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Efforts continue to find cause of crash of Army helicopters in Trigg County

Efforts continue to find cause of crash of Army helicopters in Trigg County
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By The Associated Press/West Kentucky Star staff
Mar. 31, 2023 | TRIGG COUNTY
By The Associated Press/West Kentucky Star staff Mar. 31, 2023 | 04:19 AM | TRIGG COUNTY
U.S. Army investigators are trying to determine what caused two Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopters to crash during a training exercise in Trigg County, killing all nine 101st Airborne soldiers aboard. 

The deaths happened Wednesday night during a routine training mission.

At a press conference Thursday at Fort Campbell attended by Gov. Beshear, the deputy commander of the 101st Airborne, Brigadier General John Lubas, said one helicopter had five people aboard and the other had four. The helicopters crashed in a field near a residential area with no injuries on the ground, Lubas said. He said family notifications were still pending.

An Army spokesperson declined to comment on whether the helicopters collided in the air.

“At this time, there is no determination on the specifics regarding the accident,” Daniel Matthews, a public affairs officer for the 101st Airborne Division, said in an emailed statement Thursday afternoon. Matthews said an aviation safety team from Fort Rucker, Alabama, will investigate the accident.

“This was a training progression, and specifically they were flying a multi-ship formation, two ships, under night vision goggles at night,” Lubas said. He said officials believe the accident occurred when “they were doing flying, not deliberate medical evacuation drills.”

The helicopters have something similar to the black boxes on passenger planes, which records the performance of aircrafts in flight and are used by investigators to analyze crashes.

“We’re hopeful that will provide quite a bit of information of what occurred,” Lubas said.

Beshear said the state would do everything it can to support the families of those killed.

As of Thursday, Trigg County Emergency Management continued to assist Kentucky State Police and Fort Campbell military police. Several roadways in Trigg County were still being blocked to assist in the crash investigation.



Military officials hold a news conference in Fort Campbell, Ky., Thursday March 30, 2023, to discuss a fatal helicopter crash. Nine people were killed in a crash involving two Army Black Hawk helicopters conducting a nighttime training exercise in Kentucky, a military spokesperson said. (AP Photo/Sharon Johnson)
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