Friday, August 2, 2019

Pilots get ratings for new helo

Test pilots from the 413th Flight Test Squadron at Duke Field, Fla., became the first Air Force pilots to receive a Type rating on the AW-139 helicopter on July 29. Majors Zach Roycroft and Tony Arrington completed the five-week contracted course in New Jersey on the civilian counterpart to the service's new MH-139 helicopter. The aircraft is to replace the UH-1N Huey. “This puts our team one step closer to flight testing the new aircraft when production is completed,” said Roycroft, lead test pilot for the squadron. A Type rating is an FAA qualification for a specific aircraft. As test pilots were training, the 413th FLTS and Air Force Global Strike Command airmen were completing the maintenance technician course on the aircraft. The MH-139 delivery marks the first, in recent history, that the Air Force will receive a rotary wing asset not previously used by another branch of the military. The service plans to buy 84 MH-139 helicopters over the next decade. The first aircraft delivery to Duke Field is scheduled for late November. The 413th FLTS is affiliated with the 96th Test Wing at nearby Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: Eglin Public Affairs, 08/01/19)