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AH-64 in the woods at Fort Eustis


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I was going to post these in screenshots, but actually wanted to discuss if anyone ever trained on this.

I'm retired Army Aviation as a UH-60 mechanic/CE/TI, and so Fort Eustis is sort of a second home. I currently live in Richmond area, and once lived about 20 miles from Eustis.

Anyways, last year I was down at Eustis taking a look around to see what had changed, and ran across this H-64 out just of a road in the woods. I believe it is/was probably used as a trainer for BDAR (Battle Damage Assessment & Repair).

Just wondering if anyone knows the history, and if anyone ever actually trained on it and can confirm that's why it's out there. I wonder if it was ever used in combat, maybe Gulf I, etc.

I spent my career at times around the same UH-60's, for instance when we turned in 79 and 80 models to pick up new factory fresh models when I was in the 82nd Airborne back in the 80's, lo and behold all those aircraft we turned in were sitting on the ramp in Richmond Virginia with the ARNG when I left the 82nd and joined the Guard full time. Including the first H-60 I ever crewed, 80-23464, which Virginia had for several more years.  20 years later, my former Battalion sent me a photo of 80-23464 when he saw the aircraft sitting somewhere out in Nevada.

So I get a little sentimental about the airframes themselves, and their little idiosyncrasies and problems. Always makes me a little sad when I see one abandoned like this. Poor thing sitting out in the middle of the woods, with no companions, not even the dignity of becoming a display somewhere or sitting in a boneyard.

I marked on the map the approximate location if anyone is ever on Eustis and wants to see this abandoned piece of history.

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That's in the general vicinity (if I'm remembering correctly) of where the Romeos did their FTX around the tail end of their AIT. Of course, that was a long time ago for me, so no clue if they even still do that, but I suspect it may have been part of that. When I went through AIT, we actually towed one of the hangar trainers from Felker to the field site. Would have been much easier to just leave one out there. So maybe that's part of the story.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/17/2023 at 2:32 PM, AlphaOneSix said:

That's in the general vicinity (if I'm remembering correctly) of where the Romeos did their FTX around the tail end of their AIT. Of course, that was a long time ago for me, so no clue if they even still do that, but I suspect it may have been part of that. When I went through AIT, we actually towed one of the hangar trainers from Felker to the field site. Would have been much easier to just leave one out there. So maybe that's part of the story.

I went through what was then Tango school summer of 85, I don't even recall Romeo training was ongoing yet, as we didn't start getting the H-64's in the 82nd until right before I rotated out in March 88 (they were doing a year long train up at Fort Hood), so I'm thinking Romeo training started later. Not even sure if they still have Drill Sergeants for the students anymore. Between basic, AIT, and Airborne school I had someone in a hat yelling at me for the first 7-8 months I was in. We never trained at Felker, we used the hangers over where the Diver training tower was on main post. Our barracks were older type H shaped buildings with latrine in the middle, just across the street from the hangers and right next to the old AIT "Winners" club. They actually had civilian girls basically dressed as strippers working in there, and there were also dancers over at a club near the bowling alley. Never see stuff like THAT nowadays. 

Overall that was a great 4 months, it was during the summer and after the first couple of weeks we pretty much could do what we wanted, could have vehicles, even going off post. Went down to the beach a lot.

Training back then didn't include FTX's and any other soldier garbage at all, just aircraft maintenance training in the hangers the entire 16 weeks. I used to live up the road in Charles City county in 1990-1992, and used to go to Eustis all the time and noticed the "soldier training areas" popping up around base.

That's probably why it's there. But what kind of training during the FTX? Actual component replacement? It doesn't look like there was any BDAR training done on it, no holes or patches, or did BDAR training even occur? That was probably a thing for line units to train on I guess, not AIT. I was a BDAR NCO later, but we never actually had anything to punch holes in or anything like that.

Next time I'm down there I'll try to see if I can get a tail number on it. Probably still has the data plate on it, just not sure where those are located on the 64's.


Edited by Hootman9104
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On 7/3/2023 at 5:33 AM, Hootman9104 said:

Probably still has the data plate on it, just not sure where those are located on the 64's.

 

"Should" be in rear cockpit, right hand console area. (Worked at Westland Helicopters (UK) years ago after leaving the RAF, when the WAH-64D was going through).

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