28 October 2009

Update on this week's crashes

The three aircraft destroyed this week in Afghanistan included a CH-47F Chinook from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), as well as a UH-1Y Huey and AH-1Z Cobra from the US Marine Corps which collided in a separate incident. As of now, no enemy involvement is suspected in either of the two incidents. My condolences go out to the families of the victims in these crashes.

In related news, armyaircrews.com has begun to release the names of those killed in the Chinook crash. This appears to have been the third Class-A accident (one which results in either a destroyed aircraft, over $1 million worth of damages, or a fatality) for the 160th SOAR in the past two months, after an MH-60 crashed near Mt. Massive in Colorado in August, and another MH-60 crashed during a training mission on the USNS Arctic last week (ArmyAirCrews reports).

Update: Since the Chinook is a 160th aircraft, it's correctly an MH-47 Chinook, not a CH-47 Chinook.

Additionally, Wired's Danger Room reports that a dusty landing zone and night vision goggle conditions contributed to the accident. During takeoffs from dusty or snowy landing zones--particularly when conducted under night vision goggle conditions--aviators are nearly blind until they can climb above the dust cloud and transition to forward flight.

Afghanistan's mountains--with their high altitude, high temperatures, unpredictable weather conditions and, of course, Taliban--are often referred to as the "graduate work" of aviation.

1 comment:

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 10/29/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.