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Marine Corps how NOT to load a helicopter!

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Marine Corps how NOT to load a helicopter!

Old 5th Jul 2019, 16:12
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Marine Corps how NOT to load a helicopter!

This doesn't look ideal from the outset! Any reason this CH-53E couldn't have got up the ramp its self?

https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=axqOx_1556419878


Last edited by Senior Pilot; 6th Jul 2019 at 00:34. Reason: Add YouTube: easier to watch
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 16:50
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Originally Posted by nomorehelosforme View Post
This doesn't look ideal from the outset! Any reason this CH-53E couldn't have got up the ramp its self?

https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=axqOx_1556419878
Is that question for real?
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 18:25
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Originally Posted by nomorehelosforme View Post
Any reason this CH-53E couldn't have got up the ramp its self?
None at all:-)

https://www.safran-landing-systems.c...tric-taxiing-0

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Old 5th Jul 2019, 21:19
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Well, what an entirely surprising outcome for those particular aviation professionals...
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 23:28
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No winch at the front of the barge??
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 23:52
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now THAT cost the taxpayer a dime or two!!! Not sure what the poor fellow running after it thought he was going to do...
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 01:47
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Originally Posted by twinstar_ca View Post
now THAT cost the taxpayer a dime or two!!! Not sure what the poor fellow running after it thought he was going to do...
My tax money.. Looks like a $5 million repair, or scrap the whole thing..
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 05:06
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I suppose the choppers brakes do not work when the engine is shut down?When towing back in my day someone was always on the brakes!
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 07:12
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Originally Posted by oldpax View Post
I suppose the choppers brakes do not work when the engine is shut down?When towing back in my day someone was always on the brakes!
Most helicopters have hydraulic accumulators which store pressure to allow the brakes to work when the gearbox is not turning. They also often have electric pumps that allow the pressure to be maintained in the accumulator without the need to run the engines.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 07:38
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The accumulators in the A109 slowly bleed away - pity the man who doesn't chock his 109 when parking on a sloping tarmac.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 19:57
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Originally Posted by nomorehelosforme View Post
Any reason this CH-53E couldn't have got up the ramp its self?
Ron White is correct:

Please go back to the pictures / video and note that;
1. the main rotor blades are folded
2. the tail pylon in folded
3. it is under tow

No engine start is going to happen in those conditions.
Stay away from helicopters? Yeah, for you that's an excellent choice.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 21:34
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It looks to me like they were loading a ship, not a helicopter...
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 22:48
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Lonewolf,

Thanks for your kind and informative post, I donít proclaim to be an expert regarding helicopters merely someone with a keen interest who has been fortunate enough to have spent quite a few hours flying in them in various locations across the world and less fortunately have lost some friends in a couple of well documented accidents. I apologise if my posts are not to your liking.
You on the other hand seem to think you are an expert in many things, politics, war and seemingly anything to do with anything! Lonewolf is a great name as it probably suits you well a lonely old f***er that has nothing better to do other than hunt around looking to attack something.

I suspect you are ex military (thank you for your service) and probably made the rank of General.......
General assh**e

Last edited by nomorehelosforme; 6th Jul 2019 at 23:02.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 23:12
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Even Marines would have done it differently....they would have used a couple of Five Ton Trucks or an Amphibious Tractor as tow vehicles.....no matter the outcome would have been the same as they would not have released the brakes just in case the tow bar snapped while they were dragging it up the incline.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 22:46
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Originally Posted by nomorehelosforme View Post
Lonewolf,
Thanks for your kind and informative post,

You are welcome. I was unable to discern from the video (not your fault, you didn't film it) whether there was a brake rider or not on that attempt to load the bird.


Oldpax made a point that leaves me puzzled, since I too recall brake riders on a lot of helicopter moves.
As to your taking offense: perhaps you'll in the future reconsider when you think you are about to be clever.
A trollish post, such as your title and the line I took you to task for, sometimes get harsh responses.
There's quite a bit of rough and tumble on this forum, and most of the players take it in stride.

You saw a video on youtube and decided to make light of someone's (a crew of them) very bad day at work.
I saw the same video and ran it back a couple of times. I suspect that a few other aviation professionals looked at that and thought roughly as I did:
"Why and how did that tow bar separate from that nose wheel?"
(I'll be interested to learn the cause, if that particular incident's final report becomes publicly accessible).

That may be the difference between you, and an aviation professional.

Fly safe.

@chopjock: my guess as well. The lower right corner of the video's beginning looks to me like they are on a pier, adjacent to water.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 8th Jul 2019 at 01:56.
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 13:47
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 View Post
(I'll be interested to learn the cause, if that particular incident's final report becomes publicly accessible).
The lower right corner of the video's beginning looks to me like they are on a pier, adjacent to water.
Cause? Overloading the towbar made worse by using unsuitable tugs. The shockloading on the towbar with all the snatch-loads from the tugs' wheels slipping must have been massive. Use of a suitable sized tug or a winch would have resulted in a much smoother tow and vastly less stress on the towbar, even so, one has to wonder if towbars are rated for the sort of gradients found on ships' loading ramps. Do those towbars have fuse-pins? As the helo swings round at the end of he ramp there's something quite substantial flailing around and still attached to the nosegear.

Is that a proper CH53 towbar? It looks pretty flimsy for such a heavy aircraft. What does the signage GPMB(?) MA5400 on the towbar mean? You'd expect them to be labeled with a max load figure, surely that's not a towbar for a 5400Kg - let alone 5400Lb max weight aircraft?

Here's the same tug apparenty, and a towbar that seems very similar.

https://www.alamy.it/stati-uniti-mar...ip%3d0%26pl%3d

And here is a ship that looks very similar too. Both pics at USMC Hawaii

https://www.alamy.it/stati-uniti-mar...ip%3d0%26pl%3d

Last edited by meleagertoo; 8th Jul 2019 at 14:34.
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 14:34
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Might it be a situation where, if that is a civilian ship, their crews are responsible for and perform, all duties associated with loading and unloading? That demarcation line can get fuzzy.
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 14:35
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
Cause? Overloading the towbar made worse by using unsuitable tugs. The shockloading on the towbar with all the snatch-loads from the tugs' wheels slipping must have been massive. Use of a suitable sized tug or a winch would have resulted in a much smoother tow and vastly less stress on the towbar, even so, one has to wonder if towbars are rated for the sort of gradients found on ships' loading ramps. Do those towbars have fuse-pins? As the helo swings round at the end of he ramp there's something quite substantial flailing around and still attached to the nosegear.

Is that a proper CH53 towbar?
I used to have access to a number of NAVAIR pubs but I no longer do. The ground handling equipment specs should be known by the move crew.
The point you raise on "was that the right tug/tow bar for the job?" is a good one, and likely a topic for the incident investigating board. (Ground mishap, no fatalities, but an expensive mistake ...)

@JohnDixson: good point, but I'd hope that if this was a contract job, the due diligence would determine if the contractor has proper kit for the job. (GFE, CFE, etc...)
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 17:01
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Proper kit and very good Insurance and Bonding!
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 15:52
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo Cause? Overloading the towbar made worse by using unsuitable tugs. The shockloading on the towbar with all the snatch-loads from the tugs' wheels slipping must have been massive. Use of a suitable sized tug or a winch would have resulted in a much smoother tow and vastly less stress on the towbar, even so, one has to wonder if towbars are rated for the sort of gradients found on ships' loading ramps. Do those towbars have fuse-pins? As the helo swings round at the end of he ramp there's something quite substantial flailing around and still attached to the nosegear.

Is that a proper CH53 towbar?
I would say what caused it was the front tug wheel spinning his way up the metal ramp to suddenly finding a none slip deck where he then had grip and the spin being converted into traction and the unexpected sudden jerk from that grip.
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