Bird strike Accident Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk 88-26109 ,
ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 163072
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:Tuesday 7 January 2014
Time:19:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic H60 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk
Owner/operator:US Air Force (USAF), 48th FW, 56th Rescue Sqn
Registration: 88-26109
MSN: 70-1306
Year of manufacture:1989
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Cley Next The Sea, Norfolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:RAF Lakenheath (LKZ/EGUL)
Destination airport:RAF Lakenheath (LKZ/EGUL)
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Crashed during low-level training flight. A USAF HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed about 1900 GMT in a bird sanctuary Cley-Next-To-The-Sea, Norfolk, UK. The crew of 4 were killed in the crash. Circumstances as to the cause of the crash are under investigation. Possible bird strike. According to the USAF AIB Report into the accident:

"On 7 January 2014, at approximately 1805 local time (L), the mishap aircraft (MA), an HH-60G, Tail Number 88-26109, assigned to the 56th Rescue Squadron, 48th Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force (RAF) Lakenheath, United Kingdom (UK), experienced multiple bird strikes during a training mission and impacted privately-owned, grass-covered marshland near Cley next the Sea, UK. The four crewmembers were fatally injured in the mishap. There were no civilian injuries or fatalities. The MA was destroyed upon impact. The cost to the United States government is estimated at $40,302,061. Damage to private property consisted of minimal burning to grass at the crash site.

The purpose of the training mission was to conduct a nighttime rescue scenario of a downed F-16 pilot. The training mission included two aircraft, the flight lead aircraft and the MA, collectively known as the mishap formation (MF). All members of the flight lead crew and mishap crew wore night vision goggles. The MF departed RAF Lakenheath at 1733L and proceeded to an initial point to verify the status of the simulated downed pilot and conduct threat analysis.

Strong winds pushed the MF toward a populated area. To avoid causing a noise disturbance, the MF reestablished its initial point to the north near the coastline. The MA departed the new initial point at 1804L, flying east at approximately 110 feet above ground level and 110 knots indicated air speed toward a landing zone near Salthouse, UK. The flight path took the MF over Cley Marshes in the Norfolk Wildlife Trust near Cley next the Sea.

A flock of geese took flight from Cley Marshes, likely startled by the noise of the approaching helicopters, and struck the MA. At least three geese penetrated the windscreen, rendering the mishap pilot and mishap co-pilot unconscious, and at least one goose struck the mishap aerial gunner in the performance of special mission aviator duties, rendering the mishap aerial gunner unconscious. In addition, at least one goose hit the nose of the MA, disabling the Trim and Flight Path Stabilization systems. With the mishap pilot and mishap co-pilot unconscious and the Trim and Flight Path Stabilization disabled, the MA’s cyclic stick, which controls pitch and roll of the aircraft, was free to move randomly. The MA banked left to a point where it had no vertical lift. Without vertical lift, and without pilot input to correct the left roll, the MA was not able to remain airborne or maintain controlled flight. The MA impacted the ground at 1805L—
approximately three seconds after being struck by the geese.

The Accident Investigation Board President found by clear and convincing evidence that multiple bird strikes caused the mishap by rendering the mishap pilot and mishap co-pilot unconscious and disabling the Trim and Flight Path Stabilization systems".



Revision history:

08-Jan-2014 05:25 JINX Added
08-Jan-2014 06:52 dfix Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Source, Narrative]
08-Jan-2014 08:20 JINX Updated [Time, Location]
08-Jan-2014 11:14 northwest85 Updated [Location, Nature, Departure airport, Narrative]
08-Jan-2014 15:36 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
08-Jan-2014 16:59 JINX Updated [Operator, Nature]
09-Jan-2014 08:20 MarkStep Updated [Source]
14-Jan-2014 11:44 Hoekb03 Updated [Registration, Cn, Source]
16-Jan-2014 11:03 Birdstrike Updated [Narrative]
27-Sep-2015 23:27 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
19-Aug-2016 12:55 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Phase, Destination airport]
31-Dec-2018 14:38 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
03-Jan-2019 12:14 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
12-Feb-2020 15:23 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Operator]
28-Jul-2021 12:19 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code]
28-Jul-2021 12:20 Aerossurance Updated [Operator, Phase, Embed code]
28-Jul-2021 12:20 Aerossurance Updated [[Operator, Phase, Embed code]]
28-Jul-2021 12:20 Aerossurance Updated [[[Operator, Phase, Embed code]]]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314