So, yesterday we posted about some ninny in the San Diego area tripping out about a pair of Air Force helicopters flying too close to his house. As luck would have it, this afternoon, while I was visiting the Palm Springs Air Museum, I saw a pair of Air Force HH-60G Pavehawks taking off from Palm Springs, very possible the same two birds that gave Mr. Pantywaist a case of the vapors.
The Air Force has long used the HH-60G for Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) to retrieve downed aircrew from behind enemy lines. Of course, they have other duties as well. In Iraq and Afghanistan, they’ve been used for Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC) and they’ve spent many years supplementing civilian Search and Rescue stateside. If you recall the movie The Perfect Storm, there was a dramatization of the real life loss of a Pavehawk.
The Air Force has long wanted to replace its aging Pavehawks, but the dysfunctions of the procurement system has so far stymied progress on putting actual airframes on the flight line.