Cadets from both Nebraska and Iowa took to the skies in Army Blackhawk helicopters from the Nebraska Army National Guard.
Four units attended the activity hosted by the Nebraska Army Guard: Offutt Composite, Omaha Composite, 99th Pursuit, and Southwest Iowa. Cadets and seniors were broken up into six groups, who were spread over three flights in two Blackhawks. Each group contained approximately five or six cadets, accompanied by two or three senior members, a comfortable seating arrangement for a fourteen-passenger helicopter.
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Before the flights, all the attendees were briefed on information about the helicopters, the flight route, procedures for entering and exiting the aircraft, and procedures in the event of an in-flight emergency.
After the briefing, cadets and seniors were led into the main hangar, where the helicopters were boarded for each flight. Members in the hangar were given a tour of a US Army C-12 VIP transport aircraft, as well as several Blackhawk helicopters in the hangar.
After each flight departed the Guard Base, members on board the helicopters were treated to a formation flight over Lincoln, Nebraska. The pilots then descended to tree level for the cadets’ favorite part of the flight: High-speed, low altitude maneuvers. The pilots gladly showed off the helicopters’ maneuvering capabilities to the cadets, performing tight turns, fast climbs, and high-speed flight that sometimes descended below tree level.
The activity was highly enjoyed by all in attendance, and the Army Guard members told seniors and cadets they would be glad to host such an activity again.