Paul Filmer’s Colombia series continues as he visits Tolemaida Airbase, home of the Colombian Army’s helicopter fleet.
Another early start and another comedic sight as our coach for the day tried to negotiate the tight road at the front of the hotel. With a three hour drive ahead of us, it would give lots of opportunities to view Colombian life in different areas.
Eventually we reached Tolemaida Airbase, which is home to the Colombian Army helicopter fleet.
Our guide took us down into each of the hangars on the main part of the airfield.
Each hangar had a different type of helicopter based within it, and the first stop was the Mi-17. Here, airframes were in various states of maintenance, from heavy to light.
Onwards we went via the UH-60 hangar, and while we were poking around a C-130H landed, which gave us an opportunity to shoot it, as the runway was close by.
The C-130 didn’t shutdown, but loaded up with troops, and then departed in the opposite direction.
At the end of the ramp was a large grass area where active helicopters were parked, and as luck would have it, a Mi-17 decided to come in and land.
It kicked up lots of dust as it flared and then taxied into its parking spot, giving us ample opportunities to shoot it.
Although this wasn’t the largest facility, it was again interesting to see the skill that the Colombians have, in maintaining aircraft right down to bare bones if required. More of that will be seen in the next part of this series.