Apache Helicopter Makes Hard Landing Northwest Of Tucson
Two soldiers with the Army National Guard escaped unhurt after their Apache helicopter made a hard landing Thursday night. It happened at the Silverbell Army Heliport at Pinal County Airpark northwest of Tucson. The Army says the AH-64A chopper was heavily damaged.
Two personnel in the helicopter were conducting routine flight instruction at the time of the mishap. One of the people on board was a senior flight instructor. The Guard is calling the other person a qualified pilot.
Both the pilot and co-pilot walked away from the crash with no injuries. They were able to turn off the helicopter and get out.
Several local agencies assisted and responded to the crash site. The Army is investigating.
The Apache is the United States Army's principal attack helicopter. The crew sits in tandem, with the pilot sitting behind and above the copilot-gunner in an armored crew compartment.
The helicopter is armed with a machine gun, and it carries a mixture of missiles and rockets. It can operate during the day or night and in adverse weather, using the integrated helmet and display sight system.
The Apache AH-64A that crashed at the Silverbell Army Heliport belonged to WAATS (Western Arizona Aviation Training Site) and was landing to Charlie pad. Abotu 50 feet from landing they got a BUCS fail indication and the IP took over the controls. Both pilots had just removed thier Goggles when the aircraft began a rapid turn due to T/R malfunction. The IP chopped the engines and prepared for a hard landing. They both walked away and later was discovered that a suspected swashplate had failed. Safety Center is still investigating this and further reports are pending. I was not part of this, it just sat at the end of the parking ramp where I look everyday.
CW3 (Ret) Crit J. "Critter" Kennedy AH-64D ME / MG