I am not going to do it. Yaaag yes I am. I am here in another helicopter debate.
I was in the service during the rescue attempt.
I was a helicopter crewman at the time.
The reason the rescue attempt failed was the selection of the wrong birds. Navy seasprite helicoptors were used. These aircraft were designed to fly over water and limited land. Primarily they were carrier aircraft, ill suited for the task. Oddly enough minor modifications could have been made to the choppers making them as land worthy as the next.
The common opinion among my at crew the time was, the mission was intended to fail. Only an idiot would send his bird over a desert without a particle separator on the intake.
Of course, anyone with any sense also knows the desert is a harsh environment for a turbine, separator or not. Carter was slashing the military budget and we did feel it. Parts were hard to come by and the 200 dollar toilet seat had yet to surface.
As to whether the people on the aircraft could have pulled off the mission? I say yes. Special forces troops are a special breed that don’t like to take no for an answer. It is a shame that they had to die in a “Class A mishap”. My condolences to their families.