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Inside the mind of a Black Hawk pilot

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“It’s almost a weightlessness. Nothing else matters except you flying.” Learn what it takes to fly a Black Hawk helicopter.

Synopsis

What does it take to fly the US Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter? Skill, determination and an ability to adapt to your mission, whatever it may be.

The Black Hawk is the US Army’s multipurpose helicopter, used for air assault missions, medical evacuation, troop movements and humanitarian missions, among other tasks. Its flexibility makes it invaluable on NATO exercises and operations – such as the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), where Virginia National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Gaulton serves as a pilot.

While in Kosovo, Gaulton and her fellow Black Hawk pilots have flown a wide range of missions, from firefighting and search-and-rescue to training with other NATO Allies. Here she describes what it takes to fly the Black Hawk, and why it’s such a powerful and useful machine.

The US Army forms a sizable part of KFOR’s 3,700 deployed troops, who are in Kosovo to provide a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities in Kosovo.

Transcript

--SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)—
US Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Gaulton
US Black Hawk helicopter pilot

“It’s almost a weightlessness. You just flying this incredible machine. Nothing else matters except you flying.”

--SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)—
US Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Gaulton
US Black Hawk helicopter pilot

“To be a helicopter pilot, you need to possess determination, resilience and to be a hard worker.”

— TEXT ON SCREEN —

INSIDE THE MIND OF A BLACK HAWK PILOT

--SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)—
US Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Gaulton
US Black Hawk helicopter pilot

“The Black Hawk is an incredible machine. The manoeuvrability, the power that machine possesses and just the functions that it can perform.”

“Aeromedical evacuation missions.

Air assault movements.

Humanitarian missions.

Troop transport.

It is multifaceted and is used for numerous things.”

--SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)—
US Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Gaulton
Black Hawk helicopter pilot

“We are part of NATO’s Kosovo Force, also known as KFOR. Our mission here is to provide aviation support for troop movement, medevac missions, Bambi buckets in case fires do break out. We’re here for numerous roles and we’re ready to support that.”

--SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)—
US Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Gaulton
Black Hawk helicopter pilot

“One of my favourite quotes is by Igor Sikorsky and it’s ‘If you’re in trouble, an airplane can drop you flowers, but a helicopter can land and save your life’.

“When you help someone that is in trouble and you’re able to get them to a safe environment, it is extremely gratifying. All your training pays off in that moment, and that’s why you do what you do. It’s to be able to help people.”
Music
“Break the Barrier by Nash
Usage rights
This media asset is free for editorial broadcast, print, online and radio use. It is restricted for use for other purposes. It includes footage from the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDs) filmed by the US military.
Reference
NATO889400
ID
2016