Fast-Roping Out of a CV-22 Osprey Is Dangerous Stuff, Made Easy by Special Forces

When it comes to jumping out of perfectly fine helicopters without using parachutes, soldiers are experts. They train to do this, and while to most of us such operations look extremely dangerous, they seem to be child’s play to these guys.
CV-22 Osprey in fast rope operation 9 photos
Photo: USAF/Staff Sgt. Steven Adkins
CV-22 Osprey flying over DubaiCV-22 OspreyCV-22 OspreyCV-22 OspreyCV-22 OspreyCV-22 OspreyCV-22 Osprey landing at Wittman Regional AirportCV-22 Osprey in fast rope operation
There is one safe way of getting out of a hovering helicopter fast, but it goes by two names: fast roping or rappelling (this former term is also used to describe controlled descent off vertical drops). It calls for troops to descend down a thick rope (generally some 1.5 inches in diameter) to their insertion zone, which can be anything from a helicopter-unfriendly area to the decks of ships floating out in the open.

The first documented combat use of fast roping dates back to the early 1980s, when Great Britain thought it would be a great idea to travel all the way to Argentina and engage in combat with the South American nation over the Falkland Islands.

Since then, such sights have been abundant both in the real world and in the movies, so it’s not something we’re not used to seeing. That doesn’t make each such operation impressive, though.

What you can see in the main pic of this piece (click main photo to enlarge) is a CV-22 Osprey dropping soldiers out its rear. The soldiers shown here are doing this at the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea, with their home base being in Kadena, Japan.

The Osprey and its crew flew over the Korea Strait to take part in the Teak Knife exercise taking place in the peninsula in September. And the Osprey, as seen here, had a pretty straightforward and simple task, given how it was designed to conduct primarily special operations forces long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply – it can carry up to 32 people or 10,000 pounds (4.5 tons) of cargo.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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