USA USN TH 73A 640HT-8 started operating the TH-73A

Starting early September 2022, the US Navy's Training Air Wing (TAW) 5 at NAS Whiting Field South (FL) began advanced helicopter training with the Leonardo TH-73A Thrasher.

Helicopter Training Squadron (HT) 8 Eight Ballers ('E-xxx') had the honour to be the first squadron within TAW-5 to operate the new training helicopter.

According to Key Aero the squadron will lead the transition of students and instructors. Before they actually fly the new helicopter, the initial group of twelve students will complete a rigorous course of groundwork in virtual reality and flying simulators that will prepare them for the more powerful helicopter.

The TH-73A will replace the ageing TH-57B/C Sea Rangers of the training wing and it is planned that all Sea Rangers will be replaced within four years. The multi-year contract is for 130 TH-73As. The US Navy plans to sundown the TH-57B/C fleet in Fiscal Years 2022 through 2024 (so by September 2024 latest). The TH-73As are expected to operate within TAW-5 for some thirty years.

Photo by US Navy

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