Dec 27, 2010

Helo crews slammed for Tahoe dip

SAN DIEGO – A Navy investigation into a Sept. 13 flight in which two MH-60R helicopters hovered over and dipped into Lake Tahoe, Calif., slammed the crews for risky actions, but none will get punishment other than “administrative” action.
The incident, which was captured on video by a local hiker who posted it on YouTube, caused $505,751 in damage to the two helicopters with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 41, drew strong rebukes from a senior aviator, who called it an “entirely preventable” incident that risked death from carelessness, complacency and sloppy procedures.
“Hovering without sufficient power caused these helicopters to drop without warning and placed all ten crew-members at mortal risk,” Vice Adm. Allen G. Myers, who commands Naval Air Forces in Coronado, Calif., wrote in a Dec. 20 endorsement to the command investigation into the incident. “The aviation community was lucky this day, and a horrific loss of life was narrowly avoided,” Myers added.

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