Earthcaches

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

The U.S. Army Aviation Museum and a geocache



TH-55

UH-1 Huey

OH-58

AH-1S Cobra

AH-1S Cobra

AH-64 Apache

AH-64 Apache 

While we were in southern Alabama we took advantage of a free day to drive over to Fort Rucker. I was stationed there during the 1970's and again in the 1980's so I was interested in seeing what had changed on post. To say the least, everything looked different after so many years. We picked up a friend we hadn't seen in many years in order to visit the U.S. Army Aviation Museum there. I enjoyed reviewing the history of Army Aviation and having the opportunity to see some of the aircraft I flew. First was the old TH-55 trainers used to teach us to fly. Then there was the UH-1, the Huey, that was part of my flight school experience. After flight school the majority of my hours were in the Kiowa OH-58 observation helicopter and the AH-1S Modernized Cobra helicopter. Visiting here brought back memories of our time not only at Rucker but our time in Germany in the early 1980's. Flying and gunnery was fun with the Cobra.

On our way over we had the opportunity to grab a cache at one of the stage fields. A stage field is a small airport built in a field out in the country away from Ft. Rucker. It will have five to six parallel runways where numerous helicopters can practice approaches for take offs, landings, emergency procedures. While finding the cache we watched student pilots learning and practicing approaches for landing and take offs. The cache was First Time for Everything (GC34PMK). The name of the cache refers to this being his the first stage field this pilot ever flew into for training. 

The museum was free and there were tour guides available to inform you. It's well worth the time and effort to see.

I added a couple of photos of the AH-64 Apache, which replaced the AH-1S just as I was leaving the service. This is a beautiful helicopter!


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