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From: David Lednicer <>
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: Iran rescue disaster (was: Helo Refueling From Airplane !)
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 18:19:55 -0800

Cynthia Keeney wrote:
> The rescue flight had one helicopter turn back when it got seperated/loss
> from the rest.

	This one had an avionics failure, officially blamed upon a loose duffle
bag covering a cooling air inlet.  I have always suspected this story.
The aircraft returned to the USS Nimitz.

> Two more had problems (engine problems from flying though a
> sand storm I think) and this brought the number down below the "no-go"
> levels and aborted the mission (very bad planning upon high but that's a
> different subject).

	One had a BIM failure (indicating a cracked blade spar) and the pilot
put down short of Desert One and the aircraft was abandoned.  The other
had a #2 hydraulic system failure at Desert One.

> The flight of birds then landed inside Iran to ground refuel the Stallions
> from the C-130. During ground movement one of the coptors and a C-130
> collided and burned, eight dead. After this everybody loaded onto the
> remaining C-130s an abandoned the other HH-53s.

	They were RH-53Ds, not HH-53s.  The RHs had marginally more range and
power and hence were used.  They also had their EAPS systems removed to
increase their range.  This was highly critized, but actually had no
impact on the mission's success or failure, as the EAPS protect the
engine against long term damage.

David Lednicer             | "Applied Computational Fluid Dynamics"
Analytical Methods, Inc.   |   email:
2133 152nd Ave NE          |   tel:     (206) 643-9090
Redmond, WA  98052  USA    |   fax:     (206) 746-1299

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