US Most Feared Test: Surviving a Sinking Helicopter While Being Blindfolded

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The US military is an institution that relies heavily on training to protect the lives of its troops. These men and women operate in extremely dangerous conditions and equipment.

However, do you know there’s a terrifying test to prepare troops in case their helicopter has crashed into the ocean? 

Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) 

The Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) is training given to helicopter crews to a wide range of troops and other personnel that may encounter such situations. 

Multiple Phases

There are several phases involved in this life-saving test. First, troops train in temporary underwater breathing apparatuses while in full uniform. They’re also tasked with removing themselves from a mock helicopter fuselage at a particular time. 

The Troops Need to React As Quickly as the Real Thing Happening

All this training is done in an ultra-controlled environment inside a purpose-built indoor pool. Students are trained in a dunker, a helicopter stimulator submerged in water, and can be rotated to 180 degrees. 

Thus, escapes even from upside-down positions can be practiced and practically useful if the helicopter capsizes. 


Students of the course need to undergo medical examinations prior. They should also perform basic breathing exercises and understand how to maneuver in the water. However, swimming skills aren’t mandatory. A HUET certificate lasts for four years. 

Importance of the HUET Training

Helicopters can be used for vertical deliveries and transporting cargo bundles on ships. They also play a crucial role in at-sea training exercises (a wide range of gunnery exercises) and wherein troops enter the water via the helicopter’s rear cargo ramp.

Considering the time troops spend in these conditions, undergoing HUET training is necessary for their safety.