84-24174, Boeing D model kit number M3078, was a CH-47D helicopter. The U.S. Army acceptance date was 1 October 1985. The administrative strike date was 28 January 2002. As of 22 June 1998, 84-24174 had accumulated 1,905.4 D model hours and 4,738.3 total aircraft hours.

   84-24174 was a conversion from the original A model Chinook 64-13121.

   On 31 July 1984, 84-24174 was inducted into the D model program, converted, and initially scheduled for assignment to Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

   At some point, 84-24174 was assigned to B Company, 7th Battalion, 101st Airborne Division.

   At some point, 84-24174 was assigned to A Company, 7th Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, where it remained until it was lost due to an accident.

   On 28 January 2002, 84-24174 was involved in an accident while attempting to land in a field site in Afghanistan.

   84-24174 was landing to an unimproved Landing Zone (LZ) in very dusty conditions under Night Vision Goggles (NVG's). The crew lost sight of the ground and the aircraft landed hard severing the right front landing gear. The forward rotor system struck the ground and the aircraft came to rest on its right side.

   As of 28 January 2002, this aircraft was 36.8 years old.

   As of 28 January 2002, the last known location of 84-24174 was in Afghanistan, assigned to A Company, 7th Battalion, 101st Airborne Division.

   Aircraft status: Crashed.



          A Crash in Afghanistan


          January 29, 2002 Posted: 5:03 AM EST (1003 GMT).                         


             KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CHN) - The U.S. military Tuesday was investigating the "hard landing" of a U.S. Army CH-47 "Chinook" transport helicopter - "extensively damaged" a day earlier in eastern Afghanistan - to see if it can be salvaged.

             According to U.S. military officials at Kandahar airport, the helicopter went down under brown-out conditions - where debris kicked up by the aircraft's rotors darkens the sky, obscuring the landing site. Due to the dust obscuring the crew's vision, the pilot could not see the ground or note the uneven terrain. While attempting to land, the front landing gear of the CH-47 went into a depression causing the aircraft to flip onto its side, said U.S. Army spokesman Maj. A. C. Roper.

             Army Col. Frank Wiercinski, a spokesman for the 101st in Kandahar, Afghanistan, said the pilot apparently failed to see holes in the ground at the landing site due to darkness and dust. He said the soldiers were members of the 187th Regiment of the 101st Airborne.

             The cause of the incident is still under investigation, Roper said. However, a preliminary report showed no hostile actions were involved in bringing the aircraft down.

             Sixteen soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division were injured in the incident south of Bagram, in eastern Afghanistan. A total of 24 military personnel were aboard the chopper. Military members operating helicopters involved in the same mission rescued all personnel, officials said. According to Roper, all the injured soldiers were in good to stable condition and were receiving medical treatment inside Afghanistan at a military base north of Kabul, and were expected to eventually return to duty. U.S. Central Command said four of the injuries are serious but not life threatening and consist of hip and leg injuries. The others were classified as minor injuries with broken bones, cuts and abrasions. Their names have not been released.

             Central Command said the helicopter was on a tactical mission with the flight originating from Kandahar. The helicopter was ferrying members of the 101st Airborne Division to an area near Khost when the accident occurred. The CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter was carrying members of the 101st Airborne to a U.S. Marine Corps encampment near Khost, the official said. The 101st soldiers are replacing the Marines, who have been using the outpost in their search for al-Qaida and Taliban fighters.

             There has been no decision to recover the helicopter, Central Command said. The accident happened at approximately 11:30 p.m. (2 p.m. EST Monday), 28 January 2002.

          Update 29 January 2002:                                                                   

             Ten of the sixteen U.S. soldiers who were injured in a helicopter accident in eastern Afghanistan were evacuated to the U.S. military base in Incirlik, Turkey, near southern province of Adana.



          A Pilot's Report



             My name is CW2 Frederic P. Pollino. I am a Night Vision Goggle (NVG) qualified line pilot assigned to A Company, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The following account is to serve as my statement concerning the "hard landing" that occurred on the night of January 28th, 2002 near the small village city of Khowst, Afghanistan. Consideration should be given to the fact that I did lose consciousness intermittently throughout this ordeal and that the following is what I can recall to the best of my ability.

             I first arrived at Khandahar Air Base after ten days of tiresome military traveling late at night on January 27th,2002. I was among a group of ten soldiers that traveled together from Fort Campbell. We were escorted to our temporary sleep tent, that night, after being processed in as new arrivals. We tried to sleep until about 0600 hrs the next day. The night was terribly cold and sleep was very difficult to come by. I was glad to see the sun rise.

             We were transferred to A Company's area of operation shortly thereafter. We were all greeted by the First Sergeant. He gave us a quick rundown on the rules of engagement and advised us on what to expect while assigned there. I was then escorted to the tent where I would be living. I was informed that my flight gear and personal equipment had arrived in an aircraft before me. I secured my gear and began to set up my living quarters.

             I was able to take a short nap after setting up my cot. I was still tired from the trip and suspect that I had a mild case of jet lag. My nap lasted into the afternoon when I was awakened by one of my friends. He informed me that there was a NVG combat mission planned for that night and that I had been selected to act as "an extra set of eyes" in the cockpit. I was to ride in the troop commander's seat for this mission that was to remain over night at an undisclosed location. My friend continued to say that I had about thirty minutes to get my flight gear and head out to the aircraft. It was there, that I would get follow on instructions and further details about the mission. I obliged and was on my way after the typical sniveling that most soldiers do when they have been assigned to a combat mission at the last minute.

             I had not been involved in the planning cell. I felt nervous about the flight because I was not familiar with the area. I boarded the aircraft and was greeted by my friend Dave. Dave was my "battle roster" pilot in command. I felt at ease, then, because I knew that Dave was a very experienced pilot. I had flown with him many times before and was comfortable with him at the flight controls and as my pilot in command.

             Dave quickly briefed me as to what it was that he expected from me. I was to monitor the engine and transmission instruments, read out checklist tasks "by the book" such as the before landing and before take-off procedures. Most importantly, I was to monitor the radar altimeter and inform the pilot on the flight controls if he was below 100 feet Above Ground Level (AGL). Afghanistan is a very mountainous country and we were concerned with the possibility of controlled flight into terrain.

             Basically, the mission was for us to take 18 "passengers" to an airfield near the village city of Khowst. The passengers boarded the aircraft. The start up was normal. We relocated to the refuel point and topped off the internal "Robby" tank with fuel for the mission. I read off the GPS navigation coordinates for our first leg to Dave while at the refuel point. He read them back to me correctly. Refuel was complete and we repositioned to join our flight. We were a flight of three and our aircraft was the trail aircraft. According to the crew briefing that I received from Dave, we would be flying in a free cruise/staggered left type formation throughout the night. Five to ten rotor disk separation was also briefed as I recall. We were to tighten up the formation at the Release Point (RP) inbound to the objective.

             I remember how anxious I was about flying in my first combat mission when Khandahar tower cleared our flight for take-off. The reported winds were calm and the area was blessed with high pressure. The departure was on time. I made all of the necessary checklist "call outs" and, with that, we were underway. I was able to perform a proper fuel consumption check when we were level and in mission profile. I was also monitoring the instruments, as I was briefed. I called out the fuel "burn out times" with and without the proper reserves. Both pilots acknowledged and recorded the times. I made fuel consumption checks every thirty minutes thereafter. I acted as a third pair of trained pilot eyes, as briefed, calling out anything that looked abnormal to me.

             We, the crew, noticed that the terrain resembled that of the moon that was shining brightly above. The illumination was greater than 70%, I would guess, and there were no clouds in the sky due to the high outside air pressure system that dominated the area. The terrain below was lacking vegetation, dusty, and filled with large craters formed from previous airborne munitions. We flew in the shadows of a mountain's valley, one after another, and then over a dried lake bed where the door gunners test fired their weapons. Operations were normal. Hours had passed and the flight was going smoothly as planned. We were approaching our objective and were into the higher mountainous terrain now. Our APR-39 threat detection radar was doing its thing as we were calling out possible enemy threats back to the door gunners. I could see their laser sights scanning the surface below as we approached the release point.

             We were at the RP inbound when I read out the before landing procedure from my checklist. Pilot and co-pilot shoulder harnesses were locked. Dave was on the flight controls and sitting in the left front seat of the cockpit's two front seats. The co-pilot was sitting in the right front seat. I was sitting in the troop commander's seat, which, unfortunately for me, does not have a shoulder harness. The troop seat is located between the two front seats and slightly aft in the forward cabin area walkway just beneath the forward transmission pylon, which is located outside of the aircraft.

             I started to call out radar altitudes when we descended below 100 feet AGL. Dave had requested that his co-pilot "ride the flight controls" with him in the event that one of the two were "disabled" during the approach. The co-pilot obliged. At or around the time I called out 50 feet AGL, Dave called out, "I have the landing area in sight." The crew acknowledged.

             I saw that we were at about 30 feet AGL. Dust was approaching our aircraft rapidly. In milliseconds, we were in a "brown out" condition. The dust never approached our aircraft from the rear as it normally does when performing a dust landing. The winds must have shifted due to the mountainous terrain. The crew chiefs never saw it coming as I believe that they were looking aft for the dust cloud. There was silence for a moment as we were waiting to make contact with the ground. The radar altimeter was fluctuating rapidly between 5 and 15 feet AGL. I never felt the wheels touch the ground.

             Suddenly and with a rapid jolt, I was thrown up into the ceiling of the aircraft. I was pinned there for what seemed like an eternity. I heard the grinding of the forward transmission above me. The rotor blades, crashing into the ground, were destroyed. A crewmember must have keyed their microphone. I could hear men screaming in the background. I thought to myself, "This is it... We are going to die... This is how I am going to die."

             I heard glass break. I felt something hit me in the chest. I lost my breath. I felt as though I were airborne because there was this awkward silence. Then I remember landing on my neck and hearing it snap. I thought that I broke my neck. Then, there was no sound and no sight for I don't know how long.

             The sound of a jet engine was heard as I fought to catch my breath. I was making this weird sound as I fought to inhale. I was able to come to one knee. I looked ahead and could only see an open field. "Perhaps that's our objective." I thought, but, there were no other helicopters around. I fought to breathe.

             I turned around to see our aircraft resting on its right side. The front part of the aircraft was missing. I believe that I may have exited the aircraft with the cockpit because I had metal all around me. I had landed outside of the rotor discs. I saw the co-pilot struggling to unlock his shoulder harness and lap belt. I fought for every breath. I returned to the wreckage and assisted with the co-pilot to help Dave get out of his seat. Dave's feet were wedged beneath the pedals. I pulled the pedals back as the co-pilot helped Dave get out.

             I ran beneath the aircraft after we dislodged Dave from his seat. I was at the back of the aircraft and noticed that the number two engine was ablaze and still running. The number one engine had shut down automatically after impact, probably due to fuel starvation. I was at the ramp area and looked to see if I could reach the manual fuel cut-off valve for the number two engine, but it was engulfed in flames. I could not find a fire extinguisher, either. I remember worrying about the possibility of the aircraft's hydraulic fluid catching fire.

             I saw two soldiers. I don't know who they were. We made eye contact, momentarily, until we noticed someone trying to climb out of the burning helicopter. His legs were badly injured and on fire. We all reached for him. One of the unknown soldiers and I began dragging this wounded soldier to safety. The wounded soldier was alert and screaming about how bad his legs were. I thought that he had a compound fracture of some sort because I could see deformity around his pant's legs and his feet were twisted in two different directions. There was bleeding, too. He kept begging us for water, but I didn't have any with me. I remember being frustrated by his screaming. I started to wonder if we had fatalities on board. I was still fighting to breathe.

             I could hardly speak to the guy that was helping me drag this wounded soldier to safety. I was concerned about the likelihood of dragging this guy over a land mine. I remembered the First Sergeant telling us about the abundance of mine fields in this country. "Perhaps, that was what caused the aircraft to flip on its side..." I thought to myself as I signaled for my partner to stop.

             My partner and I looked at each other briefly and then headed back to the burning aircraft to retrieve more wounded men. I thought to myself, "This is crazy, the helicopter is about to explode." We passed other soldiers that were dragging the wounded to our "make shift" casualty assembly area. The infantry soldiers were beginning to establish a defense perimeter around the wounded men.

             There were local village people trying to sneak a glimpse as to what was going on. We couldn't tell who was friendly and who wasn't. People were running from house to house and all of them were concerned about what had crash-landed in their "back yard", so to speak. I wanted to get out of this place, quickly.

             This young soldier came running up to me screaming, "I don't have a weapon. I need yours so that I can help defend the perimeter." I asked him if he knew how to fire an M9. He nodded, so I placed my weapon in his hands. I released the safety for him and he ran off to defend the wounded. More of the locals appeared and anxiety levels elevated. A "fire fight" was imminent. I could feel the "bad guys" coming. We had to do something, soon.

             My partner and I grabbed another wounded soldier from the burning ramp area of the aircraft. We began dragging him to safety when I noticed that there were three men trying to remove one of our flight crewmembers. I later learned that it was my friend, Jason. He was one of our company's most experienced flight engineers. It seemed that they were having difficulty with his safety strap. Jason was unconscious and his entire body was limp. I feared the worst. Eventually, they were able to cut it and pull him to safety.

             The flaming engine began to over speed as my partner and I were dragging our second casualty to safety. Everyone took cover and prepared for the blast of an exploding helicopter with full fuel tanks. However, thanks to the outstanding design characteristics from the engineer folks over at Boeing, the engine just flamed out and shut itself down. Cudos to the men and women at the Boeing plant in Philadelphia.

             I secured my PRC-112 hand held rescue radio from my Aviation Life Support Equipment (ALSE) vest after dragging that last wounded soldier to safety. I made a blanket broadcast "May Day" call on the most often monitored military uniform guard frequency. Eventually, I was able to reach an Air Force patrol aircraft that was in the vicinity. He asked me to signal as he was approaching our location. I was unsuccessful in activating my signal flare and become frustrated when the patrol aircraft reported that he could not see us. I was still fighting to breathe and my chest was in a lot of pain.

             I asked the patrol aircraft to relay a message to our sister ships about what had happened. He obliged and, within minutes, I was waving at the glorious sight of two CH-47D "Chinook" aircraft, inbound to our location for extraction. I ran aboard the first ship shortly after it landed, to the cockpit, where I informed them of how many personnel that we had. I was still having difficulty breathing. I was exhausted. I took a seat with both my radio and my signal flare still in hand. It was there that I sat until the medics came for me when we arrived at Bagram AirBase.



          Photographs of 84-24174 at the Crash Site



Chinook 84-24174, A loss in Afghanistan.



Chinook 84-24174, A loss in Afghanistan.



Chinook 84-24174, A loss in Afghanistan.



Chinook 84-24174, A loss in Afghanistan.



Chinook 84-24174, A loss in Afghanistan.



Chinook 84-24174, A loss in Afghanistan.



Chinook 84-24174, A loss in Afghanistan.



Chinook 84-24174, A loss in Afghanistan.



Chinook 84-24174, A loss in Afghanistan.



Chinook 84-24174, A loss in Afghanistan.



Chinook 84-24174, A loss in Afghanistan.



Chinook 84-24174, A loss in Afghanistan.



             All that remains of 84-24174 now are the charred and broken pieces left over after the demolition team blew it in place at the crash site in Afghanistan:



84-24174 after demolition that destroyed the airframe at the crash site in Afghanistan.



             Anybody have a grid coordinate of the crash site? Please send us an email.



          This aircraft was piloted by:


          CPT David Coy, Pilot in Command, 2002


          MAJ Scott Kubica, Copilot, 2002


          CW2 Fred Pollino, Copilot, 2002


          Your Name Here.



          This aircraft was crewed by:


          SGT Jason Jennings, Flight Engineer, 2002


          SGT Terry Miller, Crew Chief, 2002


          SGT Jeremy Charles, Crew Chief / Door Gunner, 2002


          Your Name Here.



          The CH-47 - 40 years old and still circling the world.


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