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Air Transportation: Mercenary Air Forces Do The Hard Jobs
   Next Article → KURDISH WAR: Radicals Get Hung Out To Dry

December 23, 2008: The U.S. military has a lot of small detachments all over Afghanistan, and Central Asian nations to the north. Keeping these bases supplied, and getting people in and out, can be difficult, because there is often no large air field nearby. Enter Blackwater International, the security company that guards many of the American, and local, big shots in Iraq and Afghanistan. Blackwater has its own charter airline, Presidential Airways. For the last five years, this outfit has supplied transport services to these out of the way places. Presidential uses 8 ton CASA 212 and 19 ton Dash-8 twin engine transports, as well as some medium helicopters. It's the twin engine transports that do most of the work. One CASA 212 was lost in 2004, as it made a tricky approach to a land in a high altitude box canyon. But most of the time, the Presidential Air transports get in and out of tight spaces intact, and with hardly any publicity.

U.S. military transports (fixed wing and helicopter) are stretched thin in places like Afghanistan, especially now that the Taliban are using more roadside bombs. There are a few other charter airlines helping out, but Blackwater keeps busy by providing smaller, agile, aircraft for the most out-of-the way places. Most of these aircraft are flown by former military pilots.

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Sea_Alex    blackwater crash    12/24/2008 12:13:33 AM
"One CASA 212 was lost in 2004, as it made a tricky approach to a land in a high altitude box canyon"

They where'nt  trying to land in the canyon they where being idiots 

A 2004 crash that killed everyone on board -- three crew members and three U.S. troops -- was caused by pilots from a Blackwater plane taking a low-level run through a mountain canyon in Afghanistan,

"You're an X-wing fighter Star Wars man," an NTSB report quoted the plane's co-pilot, Loren Hammer, saying during the flight -- a reference to the dizzying battle in the 1977 film.

"You're [expletive] right. This is fun," the pilot, Noel English, responded.

About eight minutes later, the plane slammed into the wall of the canyon, which was flanked by ridgelines that rose nearly a mile above surrounding terrain.

When rescuers found the wreckage three days later, they discovered one of the passengers had survived the crash only to die of internal bleeding and exposure, the NTSB found.

When an unidentified passenger asked about the plane's route before the crash, flight mechanic Melvin Rowe told him, "I don't know what we're gonna see. We don't normally go this route."

English added, "All we want is to avoid seeing rock at 12 o'clock."

English and Hammer had been in Afghanistan less than two weeks, the NTSB found.

 
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