The High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site is located in the small mountain town of Gypsum (near Vail), Colorado, on Eagle County Airport. The schoolhouse offers a unique training methodology based on aircraft power that is designed to dramatically increase individual and crew situational awareness.
Known as Power Management, the training process requires power accountability of the pilots in all flight regimes. This accountability produces insight to every situation to include multi-ship operations. Training in Power Management in the mountains of Colorado enhances and tests the pilot's skills in a realistic and dynamic environment.
The mountainous training area enhances the Power Management process and also provides the additional benefit of high altitude/high DA/rough terrain training. It is the ONLY Department of Defense aviation school that trains pilots to experience this outside the classroom.
The school caters to rotory-wing military pilots from all over the world. HAATS has hosted and trained helicopter pilots from Slovenia, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and the Republic of Georgia.
Run by full-time Colorado Army National Guard pilots, HAATS is specifically designed to train military pilots from any branch. The school can handle over a dozen student-pilots at any one time. Sleeping quarters are available on site but there are also many hotels nearby. Meals are on the local economy. OH-58 Kiowas, CH-47 Chinooks, UH-60 Black Hawks and LUH-72 Lakotas are the typical airframes flown at HAATS for the one week course. Soldiers can bring their own aircraft if they choose.
Pilots spend one day of the training in the classroom learning the intricacies of power management in high altitude mountainous terrain. The other four days are spent flying in and out of the ragged peaks of Colorado's Rocky Mountains with altitudes ranging from the airport at 6500' to peaks of 14,000'. A one week Instructor Pilot course is also available.
The graduates of this challenging course leave with the knowledge of a unique training system known as Power Management. This training concept, when applied rigorously, gives pilots the knowledge and confidence to operate their machines routinely and safely at maximum gross weights in any environment. In combat, high, hot and heavy is the norm - not the exception.
Top HAATS-related stories from 2012:
5 hours, 4 lives, 1 mission: Guardsmen's skill, experience provide critical lifesaving capability in Colorado (Haggerman Peak & Maroon Bells-Performed by HAATS)
National Guard rescuer breaks own leg while helping save life (Mount Bancroft, performed by 2-135 GSAB)
Mission: Saving lives (published in 2010)
Excellent imagery from Mt. Bancroft Search & Rescue, 2012: