UH-1F Eglin AFB 1966   UH-1F DMAFB, AZ 1967   UH-1F Malmstrom AFB 1967   UH-1F Eglin AFB 1969   UH-1F Edwards AFB 1971   UH-1F Ellisworth AFB 1971   UH-1N FT. Bragg 1973   HH-1H Hill AFB 1974   UH-1F F.E. Warren 1975   UH-1F Ellsworth AFB 1982   UH-1F Whiteman AFB 1982   UH-1N Bahamas 1984   UH-1 Ellsworth AFB 1986   UH-1N Edwards-Jan-1991   UH-1N Edwards-Oct-1991   UH-1N Kirtland AFB 1996   UH-1N 1998   UH-1N F.E. Warren AFB 1999   UH-1N Kirtland AFB 2002   TH-lH Ft. Rucker 2009   UH-1N Malmstrom AFB 2010   UH-1N Kirtland AFB 2011   UH-1N Minot AFB 2013   CH-3C Malmstrom AFB 1965   CH-3C Sheppard AFB Mar. 1967   CH-3 Sheppard AFB Nov. 1967   CH-3E Midair in Laos 1970   HH-3E Korea 1973   HH-3E Elmendorf AFB 1974   HH-3E Iceland 1979   CH-3E Patrick AFB, 1984   HH-3E Osan 1984   HH-3E 29-Palms 1988   HH-3E Kadena 1989   CH-3E DMAFB 1989   H-5G Ladd AFB 1951   H-5H Maxwell AFB 1953   H-5 New York 1958   H-13G Niagara Falls 1955   H-13 Bryan AFB, TX 1957   H-19A San Marcos 1952   H-19A O'Neill, NB. 1953   H-19B Alexandria, LA. 1954   H-19B Austria 1954   H-19B France 1954   H-19B Korea 1954   H-19B March AFB 1954   H-19B Rhine Main AB 1955   H-19B Eglin AFB 1955   H-19 Skaneateles Lake, NY 1956   H-19 Ashiya Japan 1957   H-19 Edwards AFB 1957   H-19 Niagra Falls 1959   H-19 Sheppard   H-19B Loring AFB 1960   H-19 Beal AFB 1963   H-19 Larson AFB 1963   H-19 Saigon, RVN 1964   YH-21 Thule AB 1953   H-21 Goose Bay 1954   H-21A San Marcos TX 1955   H-21B Tennesse 1955   H-21 San Diego, CA 1956   H-21 Alaska 1957   H-21 Goose Bay 1958.   SH-21 Greenland 1958   H-21 Elmendorf AFB 1958   H-21 Dugway Proving Grnd. 1958   H-21 Goose Bay 1959   H-21 Greenland 1959   CH-21B Otis AFB 1959   H-21 Indian Springs AAF 1961   H-21 Luke AFB 1961   H-23B Moody AFB 1953   H-43A James Connally AFB 1959   H-43B Loring AFB 1961   H-43B Westover AFB 1961   HH-43B MacDill AFB, FL 1964   HH-43B Stead AFB 1965   HH-43B Clark AB, PI 1966   H-43 Sheppard AFC, TX 1966   HH-43B Phan Rang 1968   HH-43B MacDill AFB 1969   HH-43B Hill AFB 1973   HH-53C Eglin AFB 1969   CH-53C Germany 1975   CH-53C Germany 1976   HH-53C Woodbridge 1977   HH-53C Kadena AB 1979   HH-53B Kirtland AFB 1981   HH-53C Kirtland AFB 1982   MH-53 Philippines 1984   CH-53C Pope AFB 1984   HH-53C Hickam AFB, HI 1985   HH-53C Hill AFB 1986   HH-53H Nellis AFB 1986   MH-53J Korea 1995   HH-53B Vance AFB 1996   HH-53B Cherry Point 1998   MH-53J Ft. Bragg 1999   MH-53M RAF Mildenhall 2000   MH-53 Durango CO 2002   MH-53M USNS Kanawha 2002   MH-53M Afghanistan 2003   MH-53M FOL Hurlburt Fld 2003   MH-53M Kuwait 2003   MH-53M Hurlburt Fld. 2007   UH-60A Pope AFB 1987   HH-60G New York 1991   MH-60G Antigua 1991   HH-60G Great Salt Lake 1992   HH-60G Davis-Monthan AFB 1994   HH-60G Korea 1994   HH-60G Indian Springs 1998   HH-60G Al Jabar AB 1999   HH-60G Avon Park 2001   HH-60G Mt. Hood 2002   HH-60G Afghanistan 2002   HH-60G Afghanistan 2003   HH-60G Afghanistan 2004   HH-60G Angel Fire, NM 2005   HH-60G Kandahar 2007   HH-60G Afghanistan 2009   HH-60G Okinawa 2013   HH-60G Lakenheath 2014   HH-60G Lakenheath 2014 1   HH-60G Lakenheath 2014 2   Ellsworth AFB 1955   Hawaii crash 1963   Patuxent River NAS 1960   Randolph AFB 1957   Spokane River, WA 1959   Tyndall AFB 1961   Wright-Patterson 1956   Spokane River 1972  


HH-53J #68-10364

Fort Bragg, NC

2 June 1999


  Air Force Helicopter Crash Near Fort Bragg Kills One




CAMP MACKALL One person was killed and five injured when an Air Force special operations helicopter crashed in the woods of Moore County late Wednesday night, June 2, 1999.

 

Staff Sgt. Kurt Upton from Niota, IL, died around 5 a.m. at Fort Bragg's Womack Army Medical Center after suffering brain and internal injuries.

 

He was the crew's gunner, and was sitting in the back of the MH-53J Pave Low helicopter.

 

The other five crew members from the 16th

 Special Operation Wing walked away from the crash; they are believed to have crawled out of the copilot's window.

 

The crew was on a training mission over Camp Mackall when something went wrong. "It was a routine special operations training mission," said Capt. Susan Idziak, a public information officer for Pope Air Force Base. "The accident is under investigation right now."

 

Airmen secured the crash scene and placed flags beside every piece of debris from the MH-53J. The helicopter is in hundreds of pieces scattered up to a half-mile away.

 

"We have planned for approximately 750 to 1,000 different parts," says Lt. Col. Mike Delman, the on-scene commander.

 

It is still too early to determine whether the crash was caused by pilot error or mechanical error, but Pope investigators have already ruled out some factors.

 

"There is no tree damage anywhere around, so the helicopter did not hit any of the trees coming in," says investigator Col. Jim Kingsley.


 

The helicopter is assigned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron, part of the 16th Special Operations Wing based at Hurlburt Field in Florida.

 

Investigators will eventually put the helicopter back together in search for answers.

"Somewhere there's a piece out there that will tell the investigators exactly what happened," Kingsley said.

 


The five surviving crew members have already been questioned. The Pave Low was believed to have been coming in for a landing. Air combat controllers who witnessed the crash from the ground will also be interviewed.

 

Aberdeen rescue volunteer Bill Fipps was one of the first people to arrive on the crash scene. He lives less than a mile away. He says he knew something was wrong before he ever got a call for help.

 

"It didn't sound like a regular helicopter," he

said. "It sounded sort of like a lawn mower. It had a whiny noise to it."

 

Many other neighbors to Camp Mackall also heard the fatal accident.

 

"All of a sudden there was a boom and it was over with," says Moore County resident Albert Troutman. "Then I heard the men hollering. It was about a minute or two before the men started hollering."

 

The MH-53J Pave Lows are used primarily to "perform low-level, long-range, undetected penetration into denied areas, day or night, in adverse weather," according to the military.

 

The helicopters have been used successfully in Desert Storm and in Bosnia. One was reportedly used in March to rescue a stealth fighter pilot in Yugoslavia.

 

The Pave Low is the largest and most powerful helicopter in the Air Force inventory. It is also the most technologically advanced helicopter in the world.

 


However, the Pave Low is also one of the most maintenance-intensive aircraft in the Air Force. On average, maintenance people put in between 40 and 50 hours of maintenance for every hour flown.

 

After losing the helicopter Wednesday night, the Air Force now has a 40 Pave Lows in its arsenal. Built by Sikorsky Aircraft, each helicopter costs about $25 million.

 

The last major accident involving the Pave Low aircraft was in October 1988.




Updated Jun 23, 2000

Fatal Helicopter Crash



BY THOMAS DAIL


The fatal crash of an MH-53J helicopter in Moore County on June 2 occurred because of a "loss of situational awareness" by the air crew, according to a report just released by the Air Force Special Operations Command.

 

The crash killed Staff Sgt. Kurt Upton. The five other crew members survived.

 

A condition known as "dustout" contributed to the crew’s loss of situational awareness, the report states. "The unexpected severity of brown-out conditions created disruption of crew coordination during the final approach," says the report.

 

As part of a training exercise, the helicopter was to land in a clearing on Fort Bragg to move ground personnel out of the exercise staging area. During the landing, the helicopter’s downwash unexpectedly created a dust cloud that eliminated the crew’s visibility. After losing visibility, the pilot began using instruments to land the helicopter.

The pilot, Capt. John Glass, failed to correct for right drift as the helicopter approached the ground, according to the report. When the aircraft was 20 to 25 feet above the ground, a scanner told the pilot to pull up for another landing approach. He applied power to the helicopter just as it hit the ground.

 

The right landing gear sank into the sandy surface of the ground, stopping the right drift, the report says. This force, combined with the high power setting and high rate of descent, twisted the tail section, ripping it from the aircraft.

 

The helicopter lifted off the ground. Without a tail rotor, it flipped and hit the ground again about 100 feet from the original impact, the report says.

 

According to the report, the crew did not know that conditions at the landing site were conducive to dustout, and the mission commander waived a rule that requires a survey of the landing zone. The team used satellite images, maps and information from the Special Tactics Squadron team members.

 

While most of the report has not been released, an executive summary of the report is available.

 

The MH-53J, the largest helicopter in the Air Force’s inventory, performs low-level, long-range, undetected penetration, day or night, in adverse weather, for infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces.

















            



"FREEDOM ISN'T FREE"

~SOMEONE PAYS FOR YOU AND ME~


"HELICOPTERS" - THE ONLY WAY TO FLY


~NEVER FORGOTTEN~