• Published
  • Air Combat Command Headquarters

An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter struck a galvanized steel cable and subsequently impacted an uninhabited desert area near Al Qaim, Iraq, March 15, 2018, according to an Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board report released today.

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.

For more information, contact Air Combat Command Public Affairs at (757) 764-5007 or via e- mail at accpa.operations@us.af.mil.