U.S. Marines with Aircraft Recovery assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron had an opportunity to train with a mobile version of the Expeditionary Hover Position Indicator at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Aug. 9, 2016.
Recovery Marines used the indicator to simulate a helicopter dock deck and aircraft carrier landing environment for the AV-8B Harriers to complete their boat landing certification.
The EHPI is normally attached to a structure, but due to the reconstruction of the Harriers recertification site, pilots used the mobile version, which enables shipboard takeoff, landing and oversight for Marines and sailors on deck. The Marines set up the tower-like visual landing aid by hauling it out to the helicopter runway and raising it to provide approach and landing cues for pilots.
“Today we set up the EHPI for the Harriers we have on base,” said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. William Norkus, a port crew leader with Aircraft Recovery assigned to H&HS. “The Harriers come in for their vertical landings and takeoffs. We have lights up in the sky that tell the pilots if they’re coming in a little too right or too left, if they’re coming in level-perfect, too high or too low and they use the lights to adjust accordingly so they land perfectly.”
The Marines hauled out and set up the EHPI ensuring they had the space to conduct the training and recertification.
“The Harrier pilots are required to maintain a certain set of qualifications wherever they are,” said U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Charles Maddox, staff non-commissioned officer in charge of Aircraft Recovery assigned to H&HS and Expeditionary Airfields section with MWSS-171. “It’s not always a fact that the facilities are set up for them to conduct training, so we had to modify the runway slightly to provide them an area to recertify in those qualifications.”
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