Watch ex-US Army Black Hawks return to action
For decades now the US Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk has seen action all over the world. This often involves hauling troops and cargo across some of the world’s harshest terrain, usually while getting shot at by some nasty individuals hell bent on killing whoever’s inside. There’s a reason the Black Hawk is known as the workhorse of the US Army.
Now, the UH-60 is gaining notoriety as a workhorse in the commercial sector as well. We’ve recently reported on how older ‘A’ variants of the aircraft, which first service back in the 1980s are getting auctioned off by the army and commercial operators are snapping them up to perform operations such as heavy lifting or firefighting.
Up until now, we’ve only really seen the vintage Black Hawks in exhibition halls, like at this year’s Heli Expo show in Louisville, Kentucky. But courtesy of Big Sky Resort, a ski resort based in southwest Montana, we can now see the Black Hawks return to action as they haul supplies and equipment to help build new ski lifts for the next winter season. Watch the video here:
The sling load work has been carried out by Timberline Helicopters, which currently has two of the ex-US Army helicopters in its fleet, in addition to Kaman K-MAX helicopters, a UH-1H Huey, an MD-530 and a Schweizer 300 for training. Other companies that operate Black Hawks in a civilian capacity include Arista Aviation and BHI², which we spoke to at Heli Expo this year. You can watch the video here:
At Farnborough this year, we found out that another company called Rogerson Kratos had also bought some of the UH-60As being auctioned off. It is offering a cockpit modernisation package that will bring the A models up to the latest ‘M’ variant in terms of flight display technology. You can read that story here.
Here at Quill we are certainly excited to see how commercial operators will utilise the Black Hawk in the future. The video of Timberline’s work in the mountains of Montana certainly give an indication of what the future holds.
We suggest heading over to Big Sky Resort’s Facebook page here to see some more photos of the UH-60 in action.