Losses and Aviation Safety

A Night Stalkers MH-47G Chinook caught fire at NAS North Island last month

The MH-47G Chinook had landed after routine flight operations when the fire began in the rear of the aircraft.

A US Army MH-47G Chinook special operations helicopter caught fire in June at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island in Coronado, the service said in a statement on Jun. 28, 2022.

The service declined to specify the model of the helicopter after the accident. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the four soldiers on board when the fire ignited were able to escape the aircraft uninjured. NAS North Island fire crews extinguished the fire.

The helicopter is assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) Night Stalkers, which was in San Diego for training.

Col. Roger Waleski, the commander of the 160th SOAR, credited the crew with reacting quickly to the fire.

“We are proud of the quick reaction of our crew, which prevented injury and additional damage. And we are thankful for the assistance from NAS North Island officials and Naval Aviation units who have helped us in our recovery efforts.”

As noted by Alert 5, on Jun. 22 the MH-47G had landed after routine flight operations when the fire began in the rear of the aircraft. The cause of the fire has not been determined and is under investigation.

The MH-47 Chinook helicopter conducts overt and covert infiltration, exfiltration, air assault, resupply, and sling-load operations over a wide range of environmental conditions. The aircraft can perform a variety of other missions including shipboard, platform, urban, water, parachute, forward arming and refueling point, mass casualty, and combat search and rescue operations. Using special mission equipment and night vision devices, MH-47 aircrews can operate in hostile mission environments over all types of terrain at low altitudes during periods of low visibility and low ambient lighting conditions with pinpoint navigation accuracy.

The MH-47G Chinook is a heavy assault helicopter based on the MH-47E airframe. Maintaining the same basic fuselage, fuel system, power train, engines and performance standards as the “Echo” model, it has further structural modifications including a new cockpit with an extended nose and technological enhancements for special operations missions.

Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Reed Knutson / U.S. Army

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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