People who turned out at the Imperial airport Saturday afternoon got to inspect these Army National Guard Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters. Military personnel gave onlookers a send-off when they departed for Buckley AFB. (Johnson Publications photo)
Army Chinook makes emergency landing in rural Chase County
One of three Army National Guard CH-47 Chinooks made an emergency landing in northwest Chase County Friday, Aug. 3, after warning lights indicated an issue with the craft’s forward transmission.
The three helicopters were flying from Buckley AFB in Aurora, Colorado to summer training in Michigan when the incident occurred.
According to 1st Lt. Chris Poppleton, a warning light indicated metal chips in the oil of the front rotor transmission. When the warning did not clear, the pilots set the helicopter down immediately.
The copter was set down about a mile east of the Tyler Hughes home at Road 748 and Avenue 318.
After regrouping, the personnel on the damaged Chinook hopped on the other two Chinooks and continued on to Michigan.
Poppleton said four soldiers remained behind to guard the craft. He said they are required to keep two people with the craft at all times.
He was at Buckley when the emergency occurred. On Aug. 4, he was part of an eight-man team who flew out to replace the transmission.
They thought it could be done in four days but it took the whole week. One of the maintenance team said the front transmission is the more difficult of the two to replace.
A special crane is attached to the Chinook to help lift and remove the transmission. The rotors must come off before and are then put back on after the transmission is in place.
They completed the work on site and then flew the Chinook to the Imperial airport Friday night.
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