Crash- Or, sometimes, the Air Force is pretty badass.

Not often. But the PJs and rescue helicopter crews are some tough, brave folks. Back in 2002, called to assist with the recovery of dead and injured climbers on Mt. Hood, OR, an Air Force Reserve Pavehawk helicopter crashed and rolled 1000 feet down the mountain.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG3wbqvaYkk]

Incredibly, none of the helicopter crew were killed. Two crewmen were ejected and actually had the helicopter roll over them, but the soft snow meant they survived.

**waves to PaveLow John.**

3 thoughts on “Crash- Or, sometimes, the Air Force is pretty badass.”

  1. US Air Force General Orders:

    1) Do not crash.

    2) If circumstances make following General Order #1 impossible, crash into something soft.

  2. Cool! Another helicopter post! **waves back at host**

    I remember watching the video of that mishap the day it happened, they lost tail rotor authority because of the altitude and the power required for an out-of-ground effect hover (also, according to the report, the Flight Engineer inadvertently used some out-of-date power computation software).

    My old squadron in New Mexico (the 551st SOS at Kirtland AFB) had an MH-53J crash back in 2003 near Durango, CO for the same reasons – too heavy and too high. Luckily, no one was hurt seriously on that one either, but they chopped up a good ton or two of firewood when they corkscrewed into the trees landed on about 5 feet of snow. I launched early the next morning to support rescue operations and I was point-blank ordered not to attempt a hoist rescue unless the snowmobiles couldn’t make it to them (the snowmobiles did get to them by noon, so they just had us on ground-running standby at the nearby airport in Durango all day). I guess the brass didn’t want to have more than one helicopter crash in that particular area if they could help it.

    High altitude ops is no joke, you can be doing fine and then find yourself falling out of the sky in a split second because of mountain wave or other freaky weather phenomenon.

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