IAF helicopter pilots prepare for any scenario and practice flying under NBC conditions using all the necessary equipment
Date: 22/01/2012, 3:36 PM Author: IAF Website
‘Northern Cobra’ Squadron held an exercise flying under NBC conditions, requiring special equipment and debilitating their flight capabilities.
The organizer of the exercise, and the first one to try on the special suit and equipment, Cpt. Assaf explained that the equipment “minimizes the field of sight, restricts breathing and limits sensation. It’s a little like diving for the first time: you’re dependant on a separate source of air and need to trust something that is not you.”
After a quick briefing, everyone practiced sealing the operation room completely and began getting dressed in the suits and overshoes. When everyone is ready, it is difficult to keep a straight face in light of the bizarre scene.
“Take it seriously”, said Maj. A’, Deputy Commander of the Squadron. “Wearing two overalls, it’s hotter and harder to press the pedals. It’s an event that we need to be prepared for; we don’t know can happen. So don’t take off the masks, even though it’s not fun.”
The helicopter pilots and technicians wear their masks and dressed in protective gear, prepared for takeoff. “It’s not as bad as we previously thought,” everyone agreed. “The idea is to take an unknown situation and see that we can deal with it and not panic. To know that if we need to do it, we can”, explained the event organizer, “what works now will work in real-time as well.”