Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 9/7/2004 4:55:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 5:07:58 PM EDT by torstin]
came across this video of a helicopter attempting a landing on a ship, coming up short and then crashing into the water. any idea what the details were? or if anyone was hurt? looks to be usn.

eta. thanks for the details. considering that, i removed the link. i don't like context in which it's presented.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:57:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:58:20 PM EDT
I bet you someone didn't get their Ice Cream for desert after that...
Hope nobody got hurt, but that was a sidways landing...
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:00:58 PM EDT
IIRC nobody survived.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:01:39 PM EDT
What happened was, he came in too low and fast, didn't wave-off when he should have, and bumped. Recovered nicely, but one of his main-mounts caught the safety netting on the side, causing him to roll. The rotor did the rest of the work, called dynamic rollover. Helicopters don't float well, as you can see by them instantly submerging. The guys in the boats behind them are Navy SEALs. They saved some lives that day. The crew got out, most of the Marines in the back died, they were tossed about like ragdolls. The whole exercise was a ship assault.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:01:57 PM EDT
Happened off the coast of San Diego. The copter snagged a landing net went into the water killing 17 Camp Pendelton Marines. Not good and nothing to joke about.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:02:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 5:02:45 PM EDT by Fly-Navy]

Originally Posted By 2A373:
IIRC nobody survived.

Wrong. A lot of guys lived. I just can't remember how many...
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:02:58 PM EDT
He came in way, way too low. They would have been ok, and could have taken off just fine again, if the back left gear didn't get caught up on that deck railing. Hope they made it out ok.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:59:21 PM EDT
If beleive only two or three marines lived. I was stationed at Camp Pendleton when this happened and my bud was doing sniper support from the other ship. It was his squad that was killed. Had he not been doing the sniper gig he would have been on that bird. This was during the Operation Urban Warrior.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:23:50 PM EDT
The video is both absorbing and horrifying. Taken from aboard the USNS Pecos, the images show a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit become ensnarled in the Pecos' safety netting during a shipboard seizure exercise.

Aboard the stricken aircraft, five crewmen and 13 passengers fight for their lives as the helicopter suddenly rolls over and falls top-first into the blue, 3,900-feet-deep water off the California coast. It took less than 40 seconds from the start of the tragedy for tail number 154790 to completely disappear beneath the waves.

Eleven Marines were rescued by special warfare crewmen on two nearby boats. But six Marines and a sailor drowned, their bodies were recovered later from the sunken wreckage by an unmanned submersible vehicle.

Six Marines and a Navy corpsmen died in the Dec 9, 1999 accident.

Killed in the accident were:
Gunnery Sgt. James Paige Jr.
Staff Sgt. William C. Dame
Petty Officer 1st Class Jay J. Asis
Staff Sgt. David E. Galloway
Staff Sgt. Vincent A. Sebasteanski
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey R. Starling
Cpl. Mark M. Baca

USMC released mishap info:
On 09 December 1999, a USMC Force Reconnaissance platoon was assigned to perform a VBSS on the USNS Pecos as part of a training exercise in preparation for deployment with the 15th MEU(SOC) in January 2000.

The assault team was comprised, in part, of two CH-46 helicopters assigned to the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166. These were designated numbers 1 and 2 , with the platoon split between both birds. They were going to land if there was room, or fast rope if not.

A SEAL platoon was assigned to assault simultaneously from surface/up. US Navy Special Boat Unit rigid hull inflatables (RIB) and their crews were on other side of ship, carrying the SEALs who were to perform the assault.

The pilot of helo #1 struck, or became fouled in the netting surrounding the stern of the ship. The A/C immediately became unstable and rolled into the ocean. The A/C sank and #2 waved off.

The Force Recon personnel were standing up and preparing to "Fast Rope" on to the deck at the time of the accident.

Eleven survivors were immediately pulled from the water, however six Marines and one sailor died in the crash.

The helicopter went down about 1:16 p.m. PST (2116 GMT) about 15 miles (24 kms) west-southwest of Point Loma.

All Force Recon personnel were from the 5th Platoon and part of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego.

Posted by unknow members of the 15th MEU
This is the incident as we now know it. Please understand that this is
subject to change, but is accurate as of now.

The platoon was doing a VBSS on a USN ship (i believe Pecos) Two helos,
-1 and-2 , with the platoon split.They were going to land (if room), or
fast rope if not. The SEAL platoon was assaulting from surface/up. The
SBU RIB's were on other side of ship.

The pilot of -1 struck, or otherwise fouled something on the ship (It is
on video.) The A/C became unstable and rolled into the ocean. The A/C
sank immediately. -2 waved off.

The two pilots egressed succsessfully. One crewman escaped, one did not.

Only one member of the Force Platoon forward of the hell hole got out.

All the Force Marines (and the 1 EOD Marine) were jocked up. Sgt Ward
also had a cutting torch. When the A/C impacted he was directly behind
the cockpit. (Initially they believed he had broken his back on impact-
they now believe that it was a 2-3 year old parachute injury). He
attempted to get out via the gunners station- his M4 sling caught on the
.50, and he came back in. He located some air in the bottom of the A/C
(which was now inverted), got a breath, removed some equipment, and swam
out the clamshell.

The Marine closest to the hell hole escaped through it- upwards, as the
A/C was inverted.

By the time they egressed, several reported that they were at 20' or more
below the surface. This means that they were negatively bouyant, and swam
out of the A/C and up to the surface with all of their equipment- Type 4
heavy body armor, helmet, MEU(SOC) Pistol, M4A1 Carbine, ammo, demo,
radios, breaching equipment etc. Except for Sgt. Ward, i don't believe
anyone conciously ditched anything, nor were aware of that fact until
they reached the surface. One Marine was trapped when his MEU(SOC) .45
caught on something in the helo. It was attached by a lanyard
(recommended by me last year) to replace the non functional issue
lanyard. He pulled and the breakable link broke, permitting him to

Those who got out said that they could not follow the bubbles, as it was
completely dark. One likened it to a school of minnows in a compressed

Several stated that they got out the clamshell, some have no idea.

Several stated that they could see the light at the surface and swam
towards it, but most were out of air.

The SBU heard the crash, responded immediately, and retrieved all of the
Marines that had escaped.

The 5th Platoon Commander, Capt. Kapitulik, sustained a broken leg. The
Platoon Commander of the next deploying platoon, 1stLt (Mustang) Mike
Butler along as an observer, has a severley lacerated liver. He is in
critical condition.

None of the others sustained other than minor injuries.

Missing Marines presumed dead after Pacific helicopter crash
Rescue teams search the Pacific for six missing Marines and one sailor

December 11, 1999
Web posted at: 12:19 a.m. EST (0519 GMT)

'The more time that passes, the less hopeful the scenario'
SAN DIEGO (CNN) -- Military rescue officials say seven Marines missing after their helicopter crashed into the Pacific Ocean on Thursday are now presumed dead.

A rescue operation that went on for more than a day will become an effort to recover their bodies, military officials said Friday night. All hope that any of the missing could still be alive was lost by late Friday, they said.

The helicopter left the assault carrier USS Bonhomme Richard with 18 Marines on board Thursday for a training flight far from shore. Eleven Marines aboard the CH-46 Sea Knight were rescued after the craft crashed about 1:16 p.m. Thursday, and three remained hospitalized Friday.

Marine, Navy and Coast Guard personnel -- some of them equipped with night vision goggles, infrared sensors and other gear to aid divers -- spent Thursday and Friday searching in an area about 20 miles southwest of San Diego.

Fourteen Marines on the helicopter were ready to rappel 30 feet down a rope onto a Navy tanker when the aircraft crashed. Nearby SEAL boats quickly pulled 11 Marines out of the water.

All those aboard the chopper were from Miramar Naval Air Station and part of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego.

Three Marines were hospitalized Friday at Naval Marine Medical Center San Diego with minor to moderate injuries. Two of them spent Thursday night in the intensive care unit, said hospital spokesman Doug Sayers.

The third was taken to the hospital by helicopter from the Bonhomme Richard on Friday morning. He is in stable condition in the intensive care unit, Sayers said. "We expect them to be with us for a few days," he said.

An evening prayer service was scheduled to be held Friday aboard the Bonhomme Richard.

'The more time that passes, the less hopeful the scenario'
"Obviously, the more time that passes, the less hopeful the scenario," Coast Guard Lt. Ted Woolridge said. "All helicopters are top heavy. When they hit the water, they are going to fill with water, invert and sink."

The Missing:
Gunnery Sgt. James Paige Jr., Middlesex, New Jersey

Staff Sgt. William C. Dame, Yuma, Arizona

Petty Officer 1st Class Jay J. Asis, hometown unavailable

Staff Sgt. David E. Galloway, Oregon City, Oregon

Staff Sgt. Vincent A. Sebasteanski, Cumberland, Maine

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey R. Starling, South Dayton, Florida

Cpl. Mark M. Baca, Jefferson City, Colorado

Woolridge, a helicopter pilot, was flying on another Coast Guard mission when he received an emergency call about the crash. When he arrived at the scene about 15 minutes later, he saw only a smoke flare and an air crew helmet floating in the water.

"We were out there for about an hour and saw no one," Woolridge said.

The helicopter went down in 3,600 feet of water. The fact that there is no floating wreckage indicates the helicopter likely sank deep into the ocean with the Marines on board, Woolridge said.

All the Marines had received water survival training, but it was unclear whether they were dressed in cold-water gear, Restrepo said.

If the Marines survived the crash and were wearing the special gear, Woolridge said they could stay afloat for several hours before suffering hypothermia. The water was about 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

Training exercise
The helicopter crashed after taking off from the Bonhomme Richard en route to the USS Pecos, a Navy tanker that provides fuel to ships at sea, Restrepo said.

Three marines were hospitalized at the Naval Marine Medical Center in San Diego

An initial report suggested the helicopter approached the Pecos too low and the rope, used by Marines to slide from the hovering chopper to the deck, may have snagged part of the ship, causing the crash, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Friday, citing Navy sources.

The Marines were on a training mission to test their special tactics skills, such as boarding ships, in preparation for a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf, Restrepo said.

Spotty history for CH-46
The twin-engine CH-46 was first introduced in 1964, and is a workhorse of the Marine Corps and Navy. It can carry a maximum of 14 troops in addition to the crew of four.

The Marines use the CH-46E as an all-weather, day-or-night assault transport for troops and equipment. The Navy uses the CH-46D version to deliver personnel and cargo to and from ships.

Last year, there were two crashes involving Sea Knight helicopters. One killed two U.S. sailors in the Mediterranean Sea on Sicily's eastern coast. Another killed a sailor about 100 miles off the coast of Borneo.

The Dayton (Ohio) Daily News reported in October that the CH-46 Sea Knight has a history of mechanical failures in its hydraulic system.

A review by the newspaper found 71 documented incidents over 11 years of leaks or failures of the hydraulic system. There were no deaths, but three of the failures resulted in fires that destroyed the helicopters.

When the CH-46 impacted the USNS Pecos in December 1999, the 15th MEU lost seven people - a helicopter Crew Chief from HMM 166, an EOD technician, and five members from the 5th Platoon. This was a tragic loss to the immediate and extended families, especially coming at the beginning of the Holiday Season.

The families were the of course the first priority, and while the Navy DSRV went about the task of recovering bodies from 3900 feet of cold Pacific water, the Company provided what solace it could.

A memorial service was held at the Base Theatre. The clergy prayed, VIP's spoke, and the media filmed.

But the real closure came after the formal service when an Irish Wake of grand proportions (trust me on this one- I've been to a lot of these and this one was Grand) was held in the Paraloft. Present and former Reconnaissance Marines and sailors from Okinawa and Hawaii, Camp Lejeune and numerous post and stations showed up. Members of the Company who were there at its birth and those who fought in Viet Nam. Cops from LA, San Diego and other agencies who had worked and trained with Force over the years.

Traditionally, when a member leaves the Company a paddle ceremony is held. Everyone gets to say something about the member who is leaving. At the end, he is presented with a paddle, suitably engraved, and a certificate of his service with the Company.

This time the paddles were given to the families. We paid tribute to those who died doing something they truly loved. It lasted well into the next morning, but when it wrapped up, it was over. 5th Platoon received five volunteers to backfill their teams, and deployed on schedule.

That former members of the Company came is not coincidental. The relationship between former and present members is strong and ongoing. There is a standing invitation to visit the Company at any time. Formal invitations are extended for the Company Birthday, and for the Marine Corps Birthday Ball.

This relationship is more than social (though it is of course that). It is more of a continuing legacy of shared misery and success. SgtMaj Kevin Naughton (there should be a photograph of Kevin Naughton next to the term "Sergeant Major" in the dictionary) said it best. "These are the days you will always look back on".

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:26:46 PM EDT
torstin, could you PM me the link, I would like to see this since I had involvment in the operation, I know my buddy would like to see it as well.

The Marines were from 1/4 weapons If I recall.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:29:40 PM EDT
Oh posted right after you did.. Thats the info I was looking for! I will forward all of this...

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:43:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
One Marine was trapped when his MEU(SOC) .45
caught on something in the helo. It was attached by a lanyard
(recommended by me last year) to replace the non functional issue
lanyard. He pulled and the breakable link broke, permitting him to

I recall reading about this Marine's escape from the helo - I ditched my issue lanyard and bought a commercial tactical one shortly thereafter. Awful accident. One of my worst fears as a tanker is rolling over into a stream or river - there's no easy way to get out once the tank is inverted and underwater.

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:48:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:55:58 PM EDT

This is the Naval Safety Centers video. No sound.
The actual video has the sound of the crash, the crash alarm going off and the comments by the camara man.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 7:02:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 7:04:35 PM EDT
Thanks DVD
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 7:05:36 PM EDT
God that was awful. What a shitty way to go. RIP
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 7:08:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
Helicopters don't swim well. Pilots may swim well, but only outside of thier aircraft.

Actually some helicopters are built with boat like hulls, this allows them to land on water in an emergency.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 7:08:12 PM EDT
We had a helo drop our mail over the side of the ship once. Landing a helo on a moving deck is no easy task!!! Especially in rough weather. High winds+ high waves=bad juju
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 7:13:31 PM EDT
I've seen that video. I'm surprised anyone got out alive.

Rest well, shipmates.....
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 7:13:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 7:17:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By STLRN:

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
Helicopters don't swim well. Pilots may swim well, but only outside of thier aircraft.

Actually some helicopters are built with boat like hulls, this allows them to land on water in an emergency.

Sorta.. you have to put it down nice and pretty. No helo is gonna take a crash like that.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 7:24:46 PM EDT
The H-3 flown by the US Navy is the last Military helicopter with emergency amphibious landing capabilities still in use, and they will be replaced by the UH-60B Crashhawk next year.
They are used for station SAR and one reserve Helo squadron.

Originally Posted By STLRN:

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
Helicopters don't swim well. Pilots may swim well, but only outside of thier aircraft.

Actually some helicopters are built with boat like hulls, this allows them to land on water in an emergency.

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 7:25:59 PM EDT
What happened to the pilot?
Top Top