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Super Stallion soars with new rotor head

Marine Corps News

Release Date: 6/13/2003

Story by Army Pfc. Bronwyn M. Meyer, 367th MPAD

AL KUT, Iraq(June 3, 2003) -- A CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter is flying high after spending 23 days broken down on the flight line here.

A dampener, which is part of the main rotor head, broke in flight and the helicopter was left until a team of CH-53E helicopter mechanics from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 came to fix it.

"We needed the helicopter to support the troops," said Sgt. Jason Lyons, HMH-462 CH-53E helicopter mechanic and Plainfield, Conn., native.

HMH-462 is the only Marine helicopter squadron with heavy lifting capabilities supporting the operation.

To fix the downed helicopter the crew had to remove the main rotor blades with a crane and then remove and replace the main rotor head and swash plate, said Lance Cpl. Richard V. Roland, HMH-462 avionics technician and Jacksonville, Fla., native.

It took four days to fix and test the Super Stallion. When the helicopter was tested to make sure it was ready to fly the crew discovered that two dampeners on the new main rotor head were broken, said Lyons.

So the team of mechanics went back to work. After seven days of working on the helicopter the crew flew back home on the newly fixed CH-53E.

The Super Stallion will now go back to supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom by transporting food, water, ammunition, troops and other supplies to coalition forces in Iraq.

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