CH-46 Makes a Controlled Water Entry During a Vertical Replentishment (VERTREP) (1987): We were talking about this today

During the program Mike Musselman and I were talking about this exact incident whichI witnessed while the Executive Officer of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Ranger, CV-61 in 1987.  Rob Schwarz, LtCol USMC (ret)… aka “Montana Man” sent me this link.

It’s an amazing piece of flying by a ballsy pilot.


 I would like to add the following comments to your recent show discussing the crash of the 31st MEU.
The helo dunker is decent training, I say decent because their is NO WAY anyone can make the dunker realistic. The speed and violence that is involved in an actual crash can’t be duplicated in a controlled environment. Your guest mentioned how they can’t have the amount of gear that Marines usually take on the bird as well.

One thing that your guest stated was talking about the egress points of the MV-22, I would say that knowing your egress points are only moderately important since there is no saying that the bird will be in only one piece. People who have never been in a crash are only providing a second hand opinion, I say this because I have first hand experience in this.

We crashed Aug 29th, 1986.

The helo we were in broke into 5 pieces after we hit another helo on the flight deck, we had crossed into the Arctic Circle earlier that day and the water temperature was 42degrees. It is a tragedy to lose any Marine, to have only lost 3 out of 26 is truly a miracle. We lost 8 out of 21 on our crash…..

The Corps needs to do a much better job of preparing our Marines for these type of crashes.

Semper Fi

Patrick Melton