Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea A U.S Black Hawk helicopter that was forced to make an emergency landing in Bucharest had metal fatigue in its gearbox, a report has claimed.
The chopper reported a loss of altitude while flying over the city on July 15 during rehearsals with Romanian helicopters ahead of Romania’s aviation day on Monday.
It made an emergency landing on a roundabout striking two lampposts. No one was injured.
Traffic police cleared an area intended for cars and pedestrians at Charles de Gaulle Square in time for the landing.
Adevarul reported Thursday that the helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing as a result of metal fatigue in its gearbox. It said it could have crashed, and only the quick-thinking of the pilots averted a crash.
Adevarul said the inquiry found that the pilots were alerted by a sensor that there was a major problem in the gearbox.
“After the alert, the American pilots proceeded immediately, acting by the book, and made a forced landing, as danger was imminent,” the paper said quoting military sources.
„Pilots dialed down the motor and the aircraft lost altitude as they looked for a place to do a forced landing which they managed successfully,” the report said.
“They were only a few seconds from tragedy,” it added.
The defense ministry confirmed at the time that the U.S. helicopter pilots were able to control the aircraft while landing to ensure zero casualties.
“We regret the incident that happened Thursday… with a helicopter of the US Armed Forces forced to land in Charles de Gaulle Square in Bucharest,” the ministry said. “Measures have been ordered to avoid the occurrence, in the future, of such incidents.”
The defense ministry canceled participation of all aircraft in aviation ceremonies after the incident.
2 Romanian traffic cops ‘averted a disaster’ when U.S. military chopper made emergency landing in busy square