Local News

Fallen Chopper Had Ax

Posted Updated
The torpedo-shaped parts on the sides of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter are auxiliary fuel tanks.
FORT BRAGG — WRAL-TV5 News has learned that the Black Hawk helicopter which crashedlast week was carrying auxiliary fuel tanks.

The Army often equips its Black Hawks with the torpedo-shaped tanks toprovide longer range. The tanks hang on both sides of the chopper and canbe dropped in case of an emergency.

The chopper that went down last week was carrying the extra tanks, but atthis point, Army officials won't say if they had fuel in them, if theywere dropped, or if they ruptured. Officials have said that an infernoengulfed the downed aircraft.

The Army Safety Center says that there have been two crashes whereauxiliary fuel tanks burst, but there have been many crashes wherein theyhave not.

An engineer at the Safety Center says that the fuel tanks have "a verygoodsafety record." He calls them "extremely durable."

But experts say that the auxiliary fuel tanks can't withstand the sameimpact as the internal tank.

Investigators in the Fort Bragg accident will not only look at whatcaused the crash, but also what happened on impact. Ultimately, theirgoal is to determine if any changes in design need to be made.

Copyright 2024 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.