5 thoughts on “Hey, Outlaw, whatchyadoin’?”

  1. The US Army used to have a flying team called The Silver Eagles that flew OH-6s. The solo alegedly did some of the same stuff Snoopy did, but I wouldn’t know I never saw them as the team was disbanded in the late 70’s.

    The US Army today frowns on flying demonstrations and will only permit static displays for public consumption. It’s not a money thing as flying hours are all in the training budget and it really doesn’t matter where I fly it’s all the same. It’s about safety and ultimately they don’t trust us to do it safely.

    Oh well, I’m retired now so I wouldn’t be the one doing it anyway.I personally think it would do wonders for recruiting and showing people what their tax dollars pay for but I’m kind of old fashioned like that.

    1. Well, airshow flying seems to have a higher accident rate than normal operations. So there’s that. But I tend to agree with you.

      When I was at Illeshiem in ’89 (or was it’ 90?), the Army bailed back an Apache to McD, and their test/demo pilot came over to fly a display at the Paris Air show. He did his practice right there at the Army airfield. It was a stunning display. And it was like our own private airshow, since he very kindly performed it during lunchtime.

  2. I saw the Silver Eagles while I was waiting to see if my knee problem would resolve and allow me to restart flight school in ’76. They roper the post commander into playing patsy for part of the show. My former class sponsor was there and invited my wife and i sit with he and his wife. I enjoyed the show and they did somethings with loaches I would never have believed you could do with a chopper. Sadly, the OH-6 was on it’s way out of the Army inventory at the time. They could not have performed the show they did with the OH-58.

    The team was disbanded in ’77 and as a farewell to each other they took a rafting trip together on the Gauley River in West Virginia.

    I was told the team was going to be disbanded while I was at Rucker. The reason given was not safety, but they just didn’t attract the following the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds did. I had never heard of an air show that invited them and, in fact, didn’t know they existed until I got to Rucker which was their home base.

    I told my former class sponsor that I could understand why they didn’t attract the attention of the public, and he sadly agreed. People just don’t understand helos in the way they understand starch wings.

  3. I can tell you from taking helicopters to a few air shows over the years, that nothing attracts people like a helicopter. We had more crowds that anything aside from the C-5 or C-17 which attracted people for the shade they provided. When it comes to an air show people want to be entertained. I would also disagree that air show flying has a higher accident rate than normal operations…but I’m not going to take the time to dig up facts and figures…so I could be wrong.

    When I was writing about safety I was referring to the Army of today not 1976. The Silver Eagles performed at the National Air show in Washington DC among other places according to the website dedicated to the team.


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