Saturday, April 14, 2007

Search and Rescue Helicopter Training

Today we first had fire building and shelter building for the Benton County Search and Rescue class out on Mary's Peak. Nate and I made a fantastic natural shelter out of downed trees, bark and moss but we had a bit of trouble starting a fire out of the wet vegetation in the area. If we had had a machete like our buddy Mike had (teacher of the ROTC at OSU) we would have been able to chop down to dry wood but instead we ended up using a small candle to start our fires. Nate and I stopped for a quick lunch at Poor Boys and then headed to the Corvallis Airport for Helicopter training.

It was a cold excersize (helicopter not running) but we were able to go check it out and learn all about how they run their operations. I even got to sit in the cockpit. I felt like I was in Air Wolf and wanted to rise out of a dormant volcano (points if you get that reference). I honestly don't know how they fly those things because there must have been over 100 buttons, nobs, dials etc in the chopper that I had no idea462646418_f99c9907d8_b
how to read. There are about 20 people stationed there and 3 are on call at all hours. They can be in the air in less than 7 minutes, have a range of ~150 miles and the bird flies at 175mph fully loaded. They run on average atleast one mission a day and all, even the pilot, are medically trained so they can freely rotate positions. It was truly amazing to see how specialized and well trained the personel were. Later this year we may also be able to train with a hovering Black Hawk helicopter such as the ones used on the famous Mt. Hood rescue where one crashed. Check my flickr site for photos under the CMRU set.


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