Nordic Mountaineers

For many years the helicopter crews of the Flygvapnet (Swedish Air Force) have practised flying in mountainous terrain during deployments to Abisko in the extreme north of Sweden. Jan Jørgensen joins the new HKP 14 (NH90 TTT) on exercise.

EXERCISE REPORT Swedish Mountain Flying

Touchdown at a landing spot with the steep Kebnekaise massif in the background. The HKP 14D had not yet received skis for landing in snow, so a certain amount of lift was maintained on the rotor to prevent the wheels from sinking too deep into the snow.

SORTIES THROUGH mountainous territory are among the most demanding aspects of helicopter operations, especially during winter. Rapid changes in wind and turbulence, the lack of visual references, proximity to mountainsides and the relatively high altitudes adversely affecting helicopter performance make for particularly challenging conditions. At some stage, Swedish military helicopter crews are likely to experience this difficult environment under operational conditions, either during sorties at home, or when deployed on international missions. Therefore, training is essential to understand the basic principles, threats, errors and possible undesirable aircraft states encountered in this type of flying.

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