The Command of the Air Force informs that the Pantera Squad (5°/8 ° GAv), hosted in the Air Base of Santa Maria (state of Rio Grande do Sul), received, this Tuesday, two H-60L Black Hawk of a total of eight aircraft.
These new helicopters, of North American fabrication, went out of the factory of the Sikorsky (in Elmira, in the state of New York) on February 13, and after 16 days, landed in Santa Maria.
The official ceremony of incorporation of the new aircraft will be carried out between March and April, with the presence of the Commander of the Air Force and other military authorities in the Air Base of Santa Maria.
Since April of 2009, when the Squad received the official communiqué on the designation of the Black Hawks, the preparation works began for the receiving.
The training marathon in the Harpia Squad (7º/8º GAv), in Manaus (state of Amazonas), in the Air National Guard and in the Flight Safety (U.S.), included several courses for pilots, mechanics, operators of equipments, gunners and rescue men.
The substitution of the old H-1H helicopters, operated for almost 40 years in Santa Maria, for the arrival of these first two aircraft, will implicate in several changes in the operability of the integrants of the Fifth Squad of the Eighth Group of Aviation, once the humanitarian missions and the ‘search and rescue’ missions, such as those who took place during the floods in the proximities of Santa Maria, Agudo and Toropi in 2010, can be made with more security and under averse meteorological conditions.
According to the Air Force, tools like the night vision goggles (NVG) and the navigation between obstacles (NOE) will be employed in a more efficient way, considering that the aircraft is extremely reliable and maneuverable.
The Black Hawk has 12 seats (pilots included) and capacity for up to six stretchers. It weighs around 5,760 kilograms and reaches an average speed of 216 kilometers per hour. It has autonomy of flight of 3 hours and 40 minutes.