Harrisburg – With summer approaching, the National Guard’s UH-72 Lakota pilot training program based at Capital City Airport in New Cumberland has announced that its helicopters will fly later at night, approximately from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Because student pilots are required to train using night-vision goggles, the flying schedule must be adjusted for a later nightfall.
“Night vision flying during hours of darkness is a requirement of all military helicopter pilots,” said Capt. Edward Speeckaert, operations officer of the Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site. “Trained pilots will be able to use these skills in the event of a domestic emergency to support citizens of Pennsylvania. We have, however, implemented and continue to adjust many mitigation strategies to reduce the inconvenience this poses to residents.”
The nighttime flying is expected to be in effect for the remainder of May. It will taper significantly in June and pick up again in July.
A short-term schedule of anticipated flying conditions is published at www.cxytower.com/Pages/EAATS.aspx.
Although the helicopters are based at the Capital City Airport, they also use other local airfields in areas including Fort Indiantown Gap, York, Middletown and Donegal Springs.
Residents with questions or concerns can contact Capital City Airport’s National Guard flight operations desk at 717-412-4157 or the Pennsylvania National Guard public affairs office at 717-861-8352.
Media contact: Sgt. Matt Jones, 717-861-8352 (office), 717-943-4328 (cell)