News: Heavy Haulers perfect field carrier landings
Story by Pfc. Raquel Barraza
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. - Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462, the “Heavy Haulers,” conducted field aircraft carrier landing practice drills on the Landing Helicopter Dock pad aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Sept 6.
The drills taught pilots of HMH-462 the basics of landing aboard a simulated aircraft carrier deck as a part of their initial boat operations training.
Capt. Jerry Peacock, the assistant maintenance officer and pilot with HMH-462 and Springfield, Va., native, knows how important this training is from personal experience.
“I used this training every day for a year when I was on the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit,” said Peacock. “Whether we are doing shore operations on the coast of Africa or Indonesia.”
Peacock was the lead pilot and instructor during the drill and helped teach the other aviators the basics for successful landings on an aircraft carrier during the training.
“We show them the general communication flow that takes place, the approach patterns and different considerations you have to think about when landing on a ship,” added Peacock.
While this drill only dealt with simulated flight decks, air crews practiced the most important thing to remember: landing fundamentals, explained Peacock.
Heavy Haulers air crews conduct this training every quarter to make sure they are ready with the most up-to-date training to maintain mission readiness at all times.
“The CH-53E [Super Stallion] is the heavy lift back bone of the Marine Corps,” said Cpl. Michael C. Diegel, a crew chief with HMH-462 and Detroit native. “We can carry vehicles and more troops than any other helicopter, and we can land where larger aircraft can’t.”
“When there are humanitarian missions, like the tsunami in Japan, this training comes in very handy when delivering supplies and support from aboard an aircraft carrier,” said Diegel.
The Heavy Haulers plan to continue these drills in the upcoming days before landing on an actual aircraft carrier.
“Next time we head out we plan to add in the factors of the tower, multiple aircraft, the deck crew of the carrier,” said Diegel.
With these drills, HMH-462 keeps training and flying so Marines stay combat ready for any mission.