IDF grounds transport helicopters after glitch

Sikorsky CH 53 forced to make emergency landing near Tel Nof airbase; IAF: General grounding in line with standard procedure.

311_Yasour (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The IDF grounded its transport helicopter fleet after one of the aircraft was forced to carry out an emergency landing near the Tel Nof Air Force Base south of Tel Aviv on Wednesday night.
“A technical issue arose during the flight, and the helicopter landed in an open field,” the IDF Spokesman’s Office said. “The helicopter and crew are unharmed,” it added.
The technical fault occurred as the helicopter, a Sikorsky CH 53 (“Yasur”), took part in a training flight, with three crew members on board. The aircraft, which only had flight crew on it, experienced trouble in its rotor system, forcing an unplanned landing. A technical team is investigating the fault.
In line with standard procedure, OC Air Force Maj.-Gen.
Amir Eshel grounded all aircraft of the same type to ensure that the fault is not linked to the general design of the helicopter.
“We will keep the helicopters grounded until the cause of the fault in the motor components has been identified,” the air force added.
Last month, an F-16 fighter jet carrying out a midair refueling exercise with a Boeing 707 refueler was forced to carry out an emergency landing. The unscheduled landing occurred after the refueling pipe disintegrated in the midst of the drill.
Last May, an air force Blackhawk combat helicopter carrying the head of the IDF’s Ground Forces, Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman, carried out an emergency landing after the motor blades struck a bird.