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CH-46's & CH-47's in the drink!

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  • Member since
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CH-46's & CH-47's in the drink!
Posted by luke on Monday, May 10, 2004 3:51 AM
I was doing some research for the up'n'coming Academy CH46 & (?) Panda's Chinook and came across some interesting photos. It appears that these birds can sit in the water of relatively calm seas/rivers with or without the rotors going. Is this just for photo or test purposes or would this be used operationally. Could some of you Marines or Pilots give some insight as to under what conditions this would be done. You couldn't retrieve downed-pilots cause the winch would be easier and the rear door couldn't be down either for Special Forces insertion (easier to jump). A dio of this maybe interesting, but putting this picture in a context may help.




  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, May 10, 2004 8:48 AM
I was told that special forces do use this maneuver at times for extraction purposes. Only hear say as a lawyer would say but seams logical.
  • Member since
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  • From: Belgium
Posted by Awood23 on Monday, May 10, 2004 11:12 AM
your right paddy wagon, they land the helo in a body of water and drive a zodiac right into the open rear door. Im guessing they have to be pretty care not to catch the outboard motor but Im sure they practice such extractions alot.
[img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v515/Awood23/DarkSideBadge.jpg "your' not trying if your not cheating" "no one ever won a war by dying for his country, he won it by making the other poor bugger die for his" 'never before have so many owed so much to so few" 1/48 Spitfire %80
  • Member since
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  • From: Canada / Czech Republic
Posted by upnorth on Monday, May 10, 2004 11:31 AM
I've seen pictures of the old Canadian Armed Forces' Chinooks (D models) doing similar things on lakes. There was some interesting footage I saw taken from inside the helicopter looking aft while it was in the water, there was some sort of flexible dam device stretched across the back of the cargo opening.

The helicopter got low enough in the water that the level of the water was almost up to the top of the dam (the dam covered the lower 1/3 of the cargo opening) and a zodiac pulled right up and three frogmen jumped from it, over the dam and into the helicopter.

Onece the helicopter was clear of the water, the dam was folded away and the cargo doors shut.
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, May 10, 2004 7:51 PM
When I was attached to a CH-46 squadron in the Marines, they had to do regular checks to make sure that they could land, and stay afloat in the water. They do have special floats that are put on the sides, though they are a bit hard to spot in those pics (can't speak for the CH-47's). Also the CH-53E can also land in the water and stay afloat, but must keep the rotor head turning.
  • Member since
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  • From: Canada
Posted by sharkbait on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 1:30 AM
On the CH-46 photo you can see afloat bag deployed on the stb. side.
One of my coworkers is an ex Canadian Military CH-47 pilot.
At supper last night he told me that in order to do planned water ops that certain vents and drain lines were closed and the dam installed.
In an emergency this was not necessary but water would slowly enter - lots of time to egress the a/c in a ditching however.
After water ops all the wheel bearings had to be repacked so it was not an everyday event.
Touchdowns were allowed up to 60 knots ( no a usual procedure ) and made for some spectacular spray on touchdown.

You have never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3!

  • Member since
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  • From: Upper left side of the lower Penninsula of Mich
Posted by dkmacin on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 5:26 AM
All Helicopters can land in the water.
Most however, can only do this once.
The rotor head is turning in all the photos you supplied luke, though I am sure the head can be stopped if the water has nary a ripple. Due to the extreme top heavy nature of helo's they will not stay afloat upright for very long with the head stopped and any kind of sea state. For this reason helo crews to not plan for a long time to egress the helo. In the US Coast Guard we practiced egress from the 9D5 "dunker" trainer, and our own home made version of the device for HEED's training. (Helicopter Emergency Egress Device). Nothing like clorinated water up your nose to clear out the sinuses.


Don
I know it's only rock and roll, but I like it.
  • Member since
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  • From: Green Lantern Corps HQ on Oa
Posted by LemonJello on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 5:37 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by dkmacin

In the US Coast Guard we practiced egress from the 9D5 "dunker" trainer, and our own home made version of the device for HEED's training. (Helicopter Emergency Egress Device). Nothing like clorinated water up your nose to clear out the sinuses.

Don

I got to spend the day in the helo dunker at Cherry Point as part of SOC(Special Operations Capable) qualifications before we went on float. Don't know which is worse, seeing the water come into the cabin, or doing it all again blinded?
A day in the Corps is like a day on the farm; every meal is a banquet, every paycheck a fortune, every formation a parade... The Marine Corps is a department of the Navy? Yeah...The Men's Department.
  • Member since
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  • From: Winsted CT
Posted by jimz66 on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 10:01 AM
I have seen images similar to that with the S-3's but I don't know if the Hawk series from Sikorsky can do the same thing. I don't know if they have the right bottom for that. But if you look at the Sea King's bottom you will note it looks like a boat almost. The hull was designed for that from the beginning but I don't think it was utilzed that much.
Phantoms rule the skies!!!
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Posted by luke on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 10:04 PM
Smile [:)] thanks guys!
  • Member since
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  • From: Upper left side of the lower Penninsula of Mich
Posted by dkmacin on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 5:50 AM
Yes Lemon, blindfolded it the way to go!
That way the safety divers can't see your eyeballs popping out of your head!
The Sikorsky H3, both Navy and AF version could land in the water and do a rescue that way. The baby version of the Navy H3 the S62, or the USCG helo, did practice of the water pick ups as well as full autos to the water. Now that was fun! Especially in hotter climates. We even did full rotor shut downs on the water, (Make sure you are in the doorway though). The restart would have the entire airframe slowly spinning around until the tail rotor was up to speed to counter the torque.
The H60 hawks can do water landings, but again only once. Taken all the fun out of it.

Don
I know it's only rock and roll, but I like it.
  • Member since
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  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Saturday, May 15, 2004 3:05 AM
I think it's more of a chinnook thing. It's been said that 46's and 53's can do it, but the pilots and aircrew don't try it. I challenge you to find a pic of a 53 doing that. Sikorsky says that it can be done, but I don't think anyone's tried it with a 53.
  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, May 15, 2004 6:38 AM
I know that CH & MH-47's practice water landings regularly. Down at Ft Rucker you would be sitting on the beach near one of the lakes on base and all of a sudden here comes a Chinook landing on the water. At least they did back in the 80's.
We had two MH-47E's up here in Alaska a few years ago and we got to do some wet M-470 (Zodiaks) insertions. The -47 would land in the water, we would have the -470 ramp loaded and would spill out the back and take off. For Exfil we would simply drive up the rear of the -47, grab the -470 and pull it farther in the bird, and then the Chinook would pull pitch and away we went. the waterfall out the back was pretty spectacular.
My understanding is that the Chinook is purpose built to be able to land on the water.
Don is exactly right on the USAF HH-3E's and USCG Pelicans. Never have seen a -53 land on water nor a Phrog for that matter. I know that we do helo casts from the Pavehawk and Pave Lows but they never touch the water.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, May 15, 2004 7:45 AM
The top photo is an UH-46E...the photo was taken at the NAS Patuxent River (Pax River) Naval Air Station in southern Maryland. I was stationed there in the Search and Rescue Detachment while they were conducting these tests. The bridge in the background is the bridge that goes to Calvert county from St Mary's county. The purpose of these tests were to test the floatation bags you see attached to the sides. At that time the Navy/Marine Corps was losing too many crewmen and pilots when an H-46 went into the water...especially at night. You would pop the bags right as you hit the water so that it would stay afloat long enough, whether it be upside down or right side up, for the crew and passengers to get out. I flew search and rescue 46's (frogs) for 8 years and we did practice water landings in the event that we had to land to pick up someone in the water. We would open the ramp and pull the swimmer and victom in the rear of the helo. We had a water dam that was installed at Sta 420 to prevent the back from filling with water. Hope this helps...
  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, May 15, 2004 7:49 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by sardawg28

The top photo is an UH-46E...the photo was taken at the NAS Patuxent River (Pax River) Naval Air Station in southern Maryland. I was stationed there in the Search and Rescue Detachment while they were conducting these tests. The bridge in the background is the bridge that goes to Calvert county from St Mary's county. The purpose of these tests were to test the floatation bags you see attached to the sides. At that time the Navy/Marine Corps was losing too many crewmen and pilots when an H-46 went into the water...especially at night. You would pop the bags right as you hit the water so that it would stay afloat long enough, whether it be upside down or right side up, for the crew and passengers to get out. I flew search and rescue 46's (frogs) for 8 years and we did practice water landings in the event that we had to land to pick up someone in the water. We would open the ramp and pull the swimmer and victom in the rear of the helo. We had a water dam that was installed at Sta 420 to prevent the back from filling with water. Hope this helps...
  • Member since
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Posted by 46 mech on Sunday, May 16, 2004 12:45 AM
I agree with sardawg28. I work on the last of the 46's here in San Diego for the NAVY. All going TO THE BONE YARD in Az. ecept one that goes to the pedestal on the Island. We do not do the practice of water landing anymore due to Navy switching over to the H-60S helicopter and what we have left are used to fly around and do some SAR (search and rescue to keep the crewmen up to date on thier qualifications. Nice photos of the H-46 and H-47. LOVE these birds and really hard to believe they are being phased out. But am I ever looking forward to Academy's and Trumpeter's H-46 releases. Just got to do some scratch building and changes to reflect on the HH-46D I work on I plan to make. Lasting memories.
  • Member since
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  • From: Piedmont Triad, NC (USA)
Posted by oldhooker on Sunday, May 16, 2004 9:59 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by salbando

My understanding is that the Chinook is purpose built to be able to land on the water.


Right you are salbando....

Here's a old picture from inside of Boeing's Vertol division assembly area, showing the built-in "pool" used for testing the airframe's floating ability.



In October 1967, while riding on a re-supply bird to Vung Tau, our *ride* got it's engine shot out about 50 miles west of Can Tho, and it was either the jungle or a canal.... the pilots picked the canal. Soft, water landing, engine shut-down, and personnel off in about 10ft deep water! The aircraft remained stable until just after the rotors stopped and the last several people were clambering out, she rolled to the left, the rotors touching the canal bed, which settled the aircraft on the bottom, right side up and window deep.



Take care,
Frank

  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, May 16, 2004 3:51 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by ridleusmc

It's been said that 46's and 53's can do it, but the pilots and aircrew don't try it. I challenge you to find a pic of a 53 doing that. Sikorsky says that it can be done, but I don't think anyone's tried it with a 53.


I have seen videos of the 53 doing as much.....but you are right, it is hard to track down. I'll have to see if I can find it again, but if I do I'll post ASAP. When I was in the USMC about 6 years ago, it was required for 46's to do water landing training before we went to the ship. At that time they were doing it pretty regularly. Not sure about the policy these days though.
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