More tragic news for military aviation came late Wednesday night when an MH-60 Blackhawk helicopter had a crash landing at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. One crewmember was killed and two others were wounded. The crewmembers were assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. An Army spokesman said that the helicopter had a ‘hard landing’ and the crash was under investigation.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A member of an elite Army helicopter unit was killed and two crew members suffered injuries when their aircraft slammed into the ground as they tried to land at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, a military spokesman said Thursday.
The MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was returning from a routine training flight when it made a “hard landing” just before 11:30 p.m. Wednesday on or near the airstrip at the base in coastal Georgia, said Army Maj. Allen Hill, a spokesman for the crew’s aviation unit.
The three-man crew was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, which trains soldiers to fly helicopters behind enemy lines under cover of darkness. Nicknamed the Night Stalkers, the unit was responsible for flying Navy SEALs into Pakistan during the 2010 raid in which Osama Bin Laden was killed. The 160th regiment is headquartered at Fort Campbell, Ky., but has a battalion stationed in Savannah.
Hill said Thursday the Army was still investigating what went wrong at the end of the training flight late Wednesday.
“They were on final approach,” he said. “Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.”
Hill said he did not know how badly the helicopter was damaged or if it landed on the tarmac or in the grass. Local television news footage taken from a distance showed the aircraft leaning to one side near the base’s runway.