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A recently awarded Bureau of Land Management contract for a restricted category Black Hawk helicopter has raised new questions about who is permitted to fly on restricted category aircraft. Shawn Evans Photo

Nine killed as two 101st Airborne Division Black Hawks crash in Kentucky

By Vertical Mag | March 30, 2023

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 35 seconds.

Two Sikorsky HH-60 Black Hawks flown by the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) of the U.S. Army have crashed in Kentucky, killing all nine servicemembers on board the aircraft.

A recently awarded Bureau of Land Management contract for a restricted category Black Hawk helicopter has raised new questions about who is permitted to fly on restricted category aircraft. Shawn Evans Photo
The two aircraft were both medevac-configured Sikorsky HH-60 Black Hawks. Shawn Evans Photo

The aircraft crashed in Trigg County, about 20 miles northeast of Fort Campbell, where the 101st Division is headquartered.

Brig. Gen. John Lubas, deputy commander of the 101st Airborne Division, said the aircraft were performing a training mission on March 29 when the crash happened at about 10 p.m. local time.

“This was a training progression, and specifically they were flying a multi-ship formation, two ships under night vision goggles at night,” he told media during a briefing on the crash.

The U.S. Army has deployed an aircraft safety team from Fort Rucker, Alabama, to investigate the crash.

“[The safety team] will look at every possible contributing factor, and I think in a short time we’ll have a much better understanding of what may have contributed to this accident,” said Lubas.

When asked if the two medevac-configured aircraft had collided, he said, “At this point, we don’t know.”

The aircraft came to a rest in an open field across from a residential area, “so thankfully there were no additional casualties or injuries as a result of the crash,” Lubas added.

He praised the various first responders who attended the scene.

“They responded incredibly quickly and immediately establish communication with our leadership here at Fort Campbell, and then jointly we were able to secure that location and get the right folks there to start helping at the site,” said Lubas.

He added that further details will be released once all the servicemembers’ families have been informed.

“This is a truly tragic loss for our families, our division, and Fort Campbell,” said Lubas. “Our number one priority is caring for the families and the soldiers within our combat aviation brigade.”

This story has been updated following a media briefing from Brig. Gen. John Lubas

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