Over 100 UH-1H helicopters have officially retired after nearly half a century of service. Many pilots were saddened to see their long-time comrades decommissioned. The fleet is being replaced with 30 new Black Hawk helicopters, that will serve as combat transport aircraft in the future and a major upgrade to the military's combat ability.
UH-1H helicopters fly over the commander's platform in a triangle formation.
Following in their wake are other military helicopters including UH-60M Black Hawks.
The UH-1H utility aircraft were used in disaster relief and commodity transport missions in Taiwan for almost half a century. The decommissioning ceremony for the UH-1Hs and the inauguration ceremony for the UH-60Ms took place on the 30th.
Many military pilots were sad to see the old aircraft go as some of them have never flown anything else.
We conduct a flight inspection before getting in the aircraft. We pat the aircraft's nose or its body and say a few words of encouragement. When we get off the aircraft, we pat it again and thank it for its hard work. Today is the start of a new era with the U-60Ms and we are happy to be able to take part in the transition.
One pilot says the UH-1Hs fostered a culture of camaraderie but the new Black Hawks have stronger combat and transport capabilities.
The digital instruments provide us with more data and more functions. The sheer volume of data may be overwhelming at first, but we will be able to overcome that with training.
In the future, the Army Aviation and Special Forces Command will use the Black Hawks for aerial combat, transportation, battlefield rescue and electronic instrumentation. This is a huge upgrade for the command.