Apache on site. The UH-60M has a glass cockpit and is just now coming into the inventory. As part of the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, there are CH-47 Chinooks at Grand Prairie, Blackhawks at Austin and San Antonio, and Apaches at Ellington Field. There is an "Army" plan to take back the Guard Apaches and provide OH-58 Kiowas. The Lakota carries a 150 gallon bucket or 6 passengers, while the Blackhawk carries a 600-gallon bucket, or 10 troops plus two 7.62 machine guns in the windows. Typically, if you can get something into the Blackhawk, it can fly. The CH-47 can carry 33 passengers. They have RQ-78 Shadow drones that can fly for 4 hours plus. It has an automatic launch and recovery system, and it is good for surveillance and recon. They are based at Ft Hood because they can't fly in civilian airspace.
Here are the Guard's main capabilities: Humanitarian Evacuations Troop Infiltrate and Exfiltrate Fire Suppressions Recon and Assessments Border Patrol Counter Drug Space Shuttle (Challenger Recovery) Hurricane Relief Water and Wilderness Rescue They have deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern countries. For Iraq, they had a 6-month train-up for a 12-month deployment. They always fly with 2 pilots. Capt. Boyd has seen many times when the second pilot was needed. The Blackhawk has an Aw-Shit button to initiate an explosive charge to quickly release a slung load. The airplane is very survivable with redundant systems and heavy landing gear. The fire bottle goes off if the aircraft senses more than 10 g's. Its anti-ice system removes ice in a sequence to avoid any blade imbalance. It has 360 degree IR and radar sensors and can automatically deploy chaff or flares. They have recently added a laser detector. The exhaust is deflected up into the prop wash to reduce the IR signature. This technic was an old one, but it is coming back. A Blackhawk needs about 3 maintenance hours for every flight hour.
In about 2007, they started wearing a two-piece flight suit which was Nomex, but it had little durability. It also had a parachute knife pocket, but it's called a safety knife pocket in the Army. Its replacement is coming soon.