ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – A new approved flight training route will allow Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773 to conduct local terrain flight operations in the airspace above and adjacent to the eastern, uninhabited part of the base.
The move could potentially result in savings in terms of man-hours, flight time and fuel cost. An estimated $300,000 per year can be saved based on training numbers and annual fuel rate costs taken per trip.
Pilots train during the year with terrain flights to remain current on certifications. Previously, these flights occurred through uninhabited areas near Thomaston, Ga., the Flint River and sites north of Atlanta at an altitude of 50 to 200 feet above the ground.
The flights also required two aircraft; one flying at a higher altitude, while a second flies at a lower altitude just above the trees. The helicopter flying higher essentially acts as a lookout for the second aircraft below.