Black Hawk rotor fails more than a mile high; pilots land safely

Three South Carolina National Guard helicopter pilots walked away from a harrowing Dec. 3 emergency landing in which their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter reportedly plummeted 6,000 feet in less than a minute after a main rotor failure.

The two pilots (the third pilot was a passenger) managed to land the helicopter in a field not far from a water treatment plant, a school and residences near I-77 just a couple miles southeast of Columbia, South Carolina, not far from Fort Jackson.

Four days later a CH-47 Chinook helicopter sling-loaded the downed aircraft to McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover, South Carolina.

S.C. National Guard Recovers Helicopter

via Black Hawk rotor fails more than a mile high; pilots land safely.

Main rotor blades shouldn’t look like that, fyi.

It’s amazing the imbalance didn’t cause the hub to fail.

4 thoughts on “Black Hawk rotor fails more than a mile high; pilots land safely”

  1. ?
    The A/T story seems a little goofy. Are they talking rotor or motor or both?

    “After a loud bang during the instrumentation flight, a vibration began and quickly escalated; it turned out that the motor had died.”

    6k” auto post engine failure can be sporty, but alone wouldn’t rate much of a story. Combination of engine out and delamination of the blade? Wonder if most of the composite structure shedding occurred when they pulled pitch to flare.

    1. Something is definitely goofy about the way the blade failed, too – my first thought was impact, that’s the trailing edge of the blade!

  2. Yeah, “Motor” or “Rotor”?
    WTF, O?
    The rotor-blade delamination looks pretty scary. That kind of imbalance could lead to the main-bearing failing and the aircraft coming apart.
    On the other paw, a flame-out at a mile-high is a “cake-walk”. You are no where near “Dead-mans Curve”. Altitude in a helicopter converts to airspeed. An auto-rotation from there is easy .
    I would be doing an audit on the facility that “re-furbed” that blade.
    Much ado about nothing…

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