Tag Archives: uh-1

Sheriff Huey Encounters

My day off work to go plane hunting continued to provide interesting things for me.  I had noticed a UH-1 Huey on FlightRadar24 while looking for something else.  It was off to the east and had been circling various locations.  I assumed it was a firefighting mission and thought no more about it.  Actually it was the King County Sheriff’s airframe and, while I was at Boeing Field, it made an approach and landed at Modern Aviation’s ramp.  It was a bit distant but I got some shots of it and thought no more.

A while later, I was at Renton awaiting the arrival of the A-26 when I heard the distinctive sound of the Huey again.  This time it was close over the top of me and just to the sunny side so rather backlit.  I figured I would shoot it again anyway at which point it commenced a tight descending turn to land on the field.  It came right around me so I got shots all the way – particularly as it got to the right side for the light.  To be honest, it was a little close to me for a good angle but this day was throwing me tons of opportunities and I was not going to complain.

Huey at Hayward

AU0E0932.jpgGiven the number of times that I have been specifically trying to catch something out in the wild, it is a little funny when I get completely lucky and come across something cool without ever trying. I was out walking along the shore in Hayward through the parkland that includes the marshes out there. The weather was not particularly nice but I was checking out the area as a place to walk on another occasion. While I was walking along, I heard the unmistakable sound of a Huey in the distance. I scanned the horizon for a sign of the helicopter and picked it up low and coming towards me. Could I be so lucky as to get it coming right by me?

No, as it got closer, it turned away. I was a bit disappointed but not too surprised. It dropped out of sight and I figured it had landed at Hayward airport. I went on with my walk and didn’t think much more about it. Before too long, it popped up again and a similar situation occurred. As I headed back to the car, the same thing happened again.   I was a bit closer at this point and got some shots but it was still some way off and the sky was a bit grey so still nothing worthwhile.

AU0E0888.jpgAs I got to the car, some rain started to fall so I figured I was heading home. As I drove away, the rain stopped again and I figured I was going to be coming right by the airport so I might look and see if I could see the Huey or not. When I got to the fence, the sound returned and right behind me was the ubiquitous shape on its downwind leg. It turned in to the field and ended up hovering a short distance from me. Not only that, but the sun came out! A dark background with sun on the foreground is always a great combination. They were flying a bunch off circuits so I stayed around for a while to catch a couple of them before the light went away and my desire for lunch started to take over.

The aircraft is a restored airframe run by a volunteer group to commemorate the emergency medical service provided in Vietnam. They are called EMU Inc. and are based around here. I hope to spend more time finding out about what they do so watch out for more in the future.

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