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Three Humvees Forget Their Parachute During Airdrop, Smash on the Ground

US tax-payers can watch their money plummet to the ground in the form of three Humvees that were part of a larger airdrop exercise in Germany. The poor vehicles fell from a considerable height and stood absolutely no chance as their parachutes either failed to deploy or became loose.
Dropped Humvee wreck 1 photo
The culprit is US Army's famous 173rd Airborne Brigade that was taking part in an exercise at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany. A few C-130 Hercules tactical airlifters were flying over the designated zone, dropping the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) as planned. A few soldiers were watching the airdrop from the ground at a safe distance, and they also had the inspiration of filming it.

As if heavy military vehicles gliding to the ground weren't spectacular enough, these guys got really lucky with their video, as about twenty seconds into the footage, one Humvee detaches itself from the parachutes and begins a very quick drop to the ground. As the rather expensive vehicle smashes to bits on the green field, the soldiers behind the camera are massively amused by the turn things have taken.

A new plane approaches and the men on the ground can already smell blood. Sure enough, they aren't disappointed, as a few seconds later, another one bites the dust in a similar fashion, prompting even more laughs and cheers from these soldiers who clearly don't love their equipment too much. Or maybe they're just anxious to get the Humvee replacement sooner.

By the time the third Humvee met its demise, it had already become predictable. The good thing is that nobody got hurt, but you can bet that somewhere, somebody is now scrubbing the latrines with a toothbrush, regretting he didn't pay more attention while rigging those Humvees before the airdrop.

The video was posted on the U.S. Army W.T.F! moments Facebook page, and there's a post on The Tactical Air Network describing the whole procedure of preparing these vehicles for an airdrop, while also giving some potential causes for the mishap:

"To airdrop a Humvee, the vehicles are loaded onto metal pallets, sometimes with the use of a crane. Three G-11B parachutes (with a diameter of 100 ft apiece, and a weight of 275 lbs altogether) are strapped to the Humvees, while honeycombed pads and pieces of lightweight wood are stacked underneath the vehicles to absorb the shock of a normal landing. When in the air, the loadmaster will open the C-130’s rear cargo door when pilots slow down the aircraft to approximately 160 mph, releasing a smaller drogue chute attached to the vehicle pallet. The drag of the drogue chute yanks the Humvee out of the aircraft and into the sky, its G-11Bs deploying soon afterwards for a presumably comfortable float down to Earth.

"Any number of things could’ve gone wrong with this particular airdrop, including improper rigging, or high winds which would have had the effect of disturbing the drop. The latter seems to be least likely, given the descent patterns of other airdropped Humvees in the video. If the Humvee is improperly attached to its pallet, or all chutes fail to deploy (only two seemed to with the first loss), the weight of the vehicle coupled with the jarring motion of being pulled out of an inert position (inside the aircraft) would have rendered the G-11B’s retention abilities null."


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