Photo Information

Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269 Marines bids fair winds and following seas to the UH-1N Huey on it final flight with the squadron with a parade across the skies of Marines Corps Air Station New River, Feb. 5. Two UH-1N Hueys were joined by its replacement a UH-1Y Huey and its partner in the sky, an AH-1W Cobra. After the flight, Col. Scott S. Jenson, Marine Aircraft Group 29 commanding officer, reflected on the history of the UH-1N Huey.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Manuel A. Estrada

Sundown flight: Final flight of the UH-1N Huey

14 Feb 2013 | Lance Cpl. Manuel A. Estrada

Marines with Marine Light Attack Helicopter 269 bid fair winds and
following seas to the UH-1N Huey as it completely transition to the new
up-to-date model UH-1Y Huey, Feb. 5.

The squadron held a “sundown” ceremony for the aircraft to commemorate its
final flight with the squadron.

Col. Scott S. Jensen, Marine Aircraft Group 29 commanding officer led a
parade formation of two UH-1N Hueys, a UH-1Y Huey, and the Hueys’ flight
companion, an AH-1W Cobra, across the sky above Marine Corps Air Station
New River.

The UH-1N first came into service in the Marine Corps in 1971 as a
replacement for the UH-1E Huey. It is a light-lift helicopter used by the
Marine Corps for offensive-air support, utility support, armed escort and
airborne supporting arms coordination, said 1st Lt. Benjamin Carlton,
HMLA-269 pilot and event narrator.

 With more than 40 years of service, it has proven to be one of the most
versatile and capable platforms in the Marine Corps. The November model has
had an illustrious service life in the Marine Corps that has seen numerous
combat operations in places such as Vietnam, Grenada, and Afghanistan as
well as countless humanitarian missions around the world.

The November has become an iconic part of Marine Corps aviation, Carlton
said.

“The biggest different between the two aircraft is the systems and what is
underneath the skin,” said Capt. Gabriel W. Tiggs, HMLA-269 flight line
officer-in-charge and UH-1Y pilot. “The helicopters look similar and have
the same mission, but the systems are improved.”

He added that the drive train on the Yankee is stronger. Both the Yankee
and the November has two engines, but one of the Yankee’s engines is more
powerful than both engines in the November.

“The Yankee has twice the number of horsepower and twice the blade which
translate into more lift,” said Tiggs. “This means that warfighters can
carry more cargo, get to the fight faster and carry more ordnance for
close-air support for the Marines on the ground.”

The Yankee is also 85 percent compatible with the new AH-1Z Cobra, which is
currently replacing the AH-1W Cobra in the Marines Corps, said Capt.
Stephanie Larson, HMLA-269 adjutant.

The similarities of the aircraft allow the Marines to keep replacement
parts on hand to quickly repair helicopters while minimizing the volume of
parts needed.

“It’s a bittersweet day to see our old November go away,” said Jensen. “It
is also an exciting time to see (HMLA-269) achieve success with the
Yankees. Since I was a young man, we hoped of replacing the aircraft with
better technology, higher quality and better capabilities and this is what
we have with the new Yankee.”

The only Marine Corps squadron currently operating the November is HMLA-
476 aboard MCAS Cherry Point. They are currently in process of training
their pilots to fly the new helicopter.