Apache helicopter makes emergency landing in German field
By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 1, 2017
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Motorists driving on the B10 on Wednesday afternoon near Dornstadt-Tomerdingen — southeast of Stuttgart — saw something they normally don’t in a nearby farmer’s field: A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter.
The bird, assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, out of Katterbach, landed in the field about 3 p.m. Wednesday as a precautionary measure after a sensor went off, said Capt. Jaymon Bell, 12th CAB spokesman.
Instruments indicated that the hydraulics powering the flight control system had a loss in pressure, prompting a “land-as-soon-as-possible condition,” Bell said.
The pilots, Capts. Kyle Amonson and Ben Dagg, stayed with the aircraft for about five hours while the Army worked to return the Apache to the air. A downed aircraft recovery team from the 5th Aviation Detachment at Katterbach arrived with a new sensor and a maintenance test pilot.
“They ran all the tests ... before the two pilots flew it back home” to Katterbach, Bell said.
While they waited, the Apache and their pilots drew a small crowd of curious passersby.
“They counted around 200 people and 40 cars” that stopped and came out to the aircraft, Bell said. “They did an impromptu static display. They’re used to doing those all over Europe.”
The Army is assessing any damages made to the field. Bell said the pilots landed the Apache in tractor tracks in order to minimize damage.
A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter from Katterbach landed in a farmer's field Wednesday, May 31, 2017, after a sensor went off while on a routine training mission in southern Germany. Capt. Ben Dagg let children sit in the cockpit and try on his flight helmet while the Apache waited to return to flight.