Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Military: Helicopter downed Monday, pilots rescued

Above: Ground forces of the 25th Infantry Division move toward a village during a raid in the Rashaad Valley with the close air support of a team of OH-58Ds in December.

2 pilots rescued in chopper shootdown

Insurgents shot down a U.S. military helicopter south of Baghdad, and the two pilots were rescued with minor injuries, the military said Tuesday.

The OH-58D Kiowa Attack helicopter was brought down by ground fire Monday. After an Apache helicopter rescued the two pilots, a U.S. warplane dropped two 500-pound, laser-guided bombs on the downed craft to destroy it, the military said in a statement.

It gave no further details on the location of the crash and said the incident was under investigation.

Read the rest at Army Times

Army Rescue Mission Saves Downed Pilots in Iraq

"We're taking fire!" Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steven Cianfrini, 27, yelled to his co-pilot as he looked out the helicopter door and saw tracer rounds flying his way.

It was the first sign of trouble yesterday morning as the Kiowa attack helicopter banked over palm groves, fields and canals on a reconnaissance mission to help flush out Sunni insurgents entrenched in rural areas south of Baghdad.

It was also the opening episode of a dramatic 90-minute ordeal of combat and survival that saw the two Army pilots crash-land their aircraft and take cover in neck-high water and reeds in a canal.

Read the rest at the Washington Post