There is a special school in the U.S. Air Force that teaches pilots to fly?
Aerial view of Sheppard Air Force Base
Helicopters on flight line
UH-1 "Huey" taking off
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: There is a special school in the U.S. Air Force that teaches pilots to fly without wings, and this year it celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Located at Sheppard Air Force Base near Wichita Falls, Texas, the Helicopter Pilot Training School teaches fighter pilots, bomber pilots, and transport pilots to fly all over again.
After years of experience with fixed wing aircraft, there is always a bit of scepticism about what happens when you lose power, especially in a wingless helicopter. This becomes the subject for lesson one.
It's a real eye opener when pilots realize helicopters can recover under emergency conditions.
Advanced training will see these pilots skilled in fighting fires in the event of an aircrash. Hovering dover the downed plane, they use their whirling blades to suppress flames for firemen on the ground.
Other pilots will be assigned to the big "Jolly Green Giant" choppers which are used for rescue work, whether it be on water or land.
Particular emphasis is placed on flying in rugged mountain terrain like that found in Southeast Asia.
Updrafts, downdrafts and turbulence are experienced in twisting canyons in the United States, but for many of these pilots, their sky will soon be that of a foreign country. It's called Viet Nam.