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CH53E Lifespan

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  • CH53E Lifespan

    Thank all of you for your service. My son just received his AC wings for the CH53E. Given the SS is several years past it's expected lifetime and the King Stallion is still about 4 years away, I was wondering what your thoughts are on the safety of the SSs are. I've seen reports on issues with wire chafing that may have been the cause of the loss of a Navy MH53 and its crew. I'm just trying to understand this issue better. Thanks

  • #2
    Re: CH53E Lifespan

    Wire chaffing can happen to any aircraft, no matter how old it is.
    Semper Fi


    • #3
      Re: CH53E Lifespan

      I live in Norfolk, Virginia, very near the hanger where the MH53E that crashed is based. I am also within spitting distance of the crash site.

      I believe that the local press and scuttle but has covered the issues well.

      My conclusion, and the conclusion of the press, is that the Navy failed to dedicate the funds, time, and equipment to properly maintain their aging MH53 fleet.

      I have seen no reference to a failure on the part of the Marine Maintainers. The only reference was that the Marine CH53E aircraft received the same special inspections that were ordered of the Navy.

      As those of you who cleared the mines in Vietnam with the jury rigger CH53's back in the 70's, pulling a mine sweeper placs a different load on the helicopter. That's why you see the reinforced tail. I do not suggest the cause, only make an observation.

      Raymond J. Norton
      1513 Bordeaux Place
      Norfolk, VA 23509-1313

      (757) 623-1644


      • #4
        Re: CH53E Lifespan

        Folks, I was a 53 crew chief and got over 200 plus hours of flight time mine sweeping in Haiphong Harbor from March to Sept 1973. Flew off four LPH's. Lot of work for very little reward. Those sailors got the life @ sea ! I was surprised that we didn't lose more than just the 2- 53's that crashed during "End Sweep". Nice of the Navy to leave the crashed 53's @ the end of the Cubi Pt. runway in pieces for ALL to see ! The 53D's had about 24 plus man hours of maintenance per flight hour back then. The rotor heads had grease fittings on them because they leaked oil so badly ! Find that in a NATOPS safety manual !! I remember it well. My plane was # 156955. It was retired in 2011 to the bone yard in Az. after service in Afghanistan and HMH362. That is the life span of a "Shitter". Cpl.Steve Eaton,HMM165,CH53,CC,rvn,rnvn,1972/73. Semper Fi.