Black Hawks light the sky
IF you had looked up into the night sky over the past month, you may have seen one, two or even five Black Hawk helicopters flying in formation.
Actually, you would most probably have heard them long before you saw them as the aircraft, used by the Australian Army to move personnel and respond to crises, are notoriously noisy.
They are in town and being housed at RAAF Base Pearce until today to allow their crew to train in Perth and to work with other army units.
Commanded by Major Helen Mammino, the 171 Squadron is part of the Army’s 6th Aviation Regiment.
All of Australia’s Black Hawks are based at Holsworthy in NSW and five of them made the journey to Perth, inside a C17, for this training exercise.
While here, the helicopters were flown around the metropolitan area, sometimes as low as 90 metres from the ground.
The exercises are done in every capital city each year to ensure the aircrew are familiar with the landmarks in each state.
Each Black Hawk flies with four crew members – two pilots and two aircrew – on board and can carry eight passengers.
Major Mammino said Black Hawks were a ‘jack of all trades’ aircraft and could be used for a variety of tasks from moving troops to rescue work, defence or delivering aid.
The 34-year-old mother-of-one said she was honoured to have what she considered the best job in Australia and still enjoyed the adrenalin rush that came with the territory.