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Videos: US Army Black Hawk helicopter makes emergency landing on busy Romanian street

A UH-60V Black Hawk at the Huntsville, Al. International Airport July 13, 2021. (Nathaniel Letson/Program Executive Office)
July 16, 2021

A U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter executed an emergency landing on a busy street in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, ripping down multiple street lights and blocking traffic.

According to a statement by U.S. Army Europe and Africa, a UH-60 Black Hawk from 3rd Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, conducted a precautionary landing in Charles de Gaulle Square, in Bucharest. The helicopter, along with five other Black Hawks, was participating in a rehearsal ahead of Romanian Air Force day, marking the end of the Romanian military presence in Afghanistan.  

Video of the incident shared on YouTube shows the Black Hawk rapidly decreasing altitude over a street filled with vehicles and people before landing in a nearby roundabout. Police said the helicopter signaled it was having technical difficulties, allowing them to clear some of the roadway. No casualties were reported.

“Due to the expertise of the crew, and the Romanian police officers on the ground, the helicopter landed safely,” the statement continued. “The site has been secured by local police authorities and the aircraft has been temporarily moved to the side of the roundabout to allow for traffic to continue to flow.”

Additional footage shared on YouTube showed emergency vehicles and personnel working in the area and police tape blocking off the street.

The United States and Romania are conducting a joint investigation into the incident.

The U.S. Embassy Bucharest tweeted, “Safe landing and no injuries.”

U.S. Army Europe and Africa said the unit is forward deployed from Illesheim, Germany, and is operating in support of Atlantic Resolve units, which conduct “bilateral, joint and multinational training events” in Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Estonia, Bulgaria and Slovakia.

“The training focuses on strengthening bonds between allies and partners, increasing interoperability and building readiness,” US Army Europe and Africa wrote.

Earlier this year, three U.S. service members in the Idaho Army National Guard died after their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed near Boise during a routine training flight. Last contact was made with the aircraft at 7:45 p.m. local time and the crash occurred shortly after 8 p.m., confirmed by the helicopter’s Emergency Transmitter Locator device becoming activated.

“This is a tremendous loss to the Idaho National Guard and our community,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, adjutant general of Idaho and commander of the Idaho National Guard. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones as we work through this tragedy.”

One U.S. Army soldier was killed and three injured in another Black Hawk crash outside of Fort Polk, La. in September 2019.