59News soars above Summit - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

59News soars above Summit

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If you've been traveling around Fayette County and the Boy Scout Jamboree you may have heard or seen something different in the sky. Black Hawk helicopters have been flying over for the jamboree, but why? Our 59 News team took to the sky to find out.

It's a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift, government issued beauty. The Black Hawk helicopter can perform a wide array of missions, like electronic warfare, and air assault.  It can transport many government VIPs and when the presidents on board, they call it "Marine One."  Now 59News is about to go 800 feet over the 10,000 acre Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve.  Our news crews were invited to join the elite to climb aboard and find out why this craft is needed during the Jamboree.

"Here at the summit we have 2 different types of helicopters and we are just mostly here in support of the boy scouts," Lt. Col. Keith Cummings, Task Force Aviation Commander said.

He explained the helicopter is used as a back-up MedEvac helicopter. It supports the hospitals helicopters in case they need help.  The Black Hawk is always on standby to help get people out.  Lt. Col. Cummings also explained that infrared lights are also on the helicopter in case there is a search-and-rescues mission. If a scout were lost on the property it could help locate the missing scout or anyone trespassing on the property.

Another small craft, he explained, is used for more of observation.  This craft gives a little more security to the Summit.

The helicopter can also be used to help transport food and water to both the Scouts and troops. He said this task is what the Black Hawk helicopter is used for the most during the week of the Summit. 

Finally, Lt. Col. Cummings explained they are using some of the helicopters to take members of the media, Boy Scout staff and national guards soaring above the treetops to check out the Summit from a bird's-eye view.

Thousands of teeny-tin scouts living in tent cities were just below our crew's feet. All of these 40,000 Scouts attending the Jamboree are enjoying the West Virginia hills.  Oh, the West Virginia hills! How majestic and how grand.  Scouts skating, boating, biking, zipping, smiling and laughing in these West Virginia Hills.

"It is just so amazing to see all of that and to see all the work the boy scouts, local officials have done and it has all come together," Lt. Col. Cummings said.

All these years of hard work finally coming together in those West Virginia hills.

To check out some of these beautiful aerial views, head over to our Facebook page or click here