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Blackhawk Down

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  • Blackhawk Down

    Breaking News....

    Army helicopter crashes in Colombia

    The helicopter is the pride of the Colombian army
    A Colombian army Black Hawk helicopter has crashed in the north, killing all 23 soldiers aboard.
    The army said the helicopter was lost in bad weather as it took part in an operation against left-wing rebels.

    "The commander of the army and all its personnel express their solidarity with the valiant soldiers who have given their lives," an army statement said.

    The Black Hawk crashed near the town of Curumani and Pailitas in Cesar province, about 500 kilometres (300 miles) north-east of the capital, Bogota.

    The incident comes as Colombian forces continue searching for three US citizens abducted by left-wing rebels after their plane crash-landed in the south of the country on 13 February.

    In October 2000, rebels shot down a Black Hawk, killing more than 20 personnel.

  • #2
    If the reports about 23 people were on board are correct, was the helicopter overloaded. I thought it usually carries a crew of 4 and 12 combat troops.


    • #3
      If a Black Hawk can carry a Hummer, it can probably carry the weight of 23 people.

      I assume they took the seats out and everyone was crammed in on the floor. There's also a bit of space up front if you take out the door gunner mounts.

      Wouldn't be unheard of. A CH-47 is officially listed as carying, what, 48 people? The Brits carried over 120 in one hop in the Falklands.

      Last edited by California Tanker; 27 February 2003, 20:12.
      Driver, tracks, troops.... Drive and adjust!!


      • #4
        UH-60 can carry crew and 12-14 personnel....and as CT says any Heli can be fiddled around to a higher capacity for one type of cargo at the expense of another
        "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke


        • #5
          I don't think I would like to be on a helicopter with 119 other people.. especially if it was only supposed to carry 48.


          • #6
            Would you rather walk across the Falkland Islands for three days straight?

            Driver, tracks, troops.... Drive and adjust!!


            • #7
              When you put it that way.....wait for me all I need is a handhold!:D


              • #8
                How safe are Blackhawk helicopters, nearly every month there seems to be an accident involving one of them.

                The latest incidents

                A US Army Black Hawk helicopter has crashed in Kuwait during a night training mission, killing all four crew members

                At least 14 people were killed and 30 others injured after three of four carriages overturned and one plunged into a ravine, forestry officials said.
                A rescue helicopter crash-landed after picking up casualties. No-one was killed
                (The helo was a UH-60)

                Earlier this year four members of an elite airborne regiment died when an adapted version of the aircraft crashed near Bagram air base in Afghanistan.

                The first US military casualties of the war against the Taleban came when a Black Hawk crashed in Pakistan, killing two soldiers.

                I suppose when you conside how many are in use throughout the orld it saftey record is on par with most aircraft. As of early 2002 the US Army had 904 UH-60A’s, 539 UH-60L’s and 97 “other” UH-60 variants fielded. Maintaining and sustaining this fleet is a major undertaking. With 38% of the UH-60 fleet over 20 years old in FY06.

                The unit cost varies with the version. For example, the unit cost of the Army's UH-60L Black Hawk is $5.9 million while the unit cost of the Air Force MH-60G Pave Hawk is $10.2 million. That's pretty cheap, would the air corp consider this for troop transport. Could get 6 Army versions plus spare parts for under € 50m.


                • #9
                  You might want to check the deal that Austria got for 9 UH-60As ... 196 million euro in 2000 (159mill once import taxes are taken into consideration).

                  Though, given that the Euro has appreciated considerably over the dollar since that time, we'd probably be looking at less than that figure.


                  The Austrians would have preferred to wait for the NH-90. They only went for Blackhawks because of political pressure to get an aircraft in service quickly after a very embarrassing incident, following a major avalanche, in which their existing helicopter fleet, (consisting partly of AIIIs...) proved unable to deal. Meant that the US army had to be called in (remember that Austria is neutral) to help. And, although Blackhawks would be a huge boost to the entire DF (like, imagine the boost for the Arty if the Air Corps had the ability to move batteries around by helicopter?), it'd probably make more sense to wait for something like the NH-90, EH-101 (or S-92) that would be more versatile, particularly regarding range.

                  I know there are loads of variants of the UH-60 that we could use, with the naval and HH-60 cargo versions being particularly applicable for our purposes, but when we'd only have room for two heli types, it seems like a more sensible option to spilt the difference and have one larger type (of the S-92/EH-101) ilk and one smaller (of the Ec-135/A-109) type.

                  Still, were we to need airlift helis in a hurry, we'd end up with either the Uh-60 or whatever Puma/Cougar Eurocopter had lying around ...


                  • #10
                    Could be wrong again on the price Aidan. "wouldn't be the first time". Here is the link where i got the price from Click HERE


                    • #11
                      Actually despite it's inferiority in certain areas I've started to warm towards the EC725 its got nearly as big a cpacity as the merlin (29 as opposed t0 30) and is the cheapest of the three final stage aircraft for tender...on the other hand we really don't want to take chances with safety...hmmm.
                      "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke


                      • #12
                        Dammit ... had a good long answer to this done, and I deleted it!

                        As far as I can tell from my limited knowledge, its more or less impossible to put a firm number on the flyaway price for military aircraft. In the case of Austria, they got a deal whereby Sikorsky invested a huge amount of money in the country; these offsets may have helped to raise the cost of the aircraft (I don't know). The extent to which the purchaser has to depend on the company for servicing, support and training also has a huge effect on the price. If the figure you quoted was the price for the base US military model for FY02 to the US military which has twenty years experience in operating the type, then our figures may not be that incompatible after all.

                        As for the EC-725, the argument against it at the time of the tender was that, while the cheapest, it was also the least capable. And given that follow on orders or upgrades to Air Corps aircraft are rare, it made more sense to opt for a more expensive craft with more flexibility and better capabilities from the start. That said I see your point, C-Q, and theres always the option of adding the much cheaper AS-532AL to the fleet as the Army Airlift option (the Dutch use the AS-532U2, which is even more basic). And it retains a family link to the rest of the Air Corps fleet, meaning that servicing and introduction would/should be cheaper.

                        Still, if the EH101 is out of the question, I'd prefer to see something like the NH-90, its marginally smaller than the others, but is much more modern (and capable). Doesn't have the range or the payload, but it a whole hell of a lot more interoperable with other European countries, and will remain so for quite a while yet. And of course it'd be cheaper than the Merlin, so upping the numbers could be considered too. What was it, 8 you were looking for? ...

                        data at


                        • #13
                          I hate that when i lose a message. So now i type my message in Microsoft Word then copy and paste into the message. You can run over your text with the spell checker before you post. Bingo !!


                          • #14
                            Black Hawks are actually quite safe. (It's two words, not one)

                            It's a simple matter of statistics. If you're flying hundereds of the things every day, something's going to go wrong. Be it parts failure, pilot error, freak weather conditions, accidents resulting from maintenance errors.....

                            How many Volkswagen Golfs crash a month?

                            Driver, tracks, troops.... Drive and adjust!!


                            • #15
                              good point there was a programme on channel 4 last night "battlestations" it focused on the blackhawk and on the mission in the mog when they were shot down. one of the pilots mike durant said that if he had of crashed any other chopper he would have been killed. the documentary showed how adaptabile the black hawk is and by jesus the ****ers can move if they have to!