Battleland

Unauthorized Dip Grounds Navy Pilots

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The fun of being a military pilot has waned in recent years, given that everybody seems to have a video camera ready to document any hot-dogging. Perhaps the most infamous example dates from 1994, when a B-52 flown by a notoriously bad pilot crashed at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, killing all four on board (here’s the back story of that crash — it wasn’t really an accident).

A Navy MH-60 helicopter/DoD photo

The latest case comes from Lake Tahoe, where a pair of $33 million Navy MH-60 helicopters was captured performing some apparently unauthorized flying by an amazed tourist last week and — of course — quickly posted on YouTube.

Each chopper sustained as much as $500,000 in damage, the San Diego Union Tribune reports. The Navy has grounded the pilots involved and launched an investigation. Lake Tahoe — a popular tourist destination — is not a normal training area for Navy aircraft.

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