|19 March 2004: 82-23777 parked on the ramp at Knox Army helicopter (KFHK), Fort Rucker, Alabama.|
| 82-23777, Boeing D model kit number M3028, was a CH-47D helicopter. The U.S. Army acceptance date was 16 December 1983. 82-23777 was test flown and accepted at 2,752.2 aircraft hours. As of 1 November 1999, 82-23777 had accumulated 1,357.4 D model hours and 4,099.6 total aircraft hours.
82-23777 was a conversion from the original A model Chinook 66-19072.
On 18 March 1982, 82-23777 was inducted into the D model program, converted, and initially scheduled for assignment to A Company, 159th Combat Aviation Battalion (CAB), located at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
In 1985, after security restrictions naming the special operation units were slightly relaxed, A Company was redesignated E Company, Task Force 160. At some point, Task Force 160 was later renamed the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) - "Nightstalkers".
Initially, and prior to it's arrival with the 160th SOAR, 82-23777 was transferred to Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD), located at Corpus Christi, Texas, for modifications and provisions as a special operations aircraft.
One of the obvious modifications visible to the untrained eye are the hard points located under the nose for mounting the Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) pod characteristic of special operations aircraft.
On 12 April 1985, after a long over water flight, 82-23777 was damaged in an accident due to mechanical failure.
While the aircrew was awaiting taxi clearance into hot refuel parking [where the helicopter is refueled with the engines running] and with the engines at flight idle, 100 percent rotor RPM, thrust at ground detent [all of which is a normal operating condition for a Chinook stationary on the ground] the crew heard a loud bang followed by two lesser banging noises.
The first loud bang preceded a momentary flash fire that came out the aircraft ramp area. The aircraft's rotor system de-phased allowing the forward and aft rotor blades to strike one another. This resulted in the forward pylon, including the Forward Transmission, separating from the aircraft and to come to rest to the left of the aircraft.
The aft pylon collapsed to the left, over and onto the Number 1 engine.
There was major damage done to the aircraft. There was no fire, other than the initial flash fire.
All eight occupants exited the aircraft. Two passengers required assistance and all eight subsequently were taken to hospital. All occupants were treated for major bruises and released with one passenger being evacuated to a hospital for further X-rays and treatment for back injuries.
The failure of the Aft Transmission First and Secondary Stage Planetary Gear Train was attributed to improper assembly of one secondary planetary retention bolt, part number (P/N) 145D0127-1.
The indicated failure sequence probably occurred when the retention bolt disengaged from the Second Stage Planetary Carrier. This allowed the bolt to lodge between the Ring Gear and Planet Gears, causing an instantaneous chain reaction and subsequent destruction of the entire power train.
82-23777 was sent to CCAD for repair at 2,949.3 aircraft hours.
During the repairs, due to a shortage of spare parts, the upper halves of older CH-47C fuel pods were spliced to the undamaged lower halves of the newer composite fuel pods giving 82-23777 a singularly unique appearance for a time. At some point, the fuel pods were replaced with standard D model fuel pods and tanks.
The repairs were completed on 3 June 1992, at 2,949.3 aircraft hours, and the aircraft was transferred to then B Company - "Hercules", 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, located at Hunter Army Airfield, Fort Stewart, near Savannah, Georgia, on 10 May 1993.
82-23777 was issued as a replacement for 84-24177, which was lost in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield / Storm.
Shortly after 82-23777's arrival at Hunter Army Airfield, it deployed [along with several sister ships of B Company and elements of A Company - "Flippers", 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, located at Simmons Army Airfield, Fort Bragg, North Carolina] to Opa Locka, Florida, for disaster relief operations following Hurricane Andrew's passage through the area.
The service conducted in support of the residents of southern Florida netted 82-23777's placement on the cover of the "Rotor and Wing" magazine.
B Company - "Hercules" was the former 132nd Assault Support Helicopter Company (ASHC). The 132nd ASHC was redesignated B Company, 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment in approximately November 1988.
In September 1996, 2nd Battalion was deactivated and the unit was redesignated B Company, 159th Aviation Regiment. B Company became directly subordinate to the 18th Aviation Brigade.
A Company - "Flippers" was the former 196th Assault Support Helicopter Company (ASHC).
The 196th ASHC was redesignated A Company, 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment in approximately 1988.
In September 1996, after 2nd Battalion was deactivated, the unit was redesignated A Company, 159th Aviation Regiment, becoming directly subordinate to the 18th Aviation Brigade.
In approximately November 1996, A Company was redesignated as C Company, 159th Aviation Regiment.
Between 1992 and 1996, 2nd Battalion was subordinate to the 159th Combat Aviation Group (CAG). The 159th CAG was constituted from elements of the deactivated 12th Aviation Brigade that had relocated from Wiesbaden Air Base (AB), Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) to Fort Bragg.
In late 1996, the 159th CAG relocated to Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
As of 8 August 2002, the 159th CAG was still located at Fort Campbell.
As of 8 August 2002, the 18th Aviation Brigade was located at Simmons Army Airfield, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and was subordinate to the 18th Airborne Corps.
The 18th Airborne Corps was subordinate to Forces Command (FORSCOM), which was a major command (MACOM) of the 2nd Army.
In November 1999, 82-23777 was at CCAD for On Condition Maintenance (OCM).
As of 1 January 2002, this aircraft was 34.8 years old.
The last known location of 82-23777 was at CCAD for maintenance.
Aircraft status: Undergoing maintenance, but otherwise flyable.
|This aircraft was piloted by:|
|CW4 Mark S. Morgan, 2003 - 2004|
|Your Name Here.|
|This aircraft was crewed by:|
|SSG Chris Wolsifer, Flight Engineer, 2002 - 2005|
|SGT Jesse L. McCoy, Flight Engineer, 1995 - 1997|
|Your Name Here.|
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