It's not a big deal, because no one is paying attention.

This just in:

Army Copter Makes 'Hard Landing' in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A U.S. Army helicopter made a "hard landing" in northern Iraq on Thursday, but the military said the problem was mechanical and not the result of hostile fire.

Last week, ground fire forced a Black Hawk helicopter to make an emergency landing north of Baghdad, the military said. At least eight other U.S. helicopters have crashed or been brought down by hostile fire in Iraq this year.

On Thursday, two pilots were injured and evacuated to an American military hospital in Kirkuk, about 180 miles north of Baghdad, the military said in a statement. There was no word on the extent of the pilots' injuries.

The helicopter, an OH-58 Kiowa, is mostly used in surveillance and some light combat missions.

Why is this non-story (mechanical problems) a story? Below the fold.

From almost two years ago (link is dead to N&O story):

CHERRY POINT MARINE CORPS AIR STATION -- Earlier this month, a pair of hulking transport planes touched down and disgorged the newest additions to the Marine Corps helicopter fleet: three MH-53E Sea Dragons that had been sitting in an aircraft "boneyard" in the Arizona desert for about a decade...Restoring the helicopters, which have been out of production since 1999, is an extraordinary step; but the Marines have little choice: They're running out of big choppers...At least part of the solution to the Super Stallion shortage, Milliman said, could involve the Cherry Point depot and the 14 other rebuildable helicopters sitting in the Arizona boneyard, formally called the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center. The boneyard is a combination junkyard and storage lot for military and Coast Guard aircraft that can be brought back into U.S. service or sold to allies.
There are 4,300 aircraft there dating to 1957, and most are suitable only for parts, said Terry Vanden-Heuvel, a spokeswoman there.

ah, what great timing, because I see that Jay Price followed up on his original story very recently.

Milliman said workers in Havelock came up with a cost-effective way to replace a crucial bulkhead that had limited the helicopter's life to 6,000 hours of operation. It can now fly about 10,000 hours. No new CH-53Es have been made since 1999.

Its replacement isn't expected to go into service until 2015. All 156 of the new model, the CH-53K, wouldn't be in service until 2020.

The heavy lifting in Afghanistan and Iraq would have meant that the Marines would be parking helicopters for good by 2010, five years before the replacements start coming into service.

Chat away, I'm off to an appointment.


Marine Corps helicopters are like Lazarus

they are always around.

I saw the tail number a CH-46 a while back. It was the same plane we "rescued" from a rice paddy about 15 miles south east of Saigon in 1974.

No, they did not re-use the number, the plane's airframe is that old.

As I recall, we picked that one to crate up and send back to the US because it only had bullet holes in it. No major explosive damage.

These are the shitboxes our Marines and Sailors are flying around the desert in.


Because the Air Force can not accept the fact there are different requirements for Naval Aviation.

But, that is a different subject.

That is incredible.

Support our Troops, rebuild a 40 year old piece of equipment.

E-bay, for all your aeronautics needs.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Depends ho you want to look at it...

The Air Force still uses B-52's. All the current ones in service(H models) were delivered in 1961-1962. They are expected to be in service until 2040- almost an 80-year lifespan. It is a great aircraft and it does its job well. There are many instances of fathers and sons flying the same aircraft during their careers.

So, is the Air Force "not supporting the troops" or are they using a well-designed aircraft that does the job well and saving billions of dollars at the same time? Depends how you want to look at it.


Are they gonna pull F-4s out of the boneyard, too?


There are replacements for the F-4. There's nothing else out there that can do the job the BUFF does.


I thought they were using F-16 for wild weasel now.

Probably need the F4 so the F22

does not get lost.

Recently a flight of F22's has had bad computer problems, once at the equator, they lost everything because the computer had to adjust S to N or whichever, and then once on the International Date Line, the computers just stopped.

High tech stuff.

but if

that plane was flown every day and was only getting 1/2 of its scheduled maintenance it is gonna catch up pretty soon. The point of this isnt that they are using old equipment, I think you are right to point out that old doesnt mean bad, but old is only acceptable if it is safe.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

You have a point, but it depends on how they were built and...

how many hours they are created to handle. The original Jeep was designed to last a billion miles, whereas I doubt the current Hummer versions would last that long, but are much more versatile.

Same with the AK-47, designed to be simple and to last forever. Doesn't mean every rifle can withstand that abuse.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

New doesn’t necessarily

New doesn’t necessarily mean better. As stated above the B-52, the grand old grand daddy of the sky, is still the best of show. There is also the never mentioned fact that some of the techno-loaded equipment the pilots are having to TURN OFF so they can concentrate on flying the air craft and not getting themselves killed playing with the new toys.


Ha Ha

I hope they don't pull F-4s out of mothballs. Their frames are bent - I've seen them.

B-52s never pull g's like F-4s do - they'd pull apart.

'give it enough thrust and even a brick can fly!'

The terrorist are getting

The terrorist are getting more more sophisticated weapons from Iran and Syria. In fact they are getting weapons from Russia because Putin wants to rub the US nose in it for helping in Afghanistan to defeat the Russians, and they are also getting weapons we sold to these same countries. The United States has ALWAYS been the biggest arms dealers in the world, and under both Democrats and Republicans. Damned politicians! The terrorist are pumped up about the current Congress trying to get the votes to force the US out of the war and therefore are getting more aggressive. I was against this war from the beginning and wrote all my Congressman several times in the interval before the actual attack. Now we are in and WE BROKE A FUNCTIONING SOCIETY! WE ARE MORALLY BOUND TO THE COMMON PEOPLE OF IRAQ TO STAY AND FIX WHAT WE BROKE. To run now and leave a blood bath of genocide, which will surely happen if we leave, would be immoral. It would also destroy any pretenxe we may have left as being a world leader. We would be considered nothing more than a "paper tiger", or the one I like best, a poodle in leather and chains.



the "proof" on Iran and Syria is dubious at best.

As for Putin, the only way Russia is giving away weapons is if the terrorists are getting weapons from what Sadaam was given pre 2000. Putin has his own troubles with terrorists, you really think he is giving arms to any muslims?

As for your, "the terrorists are pumped up" go take your anti-american rhetoric somewhere else before I start calling you Mrs Cheney.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

That's Not the Only Place -

Don't forget our good friends the Saudis arming the Sunni insurgents.

I don't.

Every Marine CH-46 is older than I

All Marine CH-46's (helicopters with two rotors and no tail-rotor) are from the 60s and 70s.

The Osprey (MV-22) is the replacement but has not been deemed combat ready. II MEF is anticipating deployment of the Osprey's later this year, but recently there have been some avionics issues that may not be completely cleared up in time.

The CH-53s are also facing extinction, as Robert's post says. There's no active replacement for that platform...

I know this is a dead horse, but it bears reinforcement: The Iraqi adventure has severely damaged our ability to defend the home-land.

Thomas S. Brock


What have YOU done today to make the world a better place?

God I hope the Osprey does

not go to war. That box will kill more then the helos it is replacing.

The program managers for the Osprey need to be told "they are not wearing any clothes!"

From the sounds of it...

if they don't even have parts, then they must have stopped making all the bits and pieces. It would probably take a major retooling just to get it back online, and like Thomas said, it would be a 30 year old design. Which, honestly, wouldn't matter as much against the Iraqi's this year as it will against Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and China.
: )

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Oh, the Osprey's are going

See the N&O.

I think the airframe is safe. Not sure about how long they'll last in Iraq/Afghanistan simply the because they've never been used that rigorously.

The MV-22 will certainly not be any less safe than the current aircraft in service.

Thomas S. Brock


What have YOU done today to make the world a better place?