Kiowa Helicopters Perform Trial Flights
(Source: Croatia Ministry of Defence; issued April 25, 2017)
US Army flight instructors are helping the Croatian air force to test and prepare to operate the 16 surplus Oh-58D Kiowa Warrior armed helicopters it received from the United States. (Croatia MoD photo)
On 11 April 2017 were performed the first trial flights of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters of the Helicopter Squadron of the 93rd Air Base of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence in the Barracks "Pukovnik Mirko Vukušić" at Zemunik.

The flights were the final preparatory steps preceding the flight training on the 16 helicopters procured within the project of the Croatian Armed Forces with the armed reconnaissance helicopters, with the support from the United States of America.

The Commander of the Helicopter Squadron, Lieutenant Colonel Krešimir Ražov stressed that the flights were conducted under the expert guidance of the U.S Air Force flight instructors and air maintenance technicians. "The Squadron is now ready to take the flight training.”

The trial flights were the last commitment preceding it and comprise the testing of all ground and aerial systems,and autorotation, and one Croatian flight was in the crew on every flight. The project entails a significant challenge, as we are developing new capabilities of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence and by extension of the Croatian Armed Forces“.

The chief aircraft engineer of the 93rd Air Base, Lt. Col. Marin Žunić informed that the helicopter mechanics were taking the final part of the training. “The in-classroom training, administered by the expert teams of the U.S. agency, is in its last phase, and upon the completion of the following phase, the helicopter engine training, the training in expert inspections and weapon systems, we shall have the aircraft technicians fully trained for the maintenance of the OH-58D KiowaWarrior helicopters“, stressed Lt. Col. Žunić.

The testing of all 16 Kiowas is to be completed prior to the flight training itself.

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