Chinook helicopter flying, what was it being used for?

Driving up in the hills on State Road 135, past Nashville, IN, I saw a twin-rotor Chinook helicopter flying around. You don’t usually see these kind of helicopters out and about, at least I don’t, in Indiana. I wonder what it was being used for? Training exercise? Can non-military people acquire and use these helicopters for other purposes - maybe delivering heavy equipment to remote or undeveloped areas?

I have no idea what the one in Indiana was about. Could be anything…training, going from A --> B. Moving supplies. Whatever.

My sense is the Chinook is a very common helicopter and sold/used the world over. They are expensive but their lift capacity is not rivaled by any but a few specialized heavy lift helicopters (which are not really geared to troop transport).

Indiana National Guard manuevers? Camp Atterbury, in Edinburgh, Ind., isn’t far from Nashville. Impossible to say with this little information.

This made me wonder if there was any non-military use of the Chinook. The Boeing site for the Chinook is very military oriented, and I didn’t find any explicit reference to civilian use until I found thestudent training prerequisitepage. Since they are training civilians there must be some non-military usage. Possibly its all government usage still.

Riptide reunion?

Columbia Helicopters out of Portland OR are a regular up here in SE Alaska for helicopter logging operations. The use both the Chinook and the smaller Vertol, double rotor helicopters.

From talking with their pilots and managers, they work all around doing some pretty specialized stuff.


Equipment hauling for oil and mining operations (cool heli barge pic)

Setting rural electrical transmission poles

Lifting the large air conditioning units to the top of tall building

Rural cell towers

I’m sure other companies are around the country doing similar stuff.

Forgot to add:

I have zero stake in the company, but in all fairness, once a year they give me a cool calander
What color was the chinook you saw?

It was either dark green or dark gray.

That sounds more military to me. Most private companies I have worked with use pretty bright colors for safety and advertisement.

The ones I see occasionally around here (NE OH) have been military cross-country training flights.

The Screaming Mimi wasn’t a Chinook, she was a Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw.

Good thing I double-checked. I was about to post in all confidence that Mimi was a Jolly Green Giant.

It’s never been uncommon to see the occasional military helicopter fly over Houston or Dallas. I’ve seen Hueys, Blackhawks, Cobras and Apaches, and even the occasional Chinook while out and about in those two cities since I was a boy.

I’d bet it was just a National Guard helicopter out for a spin.

Training exercise “Vibrant Response” is going on at Camp Atterbury at this time, just in the area you mentioned. I would hazard a guess that the Chinook may have been ferrying equipment or supplies in support of that activity.


I’ve been on them for search and rescue operations (training). Civil Air Patrol.

It most certainly was involved with the training at Camp Atterbury. Not too many civilian helicopters are painted camo. They fly over our house every day, along with the A-10’s, and several other types of copters. They are the sounds and sights of Freedom. Wave at them. Maybe they will see you and appreciate the gesture. It’s almost guaranteed that they are either just returning or getting ready to go to war.

See the amazing history of our Camp Atterbury at the official site of it and several other Indiana Posts, Bases and Units.

Jim West,

The section on POWs in Germany on that site is incredible…huge numbers of interesting personal stories.

Got to ride in one about a week ago. They’re pretty danged cool.

And I believe Vertol is owned by Boeing. The CH-46 Sea Knight could almost literally be described as the CH-47 Chinook’s little brother.

Thank you. Be sure and check the “FREEMAN AAF” site, and see the hundreds of captured German, Japanese and Italian planes that were once at Seymour, Indiana. Along with dozens of American experimental planes. Fascinating history that most are not aware of.