According to the U.S. Army, nine soldiers lost their lives in a crash involving two Black Hawk helicopters operating during a routine nighttime training mission over Kentucky.
The incident occurred late on Wednesday in Trigg County and involved two HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters operated by the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. The cause of the crash remains unknown.
Army Brigadier General John Lubas, the division’s deputy commanding officer for operations, explained that an aircraft safety investigations team from Fort Rucker, Alabama, would arrive to review data from the onboard computers, similar to commercial aircraft’s black boxes. Lubas said, “At this point, we don’t know. We’re hopeful that when we get the team from Fort Rucker here and they’re able to pull some of the data out of the onboard computers we will have a better understanding of exactly what happened.” He also confirmed that one helicopter carried five soldiers, while the other had four, and the crew members were using night-vision goggles.
The HH-60 is a Black Hawk helicopter variant designed to support various military operations, such as air assaults and medical evacuations. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth spoke to the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressing the difficulty of this moment for the U.S. military’s largest service branch. Wormuth said, “Thank you for your comments and thoughts and prayers for the families of our soldiers who were killed in the crash. Our hearts go out to them. It’s a heavy day for the Army.”
The weather on Wednesday night in the Fort Campbell area, which lies on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee, was clear with calm winds.