Maritime Helicopter Training Platform (Helicopter Landing Trainer, HLT) IX-514 or mini-helicopter began its operations in April 1986 as the cheapest kind and efficient training ship designed priemuschestvenno for training helicopters landing on the deck of naval aviation cadets. HLT has changed a lot as this little aircraft carrier Lexington, while providing all this close to reality learning environment.
Most of the U.S. helicopter pilots are perfectly familiar with the marine helicopter training platform known as the IX-514. This vessel is patrolling the calm waters of the Gulf of Santa Rosa, offering novice helicopter pilots first experience landing maritime mobile platform.
Former military transport ship length only 41 meters, originally bore the title SKILAK (YFU-79), was used during the Vietnam War to transport equipment and materials. At the end of the war SKILAK was decommissioned and transferred to Guam and preserved. In 1985 SKILAK was towed to a shipyard Bender Shipyard in Mobile (Alabama), where it was rebuilt in training helicopter IX 514, commissioned in June 1986. Since the ship was dismantled all the original equipment, and its superstructure was redone. Helipad ship close in size and external appearance to the site frigate OLIVER HAZARD PERRY. HLT training aircraft carrier certified to work with virtually all, not counting the largest helicopters in service with the United States. Despite the fact that the HLT is usually found in Pensacola Bay, he also conducted operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
The main objective of HLT is to support the preparation of helicopter pilots 5th Wing (TW-5), also operating divisions the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. In recent years, the intensity of the use of HLT has increased significantly and has also in night flights and flights with the introduction of night vision devices, also expanded its ability to take huge helicopters. On average, the ship is at sea for about 90 days a year.
Certified to meet all the requirements of aircraft carriers, HLT first arrived in Pensacola in 1986, and in April of the same year began to take the first helicopters. The first helicopter pilots, Landed on the deck of the ship, were test pilots from Patuxent River, Maryland. Subsequent instructors were training helicopter squadrons HT-8 and HT-18. First landing training undertaken specifically cadets were first held in June 1986.
Originally the ship was attended by crew of the 23 permanent members of the crew. In November 1999, the ship was transferred to a civilian contractor for the operation, which reduced crew and up to 15 people. The ship provides about 350 landings on the deck for a month.
June 10, 1988 IX-514 established a typical record, providing 346 landings per day. December 17, 2000 IX-514 ran at the disposal of civilian contractor Seaward Services Inc Fort Lauderdale stoich and then assigned to the base of Pensacola, Florida.
On August 25, 2006, the smallest U.S. aircraft carrier has 100000th safe landing.