Board releases HH-60 incident report
12/26/02 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- A less-than-optimum takeoff technique combined with an attempt to out climb a dust cloud with insufficient power caused the Aug. 12 crash of an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, according to Air Force officials who investigated the incident.
At the time of the crash, the helicopter was returning to its alert base from a forward-operating location after completing a successful combat search and rescue mission.
According to an accident investigation board report released Dec. 24 by Air Combat Command, the aircraft's slow departure resulted in the aircraft being engulfed in a dust cloud created from its own rotor wash, reducing external visibility to zero. The pilot first tried to climb above the dust and then tried to land but hit a sand berm.
The pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, aerial gunner and two pararescuemen escaped safely.
The helicopter is permanently assigned to the 347th Rescue Wing at Moody Air Force, Ga., but was temporarily assigned to the 41st Expeditionary Rescue Squadron deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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