Laser strikes are a safety concern for both commercial and military aviation because direct eye strikes can result in temporary flash blindness or eye damage, depending on the strength of the laser. The Coast Guard’s Research and Development Center is working to find options that would provide the necessary eye protection for pilots while still allowing the level of visibility needed for operational awareness and to see the many indicators used during SAR missions – one of those options is a flexible optical filter. Find out more here!
It was a week after Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp had given his State of the Coast Guard address. Capt. Joseph P. Kelly, commanding officer of Air Station Elizabeth City, had set aside an afternoon for all-hands training to watch the speech and reflect on themes from the address. In the two hours surrounding the scheduled training time, however, the SAR alarm had sounded. Not once, but three times. In a period of just a few short hours crews would launch out of Air Station Elizabeth City one after the other. By day’s end four lives would be saved.
It was another early Friday morning for the crew of a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules based out of Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C. Fifty-knot winds roared around the airframe while the crew scoured the dark cauldron of 20-foot seas below for a boat. Rain lashed the plane, reducing visibility to less than a mile. Radar was next to useless and no one had been able to contact the distressed vessel. The only thing guiding the crew was an unregistered, but active, emergency position-indicating radio beacon, broadcasting a signal approximately 680 miles east from the U.S. and 75 miles north of Bermuda.
Weather conditions, crew responsiveness, incoming hazards and myriad meters, gauges and measurements. These are just a few of the things a pilot has to be wary of when flying an aircraft. A new concern is affecting Coast Guard pilots from Cape Cod, to Hawaii, from Puerto Rico to Seattle. Every air station in the Coast Guard is on the lookout for a simple beam of light.
The more than 120 men and women stationed there maintain ready crews able to launch within 30 minutes of a call, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. But standing the watch alongside the ready crews are dozens of critical support personnel. How important is their role in saving lives? Just ask Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin Jones.
With the threat of destruction looming every hurricane season, complacency is a responder’s worst enemy and aircrews work year-round to ensure they are ready to support their nation and community in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Altogether the preparedness and teamwork at the region’s four air stations paid huge dividends post-Isaac in the form of 28 lives saved and 54 assisted.
The HC-130 Hercules aircraft is a mainstay of the United States Coast Guard air fleet. The service’s history with the airplane dates back to 1958, and the “Herc” continues to prove itself time and again. Operated by a crew of seven, the Hercules can airdrop life rafts, deliver critical supplies or survey a coastline after a natural disaster. But for the 190 members stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, the Hercules does more than just proves itself – it sets the bar for excellence.
Flag is lowered to half mast during a morning color ceremony at Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, Sunday Nov. 1, 2009. The ceremony was held in honor of seven coastguardsmen who were lost at sea when a Coast Guard C-130 suffered a mid-air collision with a Marine Corps AH-1W helicopter, Oct. 29, 2009. (Coast Guard
Post Written By Ensign Lindsay Cook Hello Everyone, My last flight at the air station and the crew. From left to right: AMTC Mitchell, AMTC Langley, ENS Cook, LT Leone, and LT Huntley. My time at Air Station Elizabeth City has come to a close. While there, I learned a lot and got to fly
Two men were found and rescued after they spent 52 hours adrift in the isolated Alaskan Aleutian Islands. The men had to row their 15-foot skiff away from danger and towards their larger 50-foot fishing boat for nearly 31 hours, ultimately using a makeshift raft to reach the larger boat and call for help. Coast