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HMH-772(-) REIN.

The CH-53E crew of Hustler 11 departed MCAS Futenma with Maj. Christian Oliver (left seat), Maj. Paul Lee (right seat), GySgt. Timothy Longbine (left window), Cpl. Michael Hoie (right window), SSgt. Derek Torrellas (in the tail) and SSgt. Chad Jones (in the cabin). After dropping off five Marines at a training site, Hustler 11 conducted crew training and then extracted the Marines to return to Kadena AB.

Hustler 11 made the required radio call to Kadena Tower requesting a VFR arrival to drop off their passengers. At 140 knots and 500 feet, Maj. Lee realized that he could not lower the collective. The aircraft initially climbed to 800 feet because of the aft cyclic input without the requisite reduction in power. Maj. Lee tried to push the collective down with considerable force two more times. Maj. Oliver then took the controls to evaluate the situation and notified the crew. SSgt. Jones moved to the jump seat to assist with the emergency procedure, while the rest of the crew kept eyes outside for traffic and ensured the passengers were strapped in. SSgt. Jones inspected the collective boot and flight controls that he could see in the cockpit and cabin.

The crew referenced the NATOPS pocket checklist for the EP closest to the diagnosed problem: Restriction or Binding in The Flight Controls. This procedure does not explain how to recover from a stuck collective, nor is it common practice for pilots to be trained on how to manage a stuck collective. The crew turned off the flight-control-force trim, the automatic-flight-control system (AFCS) and the AFCS servos, and then cycled AFCS computer power. None of these actions worked.

The crew determined the only way to simultaneously descend and slow for landing would be by reducing lift by slowing rotor rpm. They retarded the engine-speed-control levers (SCLs). Maj. Lee started the auxiliary-power plant (APP) to maintain electrical and hydraulic power. SSgt. Jones double-checked APP engagement and passenger seat belt/harness integrity while Cpl. Hoie and GySgT. Longbine manned the windows. Hustler 11 made an approach to land.

The first attempt was too high and too fast. The waved off. The crew learned from the first attempt how to manipulate the SCLs to manage power to control altitude. Maj. Oliver maintained the controls, manipulating the nose attitude to control airspeed. Major Lee manipulated the engine SCLs to increase/decrease main-rotor rpm as necessary.

On the second and final attempt. Maj. Lee set rotor rpm between 60 and 70 percent. SSgt. Torrellas checked passenger seat belt/ harness security. Maj. Oliver set the aircraft down at 90 knots, hitting the tailskid, main-landing gear and finally the nose; this jarred loose the collective. Maj. Oliver reduced the collective to full down and used cyclic to keep the helicopter on the runway. Maj. Lee called for brakes and Maj. Oliver applied differential breaking to arrest forward movement and to maintain directional control. Maj. Lee pulled all three engines to ground idle. The helicopter came to a full stop.

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Title Annotation:Bravo Zulu
Publication:Approach
Date:Nov 1, 2013
Words:499
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