A Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter, operated by the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), has conducted an emergency landing after experiencing an in-flight fire, on June 6.
The helicopter, assigned to the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 465, was conducting a routine training mission when it caught fire at approximately 1:00 p.m. PST and made a safe landing at the Imperial County Airport in Imperial, California. The Imperial County Fire Department swiftly extinguished the rapidly spreading fire after the aircraft landed.
HMH-465 squadron, known as “Warhorse”, is based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California and falls under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 16 (MAG-16) and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW).
There were no injuries to personnel during the incident and the cause of the fire is under investigation, said a statement from the 3rd MAW.
The U.S. Marine Corps is now in process to replace the CH-53Es with the CH-53K King Stallion, which has new engines, new composite material rotor blades, and a wider aircraft cabin. The first CH-53K was delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) in May last year.