Students selected for the helicopter pipeline receive ground training and instruction in TH-57B/C Sea Ranger systems, helicopter aerodynamics and instrument navigation. Advanced flight training is conducted by Helicopter Training squadrons 8 (HT-8), 18 (HT-18) and 28 (HT-28). Additional synthetic flight support training is conducted in the helicopter cockpit procedures trainer. The familiarization stage consists of 15 flights, including one solo flight. After mastering such skills as hovering and auto-rotation, the SMA advances to the fully instrumented TH-57C to refine his or her instrument flying ability. The full-motion helicopter flight simulator is used in this stage. Finally, the student aviator reaches the helicopter tactics stage where they learn the fundamentals of formation flying, low-level navigation, search and rescue, and night vision goggle flight. The long hours of study, practice and evaluation pay off when another military aviator receives their coveted “wings of gold” and reports to a fleet replacement squadron and ultimately to a fleet squadron as a combat-ready helicopter pilot.
HELICOPTER TRAINING SQUADRON 8
HT-8, the Navy’s longest commissioned helicopter squadron, provides advanced helicopter flight training for Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and allied student aviators selected for the rotary-wing designation. The squadron was initially established as Helicopter Training Unit 1 on Dec. 3, 1950, at NAS Ellyson Field in Pensacola, Florida. The squadron was re-designated Helicopter Training Group 1 in March 1957. In July 1960, it became the eighth squadron in the Naval Air Basic Training Command and was renamed Helicopter Training Squadron 8. In 1972, the squadron moved to its current home in NAS Whiting Field. “We train the world’s best helicopter pilots!”
HELICOPTER TRAINING SQUADRON 18
(HT-18) “Vigilant Eagles”
HT-18, established in 1972, continues its in-depth training of student naval aviators, graduating professional Naval officers and aviators who are “fleet-ready,” able to meet today’s real-world missions for the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The squadron also provides rotary-wing training and designation to selected members of various allied nations, refresher and transition training to fleet aviators, and indoctrination flights for midshipmen and flight surgeons. HT-18’s primary mission is to transition student aviators through basic and advanced rotary-wing pilot training. Basic training introduces and develops student skills in helicopter flight maneuvers as well as training in visual navigation and tactics. Advanced training completes an intensive curriculum of basic and radio instruments, as well as advanced tactics. The completion of this exacting training syllabus culminates in a highly trained and proficient all-weatheraviator.
HELICOPTER TRAINING SQUADRON 28
HT-28, established May 25, 2007, is the newest addition to naval aviation helicopter training squadrons. HT-28’s primary mission is to transition student aviators through basic and advanced rotary-wing pilot training. Basic training introduces and develops student skills in helicopter flight maneuvers as well as training in visual navigation and tactics. Advanced training completes an intensive curriculum of basic and radio instruments and advanced tactics. The completion of this exacting training syllabus culminates in a highly trained and proficient all-weather aviator.
HT-28, along with its sister squadrons, HT-8 and HT-18, provides advanced helicopter flight instruction to all U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard helicopter flight students as well as international students from several allied nations. Students who successfully complete the program earn the right to wear the coveted “wings of gold.”
HELICOPTER INSTRUCTOR TRAINING UNIT (HITU)
HITU, established in 1989, provides high-quality Instructor Pilots to all three TRAWING 5 Helicopter Training (HT) squadrons. Additionally, we provide rotary-wing training to selected members of various allied nations, refresher/transition courses and NATOPS training for the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. It is our mission to ensure IPs are prepared to undertake the role of instructor pilot effectively and safely. The HITU standards for performance are set high and are strictly maintained. The completion of the syllabus culminates in a highly trained and proficient rotary wing instructor pilot.