SPECULATOR, NY --Two New York Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters helped out the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Monday, Nov. 29 by airlifting parts of a helipad to the top of Wakley Mountain, deep in the heart of the six million acre Adirondack Park.
The two helicopters, based at Army Aviation Support Facility #3 at the Albany International Airport, carried 2000 pound, pre-fabricated helipad components to the top of the mountain by sling-loading them under the aircraft.
The mission provided the aviators a chance to train on sling-loading in mountainous terrain, explained New York Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Charles Rodda.
Most of the aviators are members of the 3rd Battalion 142nd Aviation (Assault Helicopter) and were deployed to Iraq in 2008/2009.
"After DEC crews cleared the area of debris and overgrowth, all of the reconstruction material was air lifted in by state aviation, but the platform beams were too heavy," said DEC conservation operations supervisor Ron Andersson. " Asking the National Guard for assistance was our only choice."
The helipad was originally placed there to provide access to a fire tower last used by the DEC in 1988 and a radio repeater. The new helipad will provide access to a new radio repeater placed on top of the mountain and allow ease of access for repairs to the fire tower, which is now a destination for hikers.
The 3,750 foot- high mountain, which offers 360-degree views of the Adirondack Park, is part of the Blue Ridge Wilderness and is 8.2 miles from Blue Mountain Lake

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16