Although the crew members involved in the above were very experienced conducting sling load operations, this was a first for most.
“It was an adrenaline rush for sure,” said Sgt. Shawn Hartford, a Chinook helicopter mechanic, assigned to Company B, 615th Aviation Support Battalion, 1st ACB.
The crew’s preparation drills were “vigorous,” according to an Army public affairs article describing the operation–and they needed to be.
At certain air speeds, the sling-loaded Chinook’s aerodynamic structure could, in essence, create its own flight path and deviate from the helicopter above. That meant the crew had to keep their flight controls in perfect balance so that the sling-loaded aircraft wouldn’t move back and forth or sway side to side.
“It was absolutely amazing and the highlight of my career to see an operation like this executed in such a successful manner,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Vann, Company B, 615th ASB, 1st ACB.