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The US Army Fort Rucker - Web site

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(this logo came off of Fort Rucker stationery)

Helicopter School

After completing Primary helicopter school at Fort Wolters, now we go to the Advance Helicopter Training portion.

The Rotary Wing training at Rucker began in the Department of Rotary Wing Training.  The first four weeks in the Basic Instrument Division at Shell AAF (originally designed as a Fixed Wing Field). The student went from there to the Advanced Instrument Training Division at Hanchey AHP. At Hanchey we used the TH-13T helicopters instrument trainer, and later, the Huey (UH-1). Initially, the training objective was to provide enough instrument experience to get out of trouble in case a pilot encountered what we called "inadvertent IFR". We called that qualification a "Tactical Instrument Card". As soon as we could, however, we extended training to provide a full-up Instrument qualification, and issued a "Standard Instrument Card". Here are some knee charts used during the Instrument Training.

TH-13T (Instrument Training acft)

During this phase we also spent many hours in the "Link" trainer.  (A small search on the web for "Link trainer" will bring up many websites that shows the Link trainers.)

Remember the "hood".   We spent a lot of time under the hood. The "hood" was a devise placed over the top of the eyes, like blinder on a horse, to prevent any outside vision other than the instruments.

The next phase was with the Contact Training Division at Knox AHP. That provided a four week transition into the Huey.  Here we learned how to take off and LAND safely, carry heavy lands, do autorotations (power off) landings.

The last phase was with the Department of Tactics, (which later became the Tactics Training Division of the Department of Rotary Wing Training). That training operated out of Lowe AAF. For the first two weeks, students staged to Tac-1,and moved to Tac-x for the final two weeks. The tactical training phase attempted to provide Vietnam oriented experience as closely as it could be done. Until 1972, at least, every Instructor Pilot assigned to "Tactics" was a combat returnee from Vietnam. They knew first hand what the new Aviators would soon face, and they gave it all they had! There never was a more devoted group of instructor pilots that those who were assigned there.

Here are Grade Slips each student pilot were shown at the end of their flight.  Remember the Pink Slips?

Sometimes IPs and student pilots would have Forced Landings and/or accidents.  Here were the Procedures to follow.

Aircraft needed servicing and the flight school had cards for those to fill out.

Lowe Army Heliport is located on the west side of Fort Rucker.  Half of the class flew to Tac1 and the other half was bussed out to make the trip back.  Here we learned to do sling loads, low level flying, beacon homing, landing in LZ's (landing zones), more formation flying, troop insertions and extractions, night tactics flying.

One of the many homing devices we used were the two Big White Silos located south and west of Mother Rucker.  They could even be seen on a part moon night.

At Tac X, we continued to hone our skills and did more Viet Nam type flying. Night time was scary, it was easy to get lost west of Fort Rucker, very few lights and very little instrument navigation. Many did and have not been heard from since....

After the training was over we had one last flight.  It was the graduation fly over of the whole class.  Can you imagine all of the those student pilots in the same airspace at the same time?

Remember the Flyby of the whole class?

Fort Rucker Flight Line Frequencies - Airfield Towers, stagefields, misc.

More Graduation Information

More Fort Rucker Photos

WOC Class at Fort Rucker

Let us not forget our weekend passes.
We needed the time off to unwind.


By request, here is a Guestbook similar to the one we lost.
New armyflightschool.org Guestbook Page (Click Here)

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This is why we serve and defend our country.

The Declaration of Independence

The Constitution of the United States of America

"Lead from the front."
Audie Murphy

"The future battle on the ground will be preceded by battle in the air. This will determine which of the contestants has to suffer operational and tactical disadvantages and be forced throughout the battle into adoption compromise solutions."
Erwin Rommel


Email us at: tim@armyflightschool.org
All photos and clipart are the property of Tim Wilkerson or contributors to the website. The photos are copyright protected. Clipart not owned by us, comes from shareware or freeware. If you feel that any photos or clipart is yours and you hold the copyright, please advise us and we will immediately remove it from this web site.

1998-2011 Timothy E. Wilkerson,CW3(retired).  All rights reserved
Last updated May 04, 2012