HMH-772 surpasses 40,000 mishap-free flight hours

HMH-772 surpasses 40,000 mishap-free flight hours

US Marine Corps, March 09, 2013 - ALEXANDRIA REGIONAL AIRPORT, La. -- Marines of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 772 reached a milestone by surpassing 40,000 Class A mishap-free flight hours Feb. 1, 2013, transiting from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., to San Antonio.

"Constantly exercising complex aircraft in dynamic operations provides numerous opportunities for mishaps," said Capt. Dan "Hancock" FitzPatrick, HMH-772 aviation safety officer. "This feat was achieved because, across the spectrum, our Marines are committed to safe operations and are ever-vigilant when faced with challenges that could compromise safety."

Class A mishaps are defined as loss of a life, permanent total disability or $2 million in damage to an aircraft. The HMH-772 has flown an average of 1,200 flight hours per year since 1981 in missions ranging from search and rescue following the NASA Challenger explosion in 1986, humanitarian assistance in the Philippines, deployment to Kosovo, deployment to the Horn of Africa and multiple deployments to Southwest Asia in support of the war on terrorism and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

A section of two CH-53E Super Stallions departed JB MDL Jan. 31, 2013, to support 4th Reconnaissance Battalion in San Antonio. The Hustler flight achieved the 40,000-hour milestone in the skies over Louisiana on the second morning of the transit.

"This milestone exemplifies the excellence that is the hallmark of every Hustler, past and present," said Maj. Brad "Sixty" Burnett, Hustler Flight operations officer and section leader. "It is an honor to be a part of such a major milestone. It speaks volumes about the professionalism of the Marines who work on and fly these aircraft."

For the U.S. Navy as a whole, safety is a main focus. For those in the aviation community, safety is most-pointedly important. Dynamic evolutions, complex aircraft and varied mission sets present day-to-day hazards for both aircrew and maintenance personnel.

Mission accomplishment is the priority for the HMH-772 team, as well as tempering operational demands with operational risk management, creating the ability to achieve their mission.

"It has been said that 'Aviation is not inherently dangerous, but to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity, or neglect,'" said Maj. Josh "Frenchy" Cormier, HMH-772 executive officer. "This milestone is a testament to all of the Hustler maintainers and aircrew who go out every day with the utmost professionalism to safely accomplish the mission."

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HMH-772 US Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 772 US Marine Corps



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