? Helicopter

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Everytime, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Everytime

    Everytime Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    93
    Location:
    Shelby County, Alabama
    Did anyone notice the mysterious helicopter flying along the shoreline Thursday afternoon? We first saw it flying over U.S. 98 in the Miramar/Destin area towards KDTS, then later (around 3 or 4 in the afternoon) flying east and then west above the coastline in Seagrove. It appeared to be a 1960s or 1970s era military transport or search & rescue helicopter, possibly a Sikorsky CH-3 or HH3, or a Russian Mil Mi-8. It had no military markings, butit did have a "?" on the side and a tail number which I mistakenly typed as N171BW. It looked like something off of LOST.
     
  2. Geo

    Geo Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,750
    Likes Received:
    1,391
    Location:
    Santa Rosa Beach, FL
    Was it white? If so, I saw it too.
     
  3. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,478
    Likes Received:
    543
    Location:
    SOWAL,FL
    I think Tyndall is having its open house this weekend (or next) so there will probably be all sorts of cool flying things around here in the next few days. As for the ? question mark.....that is an odd one, but it would be cool if The Island popped up around here one episode.
     
  4. FloridaBuckeye

    FloridaBuckeye Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    16
    Forget the name

    My husband and I saw it yesterday too. He knew the name of it, but I don't remember. I'll reply again if I remember to ask him!
     
  5. FloridaBuckeye

    FloridaBuckeye Beach Lover

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    16
    Osprey

    Not sure if this is what you saw, but my husband and I saw a VTOL V-22 Osprey. Looks like part plane part helicopter.



     
  6. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    31,648
    Likes Received:
    1,771
    [​IMG]
    [FONT=arial,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Air Rescue HU16

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [/SIZE][/FONT]H-34 "Choctaw" (US Army designation) or "Seahorse" (USMC designation)


    Was it similar to these, but painted light green and white-washed? If so, I saw it heading east toward Tyndall AFB on Thursday. Pretty different from the usuals, but as noted, Tyndall is having an air show (I thought next weekend, but maybe it is this weekend) -- free admission and free parking. The Navy's Blue Angels (although two pilots are from the Marines) will also be there.
     
  7. Everytime

    Everytime Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    93
    Location:
    Shelby County, Alabama
    Geo & Smiling JOe: I was thinking it was white, but it may have been a very light "whitewashed" green. There may have been some type of national or military emblem on the tail rutter. Smiling JOe, it was within that genre of helicopter, but I can't be certain as to which one it was. I mentioned the Russian Mi-8 because, like the H-34s you posted, it does not have the short side "wings" like the H-3s have. I'm now thinking it was an Mi-8 or H-34.

    jodiFL, if I can follow the bearing of 305 on my kayak trip today, I hope to find the island.

    FlordaBuckeye, it wasn't an Osprey, but I have seen those strange things down here! They are stationed at Hurlburt with Special Ops.

    ~Everytime
     
  8. rdelong43065

    rdelong43065 Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    121
    Location:
    Seagrove
    I caught a quick glimpse of it. It looked like a Russian type to me. It made quit a different sound from all the other aircraft that fly by my place. You do know when an Osprey is coming. It has a very distinct sound.
     
  9. Will B

    Will B Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    857
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    It has been a while since I have flown out of Destin, but the last time I did fly out of there I saw a M-8 or a variant parked on the north end of the ramp area beyond the T hangars. It may have been that. It was white-ish, BTW...
     
  10. StoneyJ

    StoneyJ Beach Comber

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    10
    Sounds like the Russian MI-8 that I have seen at Destin on several occasions. There is a private defense contractor that has an MI-8 HIp and an MI-24 Hind that support a special squadron at Hurlburt Field. I went out to Destin airport a while back and poked around to learn about the company. Bottom line is that the unit at Hurlburt is trained to fly other aircraft of "countries of interest". So this private contractor maintains and flies these aircraft to train them.
     
  11. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    12,457,706
    Likes Received:
    1,214,794
    Location:
    SoWal
    I see Ospreys every now and then. A couple of times I have seen one towing another - very strange.
     
  12. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,505
    Likes Received:
    732
    Location:
    Bluewater Bay, FL
    There's also a group out of the Destin airport that has some seriously vintage military aircraft they take out for fun and private rental. Cool stuff to see WW II era planes out in formation flying overhead on the odd Sunday morning.

    Saw a Pave Low down at the beach yesterday. I know that they were supposed to be replaced by the Osprey last fall for active duty. Are the Guard and Reserve still flying them?
     
  13. Freshwater Bay

    Freshwater Bay Beach Comber

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    We saw all of them. First the one with the question marks and then the second was the walton county sheriff's coptor. They did cruise at a low altitude. At first I thought they were looking for something. We then realized they had a lot of activity on the beaches and maybe it is used to promote military enlistment with all the young kids on the beaches this week. It was the beginning of spring break.
     
  14. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    31,648
    Likes Received:
    1,771
    Yep. That's it. Surely, they weren't flying that low to look at all the babes in bikinis.
     
  15. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,403
    Likes Received:
    1,659
    Location:
    Blue Mountain Beach
    The "seriously vintage military aircraft" you speak of are T-6 Texans. It was my trainer in AF primary flight training at Bainbridge, GA. There are always interesting aircraft flying up and down the beach.
     
  16. Everytime

    Everytime Beach Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    93
    Location:
    Shelby County, Alabama
    Bingo...I found it via yahoo search:

    [​IMG]

    It's on the Milavia military aviation website.

    Regarding the Pave Lows, I think Special Ops at Hurlburt still uses these. Also, the Navy and Marines use the Sea Stallion variant; I frequently see a U.S. Navy Sea Stallion fly over, late in the afternoon, but I'm not sure where it's from. Do they have these at Pensacola NAS or Panama City?
     
  17. Will B

    Will B Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    857
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Sounds more like they are training for air to air refueling; however, I don't know that they are equipped for that. I can't imagine that they are towing due to the logistics of having to lift the second straight up and then have both transition to foward flight mode. :confused:

    They are in the process of phasing out the CH-53's, but there are a lot still in use. HUrlburt still operates them

    There are always Navy variants at Pensacola NAS for the airshows, but I don't think they are based out of there as it's a training wing. Maybe Whiting Field?
     

Share This Page