Forest Service phases out Cobra attack helicopter

Photo credit Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. forestry service is phasing out a rather surprising airframe from its fleet, none other than the Cobra attack helicopter.

Painted in red and white, two Cobra attack helicopters were used for infrared imaging and mapping services. One was stationed near Tahoe to rapidly respond to forest fires.

The U.S. Army Vietnam-era Cobras flew over 7,600 hours for the forestry service, according to a press release. The duties they once performed will now be undertaken by a combination of newer helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and drones.

“The Forest Service thanks all the pilots, mechanics, aerial supervisors, and program managers that made the Cobra program a success,” Robert Baird who is the Director of Fire and Aviation Management for Region 5 said in a recent press release. “The next generation of equipment will continue this critical mission of public safety and protection.”

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