A 12/13/57 photo of touring

US Army Aviation School

Aviation School / September 29, 2022

This web site does nothave any direct connection to the US Army
or any other Government Agency or Department.

Please - If you have any questions concerning the U.S. Army you may email them (since the Army departments email changes this link will give you contact information at Fort Rucker, Alabama)
If you send us an email that should be addressed to the U.S. Army
we will forward your email to the US Army.

Home of Army Aviation

This web site is for you to view History and Tradition.

(this logo came off of Fort Rucker stationery)

Helicopter School

The Rotary Wing training at Rucker began in the Department of Rotary Wing Training. The first four weeks in the Basic Instrument Division at Shell AAF (originally designed as a Fixed Wing Field). The student went from there to the Advanced Instrument Training Division at Hanchey AHP. At Hanchey we used the TH-13T helicopters instrument trainer, and later, the Huey (UH-1). Initially, the training objective was to provide enough instrument experience to get out of trouble in case a pilot encountered what we called "inadvertent IFR". We called that qualification a "Tactical Instrument Card". As soon as we could, however, we extended training to provide a full-up Instrument qualification, and issued a "Standard Instrument Card". Here are some knee charts used during the Instrument Training.

TH-13T (Instrument Training acft)

During this phase we also spent many hours in the "Link" trainer. (A small search on the web for "Link trainer" will bring up many websites that shows the Link trainers.)

Remember the "hood". We spent a lot of time under the hood. The "hood" was a devise placed over the top of the eyes, like blinder on a horse, to prevent any outside vision other than the instruments.

The next phase was with the Contact Training Division at Knox AHP. That provided a four week transition into the Huey. Here we learned how to take off and LAND safely, carry heavy lands, do autorotations (power off) landings.

The last phase was with the Department of Tactics, (which later became the Tactics Training Division of the Department of Rotary Wing Training). That training operated out of Lowe AAF. For the first two weeks, students staged to Tac-1, and moved to Tac-x for the final two weeks. The tactical training phase attempted to provide Vietnam oriented experience as closely as it could be done. Until 1972, at least, every Instructor Pilot assigned to "Tactics" was a combat returnee from Vietnam. They knew first hand what the new Aviators would soon face, and they gave it all they had! There never was a more devoted group of instructor pilots that those who were assigned there.

Lowe Army Heliport is located on the west side of Fort Rucker. Half of the class flew to Tac1 and the other half was bussed out to make the trip back. Here we learned to do sling loads, low level flying, beacon homing, landing in LZ's (landing zones), more formation flying, troop insertions and extractions, night tactics flying.

One of the many homing devices we used were the two Big White Silos located south and west of Mother Rucker. They could even be seen on a part moon night.

At Tac X, we continued to hone our skills and did more Viet Nam type flying. Night time was scary, it was easy to get lost west of Fort Rucker, very few lights and very little instrument navigation.Many did and have not been heard from since.

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Source: www.armyflightschool.org