Santa Maria Air Force Base
|Santa Maria Air Force Base
Base Aérea de Santa Maria
|IATA: RIA – ICAO: SBSM|
|Airport type||Military: Air Force Base|
|Operator||Brazilian Air Force|
|Commander||Cel. Av. Roberto Ferreira Pitrez|
|Elevation AMSL||88 m / 289 ft|
|Sources: Air Force Base Website, Brazilian Air Force|
It shares some facilities with Santa Maria Airport.
In 1944 the then President of Brazil Getúlio Vargas allocated an area of 4 million square meters near Santa Maria with the purpose of building an aerodrome. The works were conducted on an urgent basis, with the collaboration of the United States Army and it was finally opened in April 1945.
Santa Maria Air Force Base was created on 18 December 1970 and inaugurated on 15 October 1971 and since then it has an active presence in the region.
The following units are based at Santa Maria Air Force Base:
Subordinated to the command of the 2nd Air Force (II FAe), which is dedicated to Search and Rescue, Rotorary Wings, and Maritime Patrol:
- 5th Squadron of the 8th Aviation Group (5º/8ºGAv), the Pantera Squadron, using UH-1 Iroquois and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for transportation, search and rescue and humanitarian missions.
Subordinated to the command of the 3rd Air Force (III FAe), which is dedicated to Reconnaissance, Attack, and Combat:
- 1st Squadron of the 10th Aviation Group (1º/10ºGAv), the Poker Squadron, using the A-1A and A-1B (AMX International AMX) aircraft for attack, and reconnaissance missions.
- 1st Squadron of the 12th Aviation Group (1º/12ºGAv), the Hórus Squadron, using the Elbit Hermes 450 for reconnaissance missions.
- 3rd Squadron of the 10th Aviation Group (3º/10ºGAv), the Centauro Squadron, using the RA-1 and RA-1B (AMX International AMX) aircraft for attack missions.
Subordinated to the command of the Department of Airspace Control (DECEA), which is dedicated to the control of the Brazilian Airspace:
- 4th Squadron of the 1st Communications and Control Group (4º/1ºGCC), the Mangrulho Squadron, using radars and equipment for air defense.
The base has one Cessna C-98 Grand Caravan G1000 for administrative functions.
Accidents and incidents
- 24 June 1985: Brazilian Air Force, a Lockheed C-130E Hercules registration FAB-2457 flew into the side of a hill while on approach to land at Santa Maria Air Force Base under fog. All 7 occupants died.
The base is located 11 km east of downtown Santa Maria.
- Air Force Base Official Website
- Brazilian Air Force Official Website
- "5º/8ºGAv – Esquadrão Pantera" (in Portuguese). Spotter. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- "1º/10ºGAv – Esquadrão Poker" (in Portuguese). Spotter. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- "3º/10ºGAv – Esquadrão Centauro" (in Portuguese). Spotter. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- "Accident description FAB-2457". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- Airport information for SBSM at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport information for SBSM at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
- Current weather for SBSM at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for RIA at Aviation Safety Network
- Photos of the UH-1H used by Pantera Squadron at spotters.com.br
- Photos of the A-1A and A-1B used Poker Squadron at spotters.com.br
- Photos of the RA-1 and RA-1B used by Centauro Squadron at spotters.com.br