Photo: Mighty rotors: You can see just how big and heavy a helicopter's rotors are in this picture. It takes four US marines to hold this rotor in place while it's being reattached after maintenance. Notice the curved front edge of the rotor blade that cuts like an airfoil as it spins around. Picture by Jeremy L. Grisham courtesy of US Navy .
roberto flores, e-mail, 20.11.2014 00:51
Hi my name is Roberto, served 20 years in US Navy, I was deployed on USS GUADACANAL from 1992-93 during our deployment we had a CH-53 crashed I believe it was five crew members that lost their lifes, we were on the crew for the H2 SEAPRITE doing search and rescue for that deployment. I would like to find out why that accident happen.
Fernando Dilabio, e-mail, 18.10.2012 23:41
Please identify the company that supplied the Tow Cable Assy, (Single Winch II)for the MH-53E
Joyce, e-mail, 09.12.2011 22:08
Airdale, sorry it has taken so long to get back on here, but I finally found the info I was looking for to post for you. I know it is a CH-53E, since I got a Certificate of Commendation for the crash, but just telling you that, wont make you a believer, so here is part of an article:
The co-pilot, 1st Lt. Andrew D. McClintock, 24, of Alexandria, Va., is in good condition at the Marine branch hospital at Twentynine Palms, said Lt. Tim Hoyle, public affairs officer at the Tustin air station.
The accident, which occurred during training exercises, involved a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from the Tustin base. It was the fifth crash in the nation in the past two years of a Super Stallion.
Col. David Shuter, a commander at the base, ordered helicopters there grounded but indicated that the "temporary suspension of operations would be short-term," Hoyle said.
Ralph, e-mail, 16.11.2011 04:37
Brett Pryor...please contact me.
Ian, e-mail, 13.09.2011 01:22
Did the CH53 have a bit of a bad reputation. I was involved in an airmobile exercise in Denmark during '95. We were deploying from a Luftwaffe bird & some of the older sweats were grumbling a bit about having to fly in it. The one thing I did notice was they left a great big sooty exhaust trail like the engines were burning oil.
Doug Durham, e-mail, 29.04.2011 22:38
I was a flight line mechanic with HMH-465 based at MCAS Tustin, CA from June of 1983 to September of 1986. HMH-465 was the first CH-53E squadron to stand up in the 3RD MAW. When I first got to the squadron we only had 12 aircraft as I recall. The last four aircraft were delivered shortly there after. During my time with HMH-465 we lost (3) of the original (16) CH-53E helicopters to mishaps. The first helicopter was lost conducting sling exercises of large trucks of the deck of a ship. The second mishap was as described by AIRDALE in his post. We lost our third helicopter in a test hover out side of the Hanger on MCAS Tustin. Luckily, everyone survived the third crash although most of the helicopter was a loss. I spent the last couple months of my enlistment pulling parts from that crashed airframe for inspection and possible rework by Sikorsky. Shortly after my enlistment was up I got word that another one of the original CH-53E aircraft was lost in a mountain top crash.
I can't even begin to count the number of close encounter events we experienced as HMH-465 trained pilots and crews for fleet missions. Almost every major system in the aircraft experienced failures and required upgrades as the mission capibility expanded. A lot of blood, sweat, and ultimately loss of life occurred in the early fleet develpement of this model.
I remember the helicopter like the back of my hand and sadly miss working and aircrewing on those aircraft. I keep the passion alive by building and flying remote control helicopters.
Roddy Scott, e-mail, 23.02.2011 20:18
Would any existing or former marines of HMH466 be able to assist me in the building of a scale CH 53E rc helicopter? I would like to obtain some detailed photographs of the landing gear and the fuselagefold mechanism, these are few and far between on the WWW and any would be much appreciated.
Scott Vejsicky, e-mail, 18.02.2011 23:20
Grady was a very dear friend of mine at TBS and at Flight School. I had the honor of being at his funeral as well as learning how to party like a Ragin Cajun! I'm now 45 and still think back on those great times with Grady and all our Marine Brothers. Semper Fi, Grady!
Michael Koronka, e-mail, 14.12.2010 22:35
I flew in squadrons 362, 204, 461, and 464 in New River MCAS from 1982 to 1987 and 1989 and was also a test cell operator for the engines. I had only 3 close calls and was able to direct the pilot on the most serious situation and we were able to land safley at the base. The 53 has had problems but most were due to allowing guys with low aptitude to work on these machines. I was a troubleshooter for all of these squadrons and the things a would encounter were scarey. I have about 1200 hours in 53's and if maintained properly these are very reliable and safe aircraft. It is painful when we lose a Marine's life as well as others. Sikorsky has done a great job with the 53 and is by far the best heavy lift out there when you add up the performance and maintenance cost. I was a Marine from 1981 to 1989. I also got to travel around to other 53 squadrons and troubleshoot their tough problems. I worked on OV-10 engines, C-130 engines, Harrier engines, A-6 engines,ch-46 and ch-53 engines as well as huey's and cobras. I was fortunate enough to get a ride in a cobra, That was a real treat.
John, e-mail, 10.12.2010 23:50
The CH-53E that crashed within minutes of take off from Ceisel Field Fla in '92 was caused by an undetected crack in one of the seven main rotor sleeve and spindles. The cracked developed over many hours and then finally reached the point where the entire spindle, with main rotor blade attached, departed from the aircraft. Post mishap investigation revealed the source and a NDI inspection was then developed and required for every 50 hours of flight. No crach or mishap has occured since because of improved manufacturing techniques and the recurring NDI inspection.
Anne Tally, e-mail, 13.11.2010 02:46
To Brett Pryor, I knew Grady and thought he was a great guy. My husband was in HMH461 when Grady died, they also went to flight school together. I don't know if he has any info but know that he would be happy to talk with you. I think of he Ragin' Cajun often. My best to you and your family, Anne
AIRDALE, e-mail, 22.10.2010 21:39
I was a helicopter mechanic on the same CAX in 1986 & was present the day the aircraft crashed. It wasn't an "E" model though, I believe it was a "D". ( The E's weren't fielded until a couple years later.) What you saw raining down wasn't asbestos either; it was an aluminum honeycomb material used in portions of the acft to make it lighter. ( Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of toxic stuff in the air that day but helicopter rotor blades don't have asbestos in them.) I remember it looking like tinsel sparkling in the sun on it's way down... The only survivor was the co-pilot. Somehow he came "Walking" out of a wall of flame. His helmet was gone, his hair singed, eyebrows gone, & his left femur was broken! Unbelievable. Unfortunately 3 other Marines died. I remember the only PAX on board was an 18 yr old LCPL from a CH-46 unit. It was his 18th birthday. He was on guard duty at the time & his own unit refused to take him up because they said it was too dangerous. One of his friends on guard duty was from the CH-53 squadron & he arranged the B-Day flight. I remember standing behind him the night before at the pay phone as he told his parents about it; he was real excited.
Joyce Milo, e-mail, 30.08.2010 02:38
We were doing a CAX in 1986 (April) and had a CH56-E crash while it was doing its maneuvers with 3-4 other CH56-E. It was the lowest one out of the group, so it got, "pushed", by the rest of the other helicopters to the ground. There was only ONE surviver. I was a Fire Fighter for the Marine Corp. and stationed in Hawaii.
Brett Pryor, e-mail, 16.08.2010 00:32
Lost Brother 1992, LT. Grady Pryor, Cecil N.A.S. Crashed Feb 8,1992, No info on net. Never really knew what caused the crash, but would still like to know,R.S.V.P. thankx
The "Dude", e-mail, 12.08.2010 00:59
Mark (24/10/2009), The photo you have a question about is "1995" era. From what I see, the picture was taken at 29 Palms, California. Under the aircraft you can see the "whip" antenna, and on top of the transition section, just below the visible portion of the tail rotor blades, you can see the “shark fin” antenna, indicating the aircraft is equipped with the ARC-182 radio system. On the other side of the aircraft, opposite of the aerial refuel probe, there is no arm protruding forward of the aircraft nose. This indicates the aircraft hasn’t had the Forward Looking Inferred System (FLIR) installed. Most of the time there is a “Ball” at the end of the arm, called the “Ball Turret”. Crazy thing, I too have flown on aircraft 53, in Iraq and at MCAS Miramar. Have no fear for your son, The CH-53E is the B-17 of helicopters, and they always bring their aircrews home.
Mark Prather, e-mail, 20.07.2010 02:07
I flew in CH53E in 88-93 I was in squadern. 466,361 and 462 i flew in aircraftnumbers 14,53,55, and 20. All on the west coast. I loved those helicopters.
Harlen, e-mail, 15.07.2010 09:45
I was a crew chief in the 70's and 80's on 53 A's and D's. I loved them!!!!! I was in HMH 462, HMH 363, HMT 301 and lastly HMX 1. All my time spent on 53 A and D models. Wish I still worked and flew them!
Joyce, e-mail, 28.04.2010 18:34
Is asbestos still being used in the wings of this aircraft, or have they found a healthier way to hold the inside together, better? I was told that you could see the asbestos floating around the crash site, but no one payed any attention to it because they were too busy trying to put the fire out and tend to ANY survivers, or get to the survivors inside the aircraft. By the time they realized they had been breathing in the asbestos, which was probably about, 24HRS, they were too tired to care, and they really didn't know what it was. It just looked like glitter floating in the air.
SCOTT, e-mail, 16.04.2010 23:48
I was a Marine hydraulics mech on the super stallion back in 1985 at New River MCAS. It was an awsome aircraft then and its even more awsome now. Ooo Raaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mark, e-mail, 24.10.2009 01:31
I would like to know when the picture of the 53 in the sand was taken. My son flew that bird number 53 in Afghanistan last year.
Cuffs2009, e-mail, 21.10.2009 03:56
I love the style of all the helicopters ive seen. wish there was a way i can get a screen saver for my cell phone. can you help? I'm studying to get my private pilot license for helicopter. take care guys !!
Ms.Dar from washington state
Kelby, e-mail, 29.09.2009 04:35
I would love to have the blueprints of how the outer shell look slike so that I can model it in 3d, for a game at school that we are working on...If you know where I can get this info I would love to have it...so please, or just direct me in the right path...
Terence McAllister, e-mail, 21.07.2009 16:54
CH-53E is the greatest transport helicopter ever, it isn't only being large, it also has the modern technology, which is should be in a contemporary helicopters, unlike the MIL Mi-26 Halo which is only a big heavy helicopter period and I thought MH-53J/M are much better aircraft than the much sophisticated CV-22s
I expect that the later CH-53K, will have much better performance, defensive/offensive system, and looks also
TED, e-mail, 06.01.2008 08:58
Hi Can you send me information of alternator 28V/200A? T.T
Brett Pryor, e-mail, 09.12.2007 00:27
lost brother 1992, cecil nas. Never really knew what caused the crash, but would like to know, and if possible visit site.R.S.V.P.