Hurlburt Field, FL
2 Nov 2001
An MH-53M PAVE LOW helicopter crashed during a mission to rescue a Special Operations Forces soldier in northern Afghanistan. The helicopter was flying at high altitude when a severe snow storm caused it to become separated from flight lead. During a turn, the aircraft rotor speed “drooped” and the aircraft lost lift. The aircraft descended towards terrain and impacted the ground at an altitude of over 10,000ft. Four crew members on-board were injured. After several hours on the ground in snowy conditions, the entire crew was safely recovered by their wingman.
F-14 Tomcats from the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt destroyed the damaged helicopter.