U.S. Special Forces are extracted from a mountain pinnacle in Zabul province, Afghanistan, by a U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade after executing an air assault mission to disrupt insurgent communication.

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I was wondering this as well, and I came up with a few possibilities. First, it could be that it would be harder for the pilot to land on. Even though the area is clearer, it looks slanted. That leads to possibility two: landing on the slope could put the soldiers at risk of the rotor blades which may be closer to the ground. Lastly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it has something to do with clearance for the tail rotor. Notice that the pilot’s placed the tail off the edge of the cliff. I don’t think that’s coincidence. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to judge the tail’s distance from the ground from the cockpit when I have a hard time judging distances between another car and the back of mine when backing out of a parking spot. Add to that the fact that the slope is covered with rocks, presenting an even greater risk of a prop strike. Obviously take those with a grain of salt as I’m no bad ass chopper pilot, but I think they’re reasonable possibilities.

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