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Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

(OP)
This is up the street from my house so I figured I'd post it.

Two blackhawks were on a training exercise on the back side of a ski resort (Snowbird). Not sure exactly what their mission was.

They were in formation coming in for a landing. They appeared to be stationary and descending, maybe 30ft off the deck or so when the trailing blackhawk THROWS ONE OF ITS MAIN ROTOR BLADES INTO THE OTHER BLACKHAWK's TAIL ROTOR. They did not collide. A mechanical failure caused a main rotor blade to detach from the aircraft and the 'loose' rotor blade struck the other aircraft. Needless to say this put both of them on the ground.

No serious injuries are reported. Utah Air National Guard is investigating. Elevation at that spot is right around 9,500'. Weather was cold and clear. Winds appeared to be calm based on the videos.


See the link below for quite a few photos and videos. Pardon the 'source' here, but it has a great timeline. I'll update with more links.

https://unofficialnetworks.com/2022/02/22/breaking-blackhawk-helicopter-crash-reported-in-mineral-basin-snowbird/

Youtube video of crash

Video of crash

Another video - note that this is an instagram story and might not be around for more than 24 hours

News report with some good vids



RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

When our oldest was in the Army, he referred to them as 'Crashawks' winky smile

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

At around :25 on the Youtube video, you can see a large part coming out of the snow cloud, moving to the right.


spsalso

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

Quote:

THROWS ONE OF ITS MAIN ROTOR BLADES INTO THE OTHER BLACKHAWK's TAIL ROTOR

Considering the visibility it seems more likely that a main rotor blade of one 'copter contacted the tail rotor of the other 'copter causing the main rotor blade to be ejected.

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

Looks like the leading hawk descended into the rotor sweep of the trailing hawk, which took out his tail rotor and started his rotation to right.
I think this is the clearest vid. https://twitter.com/i/status/1496222345194876928

A black swan to a turkey is a white swan to the butcher ... and to Boeing.

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

(OP)
The reports i've read (and lost) specifically state that the aircraft did not collide.

In pretty much all of the videos you can see the trailing chopper's "debris cloud" expanding before you see the leading chopper start to rotate.
Check out 1:28 here. I'm guessing the reporter got this info from the National Guard Lt.? https://youtu.be/-SX-12MaX58?t=89

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

What is reported isn't always the fact.

In 1503's video it appears the aft helicopter moved forward while shrouded in snow and the forward helicopter defended in to the other's rotor sweep.

It's too coincidental for this to have happened any other way.

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

(OP)


This is coming straight from the horse's mouth. Well, the horse's representative's mouth:

Quote:

According to the Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jared Jones, Utah National Guard aviation public affairs officer, the UH-60 helicopters were involved in mountainous winter training when the incident happened. One helicopter lost its blade which hit the tail rotor of the second helicopter, causing them to crash. One helicopter landed upside down, while the other landed upright.

Granted it's not clear whether the blade made contact with the ground before being ejected but that seems most likely. Not as exciting as a random blade ejection though...And yes, I agree it seems very improbable that a blade simply flew off, but it is not unprecedented according to 'the internet'.


Here's a tidbit from 'some guy' on instagram: (Unrelated...but I think this is the guy who has been out in the desert near SLC digging out a mineshaft looking for a missing person. I saw the youtube/documentary. Interesting. Very sketchy operation though, getting down into that mine shaft. No thanks.)

Quote:

heavydsparks
Verified
Many of you don’t know this but I am an honorary aviation commander for the Utah National Guard and today there was an incident involving two Blackhawk helicopters on a training mission at a local ski resort in Utah. The rotor wash from a Blackhawk can reach speeds in excess of 100 mph and unfortunately the second ship that was following the first one got caught in a full white out and was not able to effectively see the ground which caused him to drift sideways causing his helicopter to roll to the side and crash. During this crash one of the blades of the crashed helicopter flew into the tail boom of the first helicopter which caused significant damage to it as well. These are extremely experienced and talented pilots but unfortunately sometimes the conditions just create unpredictable circumstances. Fortunately everyone is OK and no serious injuries were reported, there is lots to learn from this accident and I have no doubt that my good friends at the army National Guard will take all of this into consideration and implement new safety procedures to keep this from happening. Blackhawks are some of the most robust, powerful, and safe helicopters in the world… This unfortunately was human error but I’m super grateful that all my boys are safe and sound and will live to fly another mission but next time with the new extremely valuable lessons learned. #blackhawk #utahnationalguard #bestofthebest #thankyouforyourservice


So. Sounds like the #2 aircraft got blinded, started drifting, hit the snow with the skid and started to roll (or didnt contact the ground but dipped the rotor into the snow?), rotor blows up and throws debris either directly into #1's tail rotor, or into #1's tail boom, or some other part of #1 which dropped it.

That seems much more likely than an ALL-CAPS blade launch heh..

But I think it's worth mentioning that we'd received some fresh snow up in the canyons the night before this happened. Maybe just a couple inches. It hasn't snowed in quite a while prior to that. I wonder if they were expecting to land on hardpack and got surprised by the snowball. Surely that's not standard operating procedure - to land that close in a snowball? Or a dustball for that matter.


RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

bah the natural state of a mechanical palm tree is crashed and cat 5....

Its hardly a engineering failure its perfectly ops normal and expected.

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

I've said it before, but helicopters only fly because they're so ugly the ground refuses to touch 'em. Clip a couple of blades off and they're decent looking, and they crash!

More seriously, even if it's not SOP to land in such conditions there should be SOP for dealing with unexpected dust/snow during a landing, and the SOP should be such that it's possible to react to such obscuring elements when unexpectedly encountered. If that's not already the case, this crash makes a very good argument that it should be. If it *is* the case, then hopefully the investigation will find out what failed & adjustments will prevent future crashes like this.

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

Sounds like the pilot had to go from VFR to IFR in about 0.25s while 10 feet off the deck. Even with the best of training that's not a mental switch every pilot can flip. While transitioning from visual to instruments the chopper drifted in the pilot's momentary disorientation.

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

it is normal to do white out/brown out tactical landings. They screwed it up.....

To note the aircraft is utterly brilliant for crashing unlike most mechanical palm trees

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

Right. Too close for white out conditions.

A black swan to a turkey is a white swan to the butcher ... and to Boeing.

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

Two Blackhawks impersonating a Chinook.

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

That's certainly too close.

A black swan to a turkey is a white swan to the butcher ... and to Boeing.

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

I think also that the rear one is meant to land first.

They should be landing into wind so if the rear lands the first still has vision and then first continues forward so no chance of getting rear ended.

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

The rear one did land first! Unfortunately not in the way they intended....

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Two UH-60 Blackhawks Crash Near Salt Lake City, UT

Great procedure, if you have rear view mirrors.
Hindsight and all being what it is.



A black swan to a turkey is a white swan to the butcher ... and to Boeing.

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