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Old 02-23-2008, 05:11 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,593
Default Helicopters on His Brain

Boy Mark Goldberg seems to have his pants in a wad about the ability to get helicopters for the Darfur as he seems to hit this issue every diavlog. He should actually look a little deeper into the issue to try and discover what the real holdups are so that he can do more than carp on the failure of the world to supply them. I can point to two serious issues that are holding things up.

The first being that the Chadian government has refused to allow pilots of certain nationalities to fly these needed helicopters(may have changed by now) and they just happen to be the nations that are most able to afford lending the helicopters both from a material point of view and financially. Thus the UN is essentially asking for $114,760,000(18 UH60 Black Hawk and 8 AH1 Cobra Attack Helicopters) million dollars in military hardware to be given to them to be flown and maintained by foreign personnel. I'm not sure given the track record of corruption in th UN that our lawmakers, much less the administration is going to go along with this.

Second it really gets better than this when you consider that helicopters, like all aircraft, have a rather rigorous maintenance schedule. I don't know exactly what the time period is today but when I was in the service (68-72) there was a factory tear down and rebuild required every 500 hours. I don't imagine it has changed much since then as machines are still machines. Thats 100 days of flying 5 hours a day or essentially every three months these 24 helicopters would have to be replaced by a new set of 24 helicopters. It used to take about 6 months to get a helicopter packed up, shipped, torn apart, repaired, reassembled, and returned to the unit. So the request is not really for 24 helicopters but 72 helicopters plus tens of millions to rebuild them every 500 hours.

Nothing is as simple as it seems.

P.S. I think my estimation for the actual number of helicopters needed is low for two reasons. There will have to be some additional helicopters available to replace any and all lost aircraft and the recycle time of factory rebuilds will be stretched by a month or two to meet Agricultural Department rules for the cleanness. Yes the helicopters, as all military equipment, returning from any and all overseas deployment must essentially be sterilized and then sealed to prevent the importation of foreign plants and animals. So if it stretches to 8 months that means an additional 24 helicopters will be needed.

Last edited by piscivorous; 02-23-2008 at 07:14 PM..
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