MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — January 22, 2016 — Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Training Squadron 302 prepared student pilots for their future roles as masters of the sky by conducting combat capable helicopter flight training at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Jan. 7, 2016.
Marines with HMHT-302 flew to an airstrip for familiarization flight training, which allowed students to practice piloting the CH-53E Super Stallion.
Prior to their flight students were given a brief which covered information about the aircraft’s capabilities, as well as factors that may affect the flight, such as current and expected weather conditions. The students were then tested on their knowledge of various immediate action requirements for scenarios they could face while in flight.
“Throughout our preflight brief and through the execution of our flight we use operational risk management to identify risks,” said Capt. Joseph C. Scheler, an instructor pilot with the squadron. “After assessing the hazards we plan the best way to mitigate risk… and continue to monitor for unforeseen risks throughout the flight.”
After being tested on their knowledge, Marines inspected their aircraft.
“Students learn to work as a crew in order to best identify any safety issues, system failures and/or emergencies the crew may come across during the flight,” said Scheler.
The student pilots conducted a thorough inspection with their instructors and after the aircraft was deemed safe and ready for flight, they took to the sky.
Marines then traveled to a nearby airstrip to practice several landing and take-off techniques. Students were shown how to conduct the technique by the instructor pilot before performing it themselves. Once the flight was completed, the Marines returned to the hangar to debrief.
Debriefs allow Marines to assess their flights and determine how to improve their next flight. Even if the flight goes according plan, Marines always look for ways to improve for future operations.