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RAN MH-60R crew safe after ditching

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RAN MH-60R crew safe after ditching

Old 14th Oct 2021, 01:10
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RAN MH-60R crew safe after ditching

RAN MH-60R Seahawk helicopter ditches in the Philippine Sea 14 Oct 2021

Three crewmembers of a Royal Australian Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter are safe after ditching their helicopter in the Philippine Sea during a routine flight overnight.



The aircraft was operating from HMAS Brisbane as part of a Regional Presence Deployment with HMAS Warramunga, when the crew conducted an emergency landing in the water.

HMAS Brisbane deployed sea boats and rescued the crew approximately 20 minutes later. The crew received first aid for minor injuries upon their return to HMAS Brisbane.

Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, commended the crews of both ships involved for their quick response to the emergency.

“The successful rescue is credit to the devotion to duty and skill of the officers and sailors of HMAS Brisbane,” Rear Admiral Hammond said. “Their immediate actions ensured the survival of the aircrew, validating the significant training undertaken in the event an emergency of this nature occurs.”

Both ships continue to search the area for any debris, which will aid in determining the cause of the incident.

“With the aircrew safe, investigating the circumstances that led to the helicopter ditching is the priority at the moment,” Rear Admiral Hammond said. “As a precaution, we have temporarily paused flying operations of the MH-60R Seahawk fleet.”

Defence says it is reviewing the impact of the incident on Brisbane and Warramunga’s current deployment.

The RAN currently operates 24 MH-60R Seahawks - including the helicopter involved in this incident - in the naval combat helicopter role, sufficient to provide eight flights (of a single helicopter) at sea and concurrently deliver shore based training and operational tasking. They are shore-based at HMAS Albatross, near Nowra and serve with 725 and 816 Squadrons.

The US State Department recently approved the potential sale of an additional 12 MH-60R Seahawk naval combat helicopters to the RAN, valued at US$985 million.

The additional helicopters, while still able to be reconfigured for the ASW role if required, are being acquired to replace the Navy’s current NHI MRH 90 Taipans in the shipboard logistics role.
https://www.australiandefence.com.au...philippine-sea

Last edited by SpazSinbad; 14th Oct 2021 at 05:12. Reason: Fix quote - fix could not read first paragraph
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 01:14
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Good to see the boys and girls are OK. First Australian loss of a Seahawk.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 01:31
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I don't know if this 'severely damaged' ROMEO was brought back to service? Perhaps someone knows?

Damaged Romeo helicopter could be a write-off | South Coast Register | Nowra, NSW 20 Oct 2017
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 01:45
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Originally Posted by SpazSinbad View Post
I don't know if this 'severely damaged' ROMEO was brought back to service? Perhaps someone knows?

Damaged Romeo helicopter could be a write-off | South Coast Register | Nowra, NSW 20 Oct 2017

Found this on N48-020

Delivered 06/2016
Noted as Gauntlet 20 with 725 Sqn at Nowra.
Deployed on HMAS Ballarat 06/04/17.
Noted at Canberra 02/08/17 as in Service 816 Sqn RAN as Tiger 20.
On 09/10/2017 N48-20 was aboard HMAS Warramunga when it broke away from its lashings during a rough passage across the Great Australian Bight en-route to the Middle East.
There was a replacement helicopter placed aboard HMAS Warramunga so that it could continue its mission.
Noted repaired and flying at the RAAF Edinburgh Airshow 10/11/2019
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 04:05
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Thanks - 'forgot' about that page (one day I'll figure out formatting) : ADF Serials - MH-60R Seahawk
ADF-SERIALS Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History
RAN N48 Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 05:35
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No small feat getting out of a Cab at night let alone getting picked up by the ship within 20 minutes.

Outstanding result.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 05:39
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Agreed.
Did HUET training in another life.
Bad enough being dumped in a cold, still swimming pool in the cage, blindfolded, then flipped upside down and having to find the doors and swim to the surface.
But open seas, night time... crikey.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 06:16
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Lucky guys. the USN lost one last month with 5 fatalities
https://news.usni.org/2021/09/04/navy-ends-search-for-5-missing-after-helicopter-crash-sailors-presumed-lost-at-sea
Five sailors missing after a helicopter went into the sea after crashing on the deck of an aircraft carrier on Monday are now presumed dead. U.S. 3rd Fleet identified the sailors on Sunday. The MH-60S was on the deck of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) when an unspecified mishap caused the helicopter to fall into the Pacific about 60 miles off the coast of San Diego, Calif., on Aug. 31 at 4:30 p.m. local time.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 06:32
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They recovered the a 5 missing americans
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 07:26
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Navy Recovers Helicopter, 5 Sailors Killed in Crash that Prompted Pause in Flight Operations 12 Oct 2021
https://news.usni.org/2021/10/12/nav...ght-operations
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 07:39
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This is a RUMOUR about the RAN Romeo Loss so please treat as a RUMOUR by e-mail with NO attribution: "Indications are the Seahawk ran out of fuel and ditched. Apparently the ship it was flying from had changed position and the hello couldn’t find it again and due to fuel starvation it ditched. The ship rescued the crew within 20 minutes but apparently the helo sank."

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Old 14th Oct 2021, 08:02
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https://www.nasc.gov.tw/eng/News_Con...n=824&s=143716
Due to the history of the SH-60B/F and HH-60H floating systems, engine reliability improvements and MH-60R/S project upgrades, the floating system is not installed in the MH-60R and MH-60S. The integration of floating systems raises some safety risks, including the blocking of flight crews' emergency escape routes. Because of these risks, the MH-60R has never been designed to contain a floating system.

The MH-60R is followed by the development of the MH-60S, and the floating system is not considered. The survival rate of the shipwreck was basically the same before and after the system was removed. Finally, the SH-60B/F floating system installation location is now the location of the MH-60R and MH-60S active vibration control system power generators.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 08:50
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Originally Posted by SpazSinbad View Post
This is a RUMOUR about the RAN Romeo Loss so please treat as a RUMOUR by e-mail with NO attribution: "Indications are the Seahawk ran out of fuel and ditched. Apparently the ship it was flying from had changed position and the hello couldn’t find it again and due to fuel starvation it ditched. The ship rescued the crew within 20 minutes but apparently the helo sank."
Can't find the ship but a RHIB can pick you up in 20 minutes? Doesn't sound right.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 08:58
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Like I said 'it was a RUMOUR unsubstantiated'. However taking some guesses at the RUMOUR one may GUESS that perhaps the helo nav equipment became faulty; or the ship did not have good beacon equipment. Once a HELO is in the water I'll imagine a rescue beacon would make locating the HELO / survivors easier. Aircrew with helo experience could imagine better scenarios, I'm just an old fixed wing chap from wayback.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 09:02
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If you haven't got the fuel to get back it's better to have a controlled ditching than an uncontrolled one when the fuel gives out. At max ship's speed it could have been 10ish miles away. You're either sure you've got 5 mins' fuel or you're not.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 09:39
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Originally Posted by switch_on_lofty View Post
If you haven't got the fuel to get back it's better to have a controlled ditching than an uncontrolled one when the fuel gives out. At max ship's speed it could have been 10ish miles away. You're either sure you've got 5 mins' fuel or you're not.
Hadn't heard anything about fuel, but my contacts have said it was a completely controlled water landing, so possibly the running out of fuel was true. If it was a fuel miscalculation then the would not ground the fleet. If it was a fuel supply ie pump failed and couldn't get the fuel out of a tank then that might be a reason to ground the fleet
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 09:58
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Lucky guys. the USN lost one last month with 5 fatalities
A big difference between ditching and falling over the side.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 10:21
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Being lost, yet only 20 minute recovery doesn't make any sense. To be that close the ship would be visible to the helo, there's also a big mast strobe on most of those things. This ain't WW2 where they use mk 1 eyeball to find shipping, and 20 minutes from mother by surface craft that were launched can't be far. Sounds more like something time critical happened that they rather put down under control rather than risk losing control trying to make it a short distance back to ship. Hydraulics, oil loss, fuel feed, flux capacitor or thronomister, something we may never know. Maybe it brushed against the same object the Connecticut hit.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 11:27
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ROMEO Seahawk has no floatation equipment unlike the older B model in the RAN FAA (according to this message received):
"Yanks put avionics in the spaces we used to have floats, and we weren’t allowed to change it for our needs. So, no floats. The Danish did develop with Sikorsky a big arse float/raft that can be carried in a canister on a stores station. We were supposed to be getting that, however, I have no idea if that has even materialised. This might fast track that now. Based on my understanding, when’s Seahawk hits the water, and begins to sink, aircrew effectively only have a max 15secs to be out, or they’re pretty much dead. Yanks lose so many people in their Seahawk ditchings."
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 12:30
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when’s Seahawk hits the water, and begins to sink, aircrew effectively only have a max 15secs to be out, or they’re pretty much dead. Yanks lose so many people in their Seahawk ditchings."
Even with STASS/HEED? Or, is it related to the depth, buoancy etc? The accounts of the survivors of the 2006 accident are harrowing, and refer to non-inflation of LSJs due water pressure, and HEED being exhausted before reaching the surface. (I know it wasn't a controlled ditching.....)
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