5-Jul-2010 Source: NATO Training Mission
On July 1, 2010, the Afghan Air Force and Combined Air Power Transition Force advisors conducted an operational sling load with the Mi-17 transport helicopter from Kabul International Airport to Orgun-e in the Paktika province.
Flying 12,500 feet above sea-level and carrying a 3,200 lbs. crate, the Mi-17 helicopter handled the load with very few problems. This allows the Afghan Air Forceâ€™s 377th Helicopter Squadron another way to move heavy and oversized equipment or placing the equipment in a place without a landing zone.
The sling load was connected by master riggers Master Sgt. Nate Simmons and Technical Sgt. Jason Marsh. The first time that they validated the Afghan rigging equipment on the Russian helicopter was on June 27, 2010 and they were able to find out how the sling handled under the helicopter.
Marsh explains that, â€œThe Afghans could actually sling load a lot of heavier or bigger equipment, something that they couldnâ€™t put on a C-27 or an An-32 or even load into the Mi-17. They could sling load this equipment into a location and get the resource and supplies to the people there that need it.â€
In the future, the sling load capability will open up even more opportunities to the Afghan Air Force and allow them to deliver equipment almost anywhere the Mi-17 helicopter travels.