Monthly Archives: July 2013

Polish Hind and Hip helicopter operations over Afghanistan in a Black Hawk Down style video!

The following spectacular video compiled and produced by Mariusz Adamski shows the operation of Polish Mi-8 Hip and Mi-24 Hind helicopters over the Afghan theater.

Things that are worth highlighting:

First of all, the helicopters, due to the high altitudes above sea level very rarely used the VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) capabilities; they rather used runways and wings in order to produce the lift needed for take-off.

Secondly one can notice use of flares as the insurgents were believed to be in possesion of Stinger AAMs

The Mi-8 has additional armor plates mounted that act to provide safety for the pilots and protect them from small arms fire. Hinds were used for SAR escort purpose.

Noteworthy, a Mi-24 can bee seen together with a SAR UH-60.

The flights were usually carried aut at low altitudes above the ground, as that would have a psychological effect on the enemy. Adding to that, the choppers were exactly the same models that Soviet Russians used during their operations in Afghanistan.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist

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Several helicopters fighting the massive forest fire “Carpenter 1” in Nevada

Several aircraft have been operating out of North Las Vegas airport to fight the forest fire coded “Carpenter 1”.

Carpenter 1 is a large fire on Mount Charleston, that began on Jul. 1 and remains the highest ranked priority fire in the U.S. according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

U.S Forest Service scaled

Taken by Alan Sondak, the interesting images show some of the 17 choppers operating from North Las Vegas A/P to fight Carpenter 1, including an Air Crane, a Bell AH-1F, a Bell 212 and a Bell 210.

Minuteman in Vegas scaled

Image credit: Alank Sondak

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North Korea’s (illegally supplied) armed Hughes 500E helicopters emerge after 30 years in the dark

On Jul. 27, North Korea staged a huge parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.

Among the hardware that took part in the traditional flying parade, there were even a couple of Hughes 500E helicopters, armed with AT-3 Sagger missiles.

The North Korean “Little Birds” are an interesting addition to the display: since there were no images of them in North Korea, their presence in DPRK has long been considered a sort-of legend, even if the fact that they had been illegally supplied to Pyongyang was unveiled in the ’80s.

Most probably they didn’t fly a lot since they were delivered but during the 60th anniversary air parade, the light choppers flew quite low over the marching tanks, as if they were closely supporting ground operations.

DPRK 500E 2‘s Ugo Crisponi has drawn a rendering of the Hughes 500 helicopters in the North Korean Air Force markings.

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[Photo] F-35A on final at Nellis Air Force Base

Since there are not many F-35 flying around the world, any “unofficial” picture of the much maligned fifth generation stealth fighter plane is extremely interesting.

The one above was taken by Alan Sondak at Nellis Air Force last week and shows one of the local-based Joint Strike Fighters about to land on runway 03R at the airbase located just outside Las Vegas, Nevada.

In the meanwhile, testing activities go ahead.

An F-35A Joint Strike Fighter flying just under the speed of sound dropped a 2,000-pound GBU-31 guided bomb from 10,000 feet on Jul. 1 at Edwards Air Force Base, California; a test whose aim was to verify whether the bomb would properly separate from the the aircraft flying in a tactical environment and a little step toward full-rate production…

Image credit: Alan Sondak via T. Lovelock

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Here’s the control tower audio from Virginia Beach F/A-18 Hornet crash last year

On Apr. 6, 2012, a U.S. Navy F/A-18D Hornet crashed into Mayfair Mews Apartments off of Fleming Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA.

Both pilots ejected safely and, fortunately, no one was killed in the accident.

Photos of “Roman 38”, the crashed Hornet (Bu.No. 163452/AD-410), were published by U.S. and foreign media outlets and WTKR Television, on Nov. 26, 2012 released the first footage of the doomed plane slamming into a Virginia Beach apartment complex.

Now, The Virginian-Pilot has obtained more than four hours of audio recordings from the air traffic control tower at Oceana Naval Air Station from April 6, 2012 and has made them available on Youtube.

The clip blends chatter from multiple channels. Even if they obviously don’t give a clue of what was happening aboard “Roman 38”, the recordings are interesting because they gives a clear idea of how the other traffic and Ocean Tower reacted to the emergency,  moments immediately before and after the doomed plane crashed into the ground.


H/T to William Garcia for the heads-up