A CH-53 (AKA Jolly Green Giant) trying to inflight refuel. The basket keeps getting caught in the wash, the chopper pilot dips to meet it, and then realises the basket is gonna whip back up into the blades, and reflex makes him pull up way too sharp, and sends his nozzle into the blades. To say this guy was lucky is an understatement, and its only cos that crate has seven blades that kept them up.
Thanks to Stuart for the clip and explanation
1) the CH-53E is nicknamed the “Super Stallion” not the Jolly Green Giant.
2) It was a training flight for a new (1stLt) co-pilot, and the more senior (LtCol) saw how low he was dipping too low (and saw the basket heading for the blades,) grabbed the stick away from him and yanked collective power (Collective adjusts the pitch of the blades so it “grabs” more or less air, kinda like sticking your hand out of a window and tilting it up or down) causing the Rotor head to bow up and chop off the refuel probe. this incident damaged 4 of the 7 main rotor blades and completely destroyed a refuel probe causing about $1,002,600.00 in damage to the helicopter. (Each main rotor blade costs 237,590.00 to replace from scrap, and the probe costs about $52,240.00)
I know this because it was my squadron’s aircraft and it was our old commanding officer from back in 1997. (it was a Class “A” mishap) and he blamed the new 1stLt for it.
- Cpl Andrew D Pendrey