Eighty-three IU ROTC students, male and female, got their first taste of what it’s like to fly in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter last Friday.

Three of the Indiana Army National Guard’s workhorse copters were flown in from Shelbyville, IN, to the IU Cross Country course where the cadets were waiting. After a general briefing by Chief Warrant Officer Scott Osborne, the cadets broke into smaller groups, known as chalks. Each chalk was assigned to one of the helicopters for more specific instructions from the flight crew.

The chalks first made a “cold load” while the engines and rotors were completely shut off. They subsequently practiced “hot loads,” boarding the helicopter with the engine on and blades spinning. In a single-file line, the cadets climbed into their seats and buckled in under the supervision of a crew chief. The helicopter then lifted off for their flight above the trees.