Today Civil Aviation Authority in Poland (ULC) decided to detain all passenger flights performed on Boeing 737-8 MAX and Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft entering Poland’s airspace. The ULC decision will be valid until further notice.
On February 25th me and friends from Aviation Enthusiast Group® had a great honor and pleasure to visit airfield in Leznica Wielka, which belongs to Polish Army 25th Airborne Brigade (25. Brygada Kawalerii Powietrznej). Units belonging to the Brigade (commonly known as “Red Berets”) are one of the finest units in Polish Army, aircraft is grupped in 2 Air Squadrons (1st and 7th) while ground forces in two Battalions (also 1st and 7th), with Logistics Battalion, Command Battalion and Medical Group 2500 people serve there. 25th Brigade was one of the first Polish units, which belonged to NATO Response Forces and over last 20 years participated in many operations in Chad, Iraq and Afghanistan where around dozen soldiers paid highest price while serving their country.
25. Brigade as many of Polish units is during modernization process, Leznica Wielka Airport has newly build modern control tower and wind tunnel for skydiving exercises. Air Squadrons are equipped with three types of aircraft: Polish PZL W-3 Sokół (Hawk) and Russian Mil Mi-8/17 helicopters.. Mils are mainly used for troopers transport, while W-3s are used for covering landing units and supporting fire with mounted cannons and rockets.
In day of our visit the pilots from 1st Air Squadron from Leznica Wileka and 7th Airborne Battalion troops from Tomaszów Mazowiecki were exercising landings and extractions from Mi-8 and Mi-17 and cargo lift hanged under the helicopter.
View from Leznica Wielka Control Tower
Mil Mi-8 and Mi-17 are Cavalry workhorses, despite their age they are multipurpose and robust machines proven in harsh conditions of Afghanistan mountains and sands of Iraq.