By lex, on May 4th, 2011
The armorer’s pal Bill T – a man with enough experience flying sideways to make a fixed wing guy green (and not with envy) – has his own take on the mysterious helicopter that landed on either side of OBL’s wall:
The Brits seem to think that the aircraft took an RPG hit and crashed, rather than suffering an “engine stall” as originally reported, or crashing due to the air temperature over the compound miraculously being 17°F higher than that of the surrounding atmosphere, as is the current excuse coming from Foggy Bottom. I might buy off on pilot error, misjudging rate of closure while simultaneously going nose-high to induce settling with power, but that’s a rookie mistake, and no one in his right mind would have stuck a rookie in this particular aircraft — I guarantee you, the pilots flying that aircraft had been flying it for a while, and knew it inside-out.
Look at it this way: If you were DoD or CIA or any of a dozen other Three Letter Organizations and had spent a kazillion bucks over the course of decades on a helicopter touted to have high-tech, gee-whiz, Star Trek all-aspect stealthiness, and it got waxed on its first operational debut by a bad guy who heard it and saw it *at night* and nailed it with a low-tech weapon essentially unchanged for 1,000 years, which story would you push?
I think Bill may be off by an order of magnitude: The helo may have cost a gozillion dollars, but there’s no way it went as high as a kazillion. Those kind of figures we save for the F-35 program. The rest of his analysis seems spot on, at least from this fast mover’s perspective.
Which is past and opening at 35,000 feet, so what do I know?