Saturday, November 26, 2022

U.S. Air Force releases HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crash report

Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board has released the report on HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter accident, that occurred an uninhabited desert area near Al Qaim, Iraq, March 15, 2018.

According to an Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board report, an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter struck a galvanized steel cable and subsequently impacted an uninhabited desert area near Al Qaim.

Four flight crew members and three pararescuemen were killed in the mishap. There were no civilian injuries or damage to private property. The aircraft, valued at approximately $49 million, was destroyed on impact.


The mishap occurred during a mission to preposition a helicopter formation to a landing zone closer to the vicinity of ground operations.

The investigation concluded that the pilot misinterpreted aircraft navigation displays, which caused the formation to overfly the intended destination. As a result, the aircraft descended into an unplanned location, striking a 3/8-inch diameter galvanized steel cable strung horizontally between two 341-foot high towers. The cable quickly entangled in the HH-60G’s main rotor assembly resulting in catastrophic damage and an unflyable condition.

The aircraft was assigned to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing.

The HH-60G Pave Hawk is a highly modified version of the Army Black Hawk helicopter which features upgraded communications and navigation suite.  It is a medium-lift combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter.

The HH-60G is also tasked to perform military operations other than war, including civil search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, humanitarian assistance, security cooperation/aviation advisory, NASA space flight support, and rescue command and control.

Helicopter built by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation for the US Air Force and the Republic of Korea Air Force.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.