Fly-in sidebar 1: Chinook

{child_byline}Ellen Morris Bishop

Wallowa County Chieftain{/child_byline}

The Pendleton National Guard’s big Chinook twin rotor helicopter proved a hit. Impossible to miss, with an inviting stairway leading to its cavernous interior — which also had seats for 32 passengers. The ‘chopper, named Double Six, was built in 2006, although it was virtually identical in form to the same model built in the 1960’s and 70’s that saw service in Vietnam. Today, the Chinook participates mostly in search and rescue and fire-fighting, as well as supporting military training exercises around the Northwest.

This particular twin-engine bird weighs in at about 50,000 pounds fully fueled. It can lift 20,000 pounds, and often travels with its cargo slung beneath it. But occasionally it carries up to four Humvees in its cargo hold. Top air speed is 170 knots, with a comfortable cruising speed of 100 to 120 knots.

It has been overseas most of its life, carrying troops and cargo in Afghanistan and Iraq but was retired from overseas/combat duty after sustaining several “injuries” from RPG’s including damaged rotors and fuselage. The Pendleton National Guard was serving in Iraq and the Huey returned to their air base with them after repairs were complete. Since then, the big Chinook aided in rescue and humanitarian missions for Hurricane Florence in South Carolina as well as transporting supplies and firefighters for last year’s forest fires in southern Oregon.

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