• On the flight line of Camp Beurhing, Kuwait, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Eric Huff from San Diego, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Company B, 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, conducts a walk around inspection of his aircraft before completing the final portion of his daytime dust qualifications, May 7. Dust qualifications are mandatory for aviators to complete before going into Iraq.

    On the flight line of Camp Beurhing, Kuwait...

    On the flight line of Camp Beurhing, Kuwait, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Eric Huff from San Diego, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Company B, 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division...

  • Before going out to complete the day time portion of dust qualification landings, Sgt. Dustin Watson, of Springdale, Ark., a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew chief of Company A, 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade 1st Cavalry Division, checks and cleans his flight gear, at Camp Beurhing, Kuwait, May 7.  Before aviators and crew chiefs of the 1st Air Cav. Bde. can move north to Iraq, they must complete day and night time dust landings.

    Before going out to complete the day time...

    Before going out to complete the day time portion of dust qualification landings, Sgt. Dustin Watson, of Springdale, Ark., a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew chief of Company A, 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry...

  • Coming clear of the dust cloud created form take off, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, conducts one of multiple landings during dust qualifications on Camp Beurhing, Kuwait, May 7. Dust qualifications are a key training exercise for aviators before going north into Iraq.

    Coming clear of the dust cloud created form...

    Coming clear of the dust cloud created form take off, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, conducts one of multiple landings during dust...

  • In the desolate landscape of Kuwait, the aircrew of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, scouts for a landing zone to conduct their dust qualification training, at Camp Beurhing, Kuwait, May 7.  Kuwait is an ideal environment to complete the dust qualification landings before pushing north to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    In the desolate landscape of Kuwait, the...

    In the desolate landscape of Kuwait, the aircrew of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, scouts for a landing zone to conduct their dust...

  • Dust is already kicked up from the down draft by the rotor wash of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, before the tail landing gear touches the ground, May 7. The wide open spaces of Kuwait make up the training grounds for the dust qualification landings the aviators of the 1st Air Cav. Bde. must complete before going north into Iraq.

    Dust is already kicked up from the down draft...

    Dust is already kicked up from the down draft by the rotor wash of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, before the tail landing gear touches the...

  • Dust fills the air and creates an almost a no visibility situation as a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter  from 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, lifts off during dust landing qualifications, Camp Beurhing, Kuwait, May 7. Dust landings are  mandatory training for Aviators and crew chiefs of the 1st Air Cav. Bde. before they can move north and support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Dust fills the air and creates an almost a no...

    Dust fills the air and creates an almost a no visibility situation as a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, lifts off during dust landing...

CAMP BEUHRING, Kuwait - With limited time for build-up and training in Kuwait air crews fly right into dust qualifications before heading to Iraq.

Although dust landings are a requirement, it is some of the more dangerous training air crews from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, will perform before heading into Iraq.

A dust landing is when air crews must land an aircraft in low visibility conditions while dust and sand fill the air.

For some of the crew chiefs who had previously deployed, like Sgt. Dustin Watson of Springdale, Ark., a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew chief assigned to Company A, 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cav. Bde., 1st Cav. Div., it was a good refresher.

"We have good training in Fort Hood, but the significant amount of dust here is usually a lot more than they are used to and it gives the crew chiefs a good idea of what they can expect in Iraq," Watson said.

The crew chiefs are the pilot's eyes; they let them know what is coming from behind the aircraft. Communication is a key element in a successful dust landing.

"We rely on the crew chiefs to inform us when that dust cloud forms at the tail of the aircraft and makes its way to the front before it engulfs the aircraft and we have no visibility at all," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Eric Huff from San Diego, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Company B, 3rd AHB, 227th Avn. Regt.

With the crew chiefs giving information about the conditions on the outside of the aircraft, the pilots still need to monitor what is happening on the inside.

"I typically use both visual and instruments during the landing just because that is my technique," Huff said. "Since this is my first time doing dust landings in Kuwait, the anxiety was there of having to pay attention to visuals, instruments and the input of the crew chief to make a landing without tearing up the aircraft and having to pay for it."

Huff said some of the more experienced pilots can just glance at their instruments and do most of the flying with just visual just because they have done the maneuver so many times.

The crew chiefs and pilots are definitely confident after doing the training here because these conditions are worse than Iraq, Watson said.

Crews of the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter and the CH-47 Chinook Helicopter also have to complete similar training before making the flight into Iraq.

Page last updated Sat May 9th, 2009 at 08:48