How to Avoid Getting Shot Down


This blog is mostly about the blackhawk helicopter, but the real focus is on how to avoid getting shot down. I started this blog in response to a comment made by a Blackhawk pilot who said he wished someone would write a blog about how to avoid getting shot down.

The Blackhawk helicopter is used by the military as well as law enforcement agencies. It is also used by private individuals and corporations for business purposes. The Blackhawk can carry passengers, or cargo such as medical supplies, food or ammunition. A Blackhawk can be equipped with rockets that can destroy enemy tanks or shoot down planes.

The Blackhawk helicopter has been involved in many conflicts around the world including Desert Storm, Bosnia and Iraq. The most recent incident involving a Blackhawk was in Afghanistan where it was shot down by Taliban fighters using rocket propelled grenades (RPG’s).

I’m going to write a blog about the Blackhawk helicopter.

The Blackhawk is a marvel of engineering. It’s been in service since the late 1970s and hasn’t had any accidents in combat. The average age of a Blackhawk is 20 years old and they’re not planning on replacing it until 2030.

In this blog I plan to interview as many Blackhawk pilots as I can and learn as much as I can about what makes it so reliable.

I’m hoping to use my experience running this blog to get a job in the defense industry when I graduate college.

If you know any Blackhawk pilots, please send them my way!

The Blackhawk helicopter has been shot down frequently. The United States lost two Black Hawks in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993, and one in Afghanistan in 2002. The other countries that have lost Black Hawks lost them in wars (e.g., the Falkland Islands) or to accidents.

The Black Hawk is not a perfect aircraft by any means, but it’s very good for what it does: transport troops quickly and safely over rough terrain. When it does get shot down, it’s usually because of some combination of bad luck and human error.*

If you’re flying a blackhawk helicopter through hostile territory, it’s important to make sure you don’t get shot down. Here are some tips for doing that.

1. Make sure the enemy is not directly below you, which would allow them to shoot up into your bottom armor.

2. Make sure the enemy is not directly above you, which would allow them to shoot down into your top armor.

3. Make sure the enemy is not directly ahead of you, which would allow them to shoot right into your cockpit.

4. Make sure the enemy is not directly behind you, which would allow them to shoot right into your engines.

5. If possible, make sure the enemy is not anywhere around you at all.

I was talking with a Naval officer this weekend, and he said something I found interesting: “I always liked the Blackhawk helicopter. It’s a great machine, but it’s also good because there are still plenty of people alive who flew in Vietnam. They remember what it was like when we built our helicopters out of spare parts and duct tape, and they’re not going to let that happen again.”

The Blackhawk is one of the most successful helicopter designs ever built. It’s flown by militaries on every continent except Antarctica (where it would be redundant). It has a truly remarkable safety record. In more than three decades flying the US Army has never lost one in combat, despite deploying them all over the world in conditions ranging from Iraq to Panama to Somalia to Haiti–sometimes in combat, sometimes as part of peacekeeping missions.

The safety record is particularly remarkable because it includes some missions that were extremely dangerous even by combat helicopter standards. The Blackhawk’s role as an assault transport means it often flies low while carrying troops and equipment into battle zones–the kind of conditions where you would expect a lot of accidents due to ground fire or mechanical problems leading to crashes while maneuvering. But they just don’t happen.

Most people are surprised to learn that the AH-64 Apache helicopter is not the Army’s primary attack helicopter. That title belongs to the UH-60 Black Hawk. The Black Hawk is a utility helicopter, not an attack helicopter. It has no rockets or machine guns, unless you count the door guns on some models, and those are only used in self-defense.

The Black Hawk’s mission is to move troops and supplies around a war zone. A typical load is 11 combat soldiers with full gear, plus two crew members. In Iraq, Black Hawks were also used to airlift wounded soldiers out of combat zones.

The greatest danger to a Black Hawk in Iraq are ground fire and small arms. To date 18 have been shot down by missiles, and 37 by small arms fire (SAF).

Crews have several ways of reducing their vulnerability to SAF. They fly at high speed and low altitude so that SAF shooters have little time to aim. They fly “nap of the earth”–so close to the ground that they are below the horizon from a distance–making them harder for enemy spotters to see and for missile batteries to lock onto. Helicopters also fly in pairs or larger formations so that if one is hit there will be at

The Black Hawk is in trouble right now. The Army is evaluating bids to build a new helicopter based on Sikorsky’s X2. This would be a revolutionary aircraft that combines a coaxial rotor with a pusher propeller to achieve high cruise speeds.

The Army says it needs the aircraft to shorten flight times, but what it really needs is to keep Sikorsky from going over to Bell, where the V-22 Osprey will be produced. If the Army bought the X2 as an interim helicopter, it would have its cake and eat it too: the initial production for the new machine could be built at Sikorsky (as long as Bell didn’t object).

But if the Army buys an interim Black Hawk, it will get another mediocrity instead of an exceptional aircraft. Since the Osprey has been delayed so many times, this won’t make much difference in performance, but it will slow down development of new capabilities.


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