Second Lieutenant Nicholas Burchell in front of a UH-60M Blackhawk before his first flight.
Second Lieutenant Nicholas Burchell in front of a UH-60M Blackhawk before his first flight.

Apollo Welcomes Back Nick Burchell after Military Training

The Apollo team welcomed Nick Burchell back after 15 months of military helicopter training in late July.

Nick spent his time away from our office at Fort Rucker, a US Army Aviation Center and Logistics Readiness Center, in Alabama. He is a member of the 38th Combat Aviation Brigade.

During this immersive training, he and his comrades spent time completing Basic Officer Leadership Course and Helicopter Overwater Survival Training, (a.k.a. HOST).

Next, Nick spent four months learning to operate the Bell TH-67 Creek, eventually acquiring more advanced instruments and necessary warfighting skills, before moving on to the OH-58A/C Bell Kiowa helicopter. The Kiowa allowed for low-to-ground simulation before 4 months of training on a Blackhawk.

Nick described Blackhawk training as "drinking from a fire hydrant." We can only imagine!

During his training, Nick developed perseverance skills that went far beyond previous experiences. "I had to be entirely dedicated to learning the limitations and emergency procedures verbatim after a 12-hour day of flying and classroom instruction. Even now, I have flashcards on my desk that I look over during my lunch breaks."

Nick now serves in the Indiana National Guard out of Gary, Indiana, one weekend per month, and 2 weeks during the summer months.

When asked how his transition has been since returning to Apollo and AVID Labs®, Nick responds with a grin, "It's been weird putting on work clothes and not wearing boots."

Apollo Design® is proud to support military personnel like Second Lieutenant Nicholas Burchell, Mechanical Engineering Technologist for AVID Labs®.

Second Lieutenant Nicholas Burchell pilots the TH-67 during a Family Day event.