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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rotorcraft Report: Lakotas Arrive On Time

MILITARY | EMS

EADS delivered the first three of eight EMS-equipped UH-72A Lakotas to the D.C. National Guard in a ceremony at the D.C. Armory, March 12. The helicopters will replace their UH-1 Hueys.

Spc. Lauren Bloch, a medic selected for assignment to the Lakotas, explained all of the state-of-the-art EMS equipment and other benefits of the UH-72A to ceremony attendees, including how easily liters can be loaded through the rear clamshell doors.

Master Sgt. Marty Leonard advised that 10 of his soldiers, who have earned their A&Ps, will maintain the ships to civilian FAA standards so they can be recertified for public sector operations when retired. The soldiers have also been through Eurocopter’s maintenance course.

Company Cmdr. Capt. Mark Escherich has already flown a new UH-72A. "The clarity of the avionics... for a pilot [the UH-72A] is a workload-reducing platform," he told Rotor & Wing. The birds carry two Garmin 430s, a Wulfsberg P-2000 and dual GPS systems.

Including pilots, EMS personnel and maintenance crew, Capt. Escherich estimates that 45 people will train with the helicopters. "Right now we are maintaining our current mission set and capturing lessons learned," he said. They have already practiced landings at hospitals in Md., D.C. and Va.

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