Army's Kiowa Warrior helicopters fly in last formation

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The Kiowa Warrior Helicopters final flight out of Fort Bragg (WTVD)

Thirty helicopters stationed at Fort Bragg left base Friday. The Army's Kiowa Warrior Helicopters are now en route to South Korea.

It was a momentous occasion as hundreds of people gathered in Fayetteville for the rare farewell. It was likely the last flight of its kind in Army history.

At 10:45 a.m., the formation of 30 OH-58 Kiowas flew over downtown Fayetteville. It was a sight not seen there before. The 50-year-old Kiowas are mostly high-tech observation and light assault choppers. "Low and slow" is how veteran pilots describe the chopper.

It's been a mainstay of the Army fleet at Fort Bragg. Friday morning, members of the 1st 17th Calvary flew a final V formation over cheers, waves, and tears.

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A pilot's mother was emotional after watching the historic flight

"It's the end of an era," said retired Kiowa pilot Kevin Palush. "But of course, everything ends, starts something new. So we move forward with the technology today, and hopefully remotely piloted vehicles can do the same thing that pilot's eyes can."

And in Air Cavalry tradition, the pilots had their black Stetson hats with them.

Most of the 1st 17th Air Cavalry Kiowa crews will be reassigned to flying and maintaining new remote-controlled drones.

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