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40 foot surf on the north shore of Oahu might make serious surfers happy but not the Marines.
Last night two Sea Stallion helicopters on a night training mission collided a couple of miles off the North shore rear Haleiva.
Witnesses on the beach said they saw a huge fiery explosion which would have been the helos colliding.
Shortly after, they saw a flare which would mean to me that someone was alive in the water at that time.
Coast Guard and Navy units are combing the area looking for 12 missing marines.
The high waves and surf make it very hard to see anyone in the water. If alive they are in all likelyhood seriously injured
and any attempt to make it ashore in 40 foot surf could be lethal. They have found one empty life raft so far.




 

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Having been an air crew member on the H 47 Chinook during Vietnam I can tell you that Helos are an inherently dangerous vehicle. 40 foot seas means some wild winds and winds push choppers around like crazy. We did more than a few "Controlled Crash Landings" while trying to set down on a rocking ship deck. When dropping pallets the pilot has to get into an up and down sync with the ship plus account for cross winds that change in seconds. When flying in formation a wind gust that hits one bird may not hit another the same and we had a lot of close calls. When you see a few choppers flying over you will usually see them one after another rather than along side of or above/below each other. During rescue ops in rough conditions two choppers are always very far apart from each other, like a half or full mile apart. They get blown around like a helium balloon.

GaryL
 

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I saw a memorial service for the Marines on TV, so sad for their relatives. Realistic training exercises always come with inherent risk but the accidents are always lamentable.
 

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Wow, I just found this post in the back pages. I hadn't logged in for awhile and I had a hunch that you folks would have touched on this crash in a kind manner. I was a CH-53E Crew Chief from 2005-2013 and I knew several of the Marines that died. I trained and pinned wings on two of them. It was / is a crushing loss to their families and to our community. Thank you for the kind words.
 

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Wow, I just found this post in the back pages. I hadn't logged in for awhile and I had a hunch that you folks would have touched on this crash in a kind manner. I was a CH-53E Crew Chief from 2005-2013 and I knew several of the Marines that died. I trained and pinned wings on two of them. It was / is a crushing loss to their families and to our community. Thank you for the kind words.
My squadron, HC-6 NAS Norfolk had 2 H-53s along with a bunch of H-47s. I never went up in an H-53 but they sure were a much nicer bird than the 47s I was air crew on.

GaryL
 

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GaryL

I bet that rock solid chinook hover was nice during externals! 53's are like a kite over the load. Don't look at the tail skid unless you enjoy projectile vomiting.
 

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GaryL

I bet that rock solid chinook hover was nice during externals! 53's are like a kite over the load. Don't look at the tail skid unless you enjoy projectile vomiting.
The 47s were utility and the 53s were set up for flying dignitaries and politicians around on the tax payers dimes. I would love to have a dollar for every sling load we picked up and dropped off from the 47s. They did do an auto rotate crash pretty good though.:p

GAryL
 
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