Gotta give ‘em props

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. –Columbus Air Force Base hosted personnel from the 23rd Flying Training Squadron at Fort Rucker, Ala., to facilitate training and offer aircraft familiarization flights to prospective pilots, Jan. 26, 2021, on Columbus AFB, Miss.

For the rides, the 23rd FTS brought two TH-1H Iroquois’. The helicopters are used to train pilots attending specialized undergraduate helicopter pilot training at Ft. Rucker.

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Philip Strunk, 23rd FTS instructor pilot, also said they brought a group of helicopter student pilots to receive their physiological and altitude chamber training. The pilots are coming back from their initial flight training in Texas.

“We are also here spreading the knowledge of what a helicopter can do and the purpose they serve in the Air Force,” said Strunk. “We are offering aircraft familiarization flights to student and instructor pilots to show them helicopters are actually pretty cool and useful, and they have some amazing capabilities.”

When asked how offering flights to students here contributed to the mission at Columbus AFB, Strunk said it gives student pilots an opportunity to see all their options.

“I feel like if you don’t know what the options are, you don’t have the capability to make an informed decision,” said Strunk. “Overall, it improves the knowledge of what is out there.”

Strunk said his favorite part about flying the TH-1H was being an instructor pilot, stating it is an awesome opportunity to teach the next generation of aviators. He also said he loves the heritage behind the Huey and how fun and maneuverable it is.

To reduce the learning curve for student pilots and ease their transition into the cockpits, the TH-1H has a trio of multifunction displays in a fully night vision goggle compatible cockpit, and identical instrumentation on both the pilot and co-pilot stations.

Strunk offered a final word of advice to prospective student pilots.

“Weigh your options,” he said. “This is an awesome aircraft and it is a lot of fun.”