A Black Hawk helicopter, normally used for missions, played a different role on Monday.
“Today we participated in the memorial day flyover. They have a very large ceremony at the veteran’s cemetery, and as part of that, we are able to fly aircraft over at a certain point in the program in order to enhance the overall program,” said Major Jason McEvers with the Army and Army National Guard.
Two helicopters flew alongside each other for the ceremony. The aircraft is a 15-person utility helicopter and is the workhorse of the Army and Army National Guard.
Major McEvers added, “We have 8 of them here in the state. And they’re used in various roles: state emergencies, overseas deployments, homeland defense, anything else.”
I was accompanied by a few other pilots on today’s flyover mission. Major McEvers didn’t think about becoming one until the 1997 Grand Forks flood.
He said, “I saw flying all the time, and I just thought it would really be a good way to enchance my military career would be to get into flying. I haven’t looked back.”
To become a helicopter pilot, it’s not an easy task. First, you have to be in perfect physical condition, have perfect eyesight, and pass a flight aptitude test. Then, you have to go to flight school for almost 15 months.”
“When we get to help people here in the community, that’s really really worthwhile. And missions like today, get to participate in memorial day flyovers, those are a lot of fun,” says Major McEvers.
Major McEvers says they have been flying the black hawk helicopters over the ceremony for at least 20 years.