News: Ospreys soar for maneuvering, landing exercises
Story by Pfc. Melissa Eschenbrenner
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 165, based out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., flew two MV-22B Ospreys to practice aerial maneuvering and landing on uneven terrain on San Clemente Island, Calif., April 24.
Anytime a pilot lands on something other than a runway, it is considered a confined area landing. Pilots perform confined area landings about three times a week.
A pilot’s training can take more than three years, and they continue training once they have left flight school. They conduct many training exercises to maintain qualifications they must complete to stay certified to fly. Just two examples of this training are tactical formation flights and confined area landing.
Tactical formation flights help train pilots to move individually within a formation. This formation is used to become proficient in turning and maneuvering within a small air space and is also used for pilots to learn energy management and maximum control over the aircraft.
During any flight, pilots and crew members ensure that passengers are safe at all times.
“It is a grave responsibility the pilot and crew members have flying Marines,” said Capt. Adam Gengler, an operations officer with Marine Aircraft Group 16 and a Lincoln, Neb., native. “They trust you to get them to where they need to go safely.”
Training exercises benefit the crew and the pilots by allowing them to maintain proficiency in various aspects of flying.
“We do a lot of training to build a strong base for our pilots and crew members,” said Sgt. Anthony C. Knight, a crew chief with VMM-165 and a Vista, Calif., native.
The crew chief is in charge of ensuring cargo is packed properly, ensuring personnel are aware of safety regulations and managing the passengers.
Whether it is maintaining the safety of passengers or safely flying the aircraft, pilots and crew members of VMM-165 are constantly training to be prepared to deploy at a moment’s notice.